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Open Innovation Masterclass, RCA Executive Education

This live online masterclass is led by Dr Nick de Leon in collaboration with London & Partners. It will help you understand the principles and application of open innovation, enabling your organisation to collaborate with others.

Key details


  • Live Online

    Two x 3.5 hr sessions

In this masterclass, you will learn how collaboration with external organisations and networks can help you to identify and accelerate the development of new products and services. This might include working with startup companies, universities, existing suppliers or crowdsourcing.

Open innovation contrasts with internally focused approaches to research and development. It encourages you to be more open to ideas from outside your organisation. During the masterclass you will be introduced to the tools and techniques of open innovation so that you can begin collaborating with external partners.

As companies and organisations have struggled to adapt to the fallout of the Covid-19 crisis, many have turned to open innovation. This has allowed them to share risk and remain competitive. By looking beyond their internal boundaries and capabilities they have co-developed new products, services and processes with users, communities and customers.

The RCA and London & Partners will introduce you to the theory of open innovation illustrated by real world case studies, practical exercises and access to special guests from London who will share their experience of using open innovation to transform their own organisations.

Read this interview with Dr Nick de Leon here, where he explains why open innovation is the key to unlocking growth for the future.

About the course

Open innovation describes collaboration with external organisations and networks to develop new products and services. This could include collaboration with startup companies, universities, suppliers or crowdsourcing.

'As companies struggled to adapt to the fallout of the Covid-19 crisis, many turned to open innovation — a collaborative approach that plays to the strengths of all companies involved and can produce creative, unexpected solutions.'

Read the full article online here:

Why Now Is the Time for “Open Innovation” by Linus Dahlander and Martin Wallin, Harvard Business Review June 2020

'Open Innovation is a key tool to address future opportunities and challenges...We need to focus innovation on big, purposeful activities that serve people and build a better society post-Covid.'

Dr Nick de Leon, School of Design interviewed for the 2021 Barclays Rise report, ‘How corporates can develop partnerships with FinTechs: A deep dive into how large organisations can engage with startups to accelerate Open Innovation’. Download the full report here.

The benefits to you and your organisation include:

  • An introduction to the principles of open innovation, the opportunities and challenges.
  • A clear assessment of the success factors for open innovation, informed by the latest global thinking on innovation.
  • Refreshed strategic approach to your role, developed with input from global innovation experts and peers.
  • The tools to track innovation activity and progress across your workplace.
  • An understanding of how inclusion and diversity apply to open innovation and how you can bring new diverse ideas into your organisation.

Session 1: Open Innovation Strategy

  • Introduction to principles of open innovation – what is it, and how does it relate to other innovation models such as Lean Start Up, Design Thinking and Service Design Innovation.
  • Operating models for innovation – how to bring new ideas into an organisation through accelerators, challenge prizes and corporate venture.
  • Frameworks for success – what are the channels and systems that can be used to track open innovation activity and success.

Session 2: Open Innovation in Action

  • Diversity in innovation – what is it and how do you bring diversity into innovation.
  • Behaviour, skills & tools for open innovation – incentivising teams, building stakeholder partnerships and approaching creativity.
  • Case studies, invited guest speakers and a group project will allow you to sharpen and synthesise all these insights.

The programme is delivered by leading academics from the RCA in collaboration with London & Partners.

Learning will take place live and online in two sessions of three-and-a-half hours.

The sessions will include a combination of keynote lectures as well as a series of practical group exercises.

Participants will:

  • Discover theoretical frameworks for open innovation and how it relates to design thinking and lean-startup.
  • Explore real world applications of open innovation and discover how to effectively engage and co-create with the external ecosystem through venture building accelerators and innovation hubs etc.
  • Gain the confidence to know how to effectively drive forward open innovation projects.
  • Employ your creative problem solving in workshop-style learning.

The course is organised in synchronous sessions in a live virtual environment that combines various digital platforms and tools.

Using the videoconferencing service Zoom, the RCA's esteemed academics and facilitators deliver a mix of:

  • live lectures
  • case studies
  • guided assessments
  • presentations

Participants interact with the faculty and peers in breakout rooms in real time.


Participants engage in cross-functional team work with the use of visual collaboration tools.

Through the online whiteboard platform Miro, participants get to:

  • interact with various formats and templates
  • plan and brainstorm ideas
  • create processes and workshop activities in the digital workspace.


The College's learning platform Moodle is personalised according to the course's requirements to provide participants with a secure integrated system where they can access the course content.

The hub hosts a plethora of useful resources to enable the learning experience, including comprehensive timetables, pre-reading materials, course slides, curated videos, tutorials and session recordings.


Participants stay connected and communicate via the channel-based messaging platform Slack throughout the whole duration of the course.

In this space, the academics, facilitators and delegates get to network, plan the course activities, share documents and files during the live sessions or offline.

  • Mid-Senior Level Managers
  • Public and private sector teams
  • Entrepreneurs who want to partner with corporates
  • Product teams
  • Partnership Managers
  • Programme Managers
  • Post-graduate level students or graduates
  • University knowledge-exchange leads
  • Charities, Local authorities and NGO's

Guest speakers invited by London & Partners

Katy Ho, Head of Innovation Practice for Future Networks, Digital Catapult

Katy Ho is the Head of Innovation Practice for Future Networks and Future Focus at Digital Catapult, responsible for the innovation strategy and delivery for 5G, IoT, Cyber and Quantum technology streams.Katy looks after a portfolio of innovation and acceleration projects including large public sector funded programmes, commercial innovation sprints, as well as startup acceleration. Previously Katy was Senior International Programme Lead at a policy consultancy designing and developing capacity building programmes for UK and international government stakeholders.

The Digital Catapult drives early adoption of artificial intelligence, immersive and future networks technologies to make UK businesses more competitive and productive, and to grow the country’s economy. At Digital Catapult we bridge the gap between businesses of all sizes, government and academics to unlock new ways of solving real world challenges in the manufacturing and creative industries. We provide physical and digital facilities that would otherwise not be accessible for smaller companies helping to break down barriers to technology adoption. At Digital Catapult we are always looking for talented people to join our team. We help to create new products, services, experiences and business models that grow the UK economy through the application of advanced digital technologies.

Tanveer Aziz, Head of Innovation, UST

Tanveer Aziz heads up the Innovation Practice at UST Global, where he works on emerging technology across FinTech, RegTech and Healthcare sector across UK. He splits his time talking to various stakeholders across a variety of clients and technology experts across UST – bringing them together to accelerate innovation.

UST is a global digital transformation solutions provider. For more than 20 years, UST has worked side by side with the world’s best companies to make a real impact through transformation. Powered by technology, inspired by people and led by purpose, UST partners with their clients from design to operation. With deep domain expertise and a future-proof philosophy, UST embeds innovation and agility into their clients’ organizations. With over 26,000 employees in 25 countries, UST builds for boundless impact—touching billions of lives in the process.

Andrew Humphries, Co-Founder, The Bakery

Andrew Humphries is Co-Founder of The Bakery, the world's first dedicated workspace and tech accelerator for the advertising, marketing and communications industry. He is a successful serial entrepreneur, business and executive coach with a background in sales and marketing. Voted one of the Sunday Times Maserati 100, recognising British business leaders who actively give back to the next generation of entrepreneurs.

London & Partners is London’s international trade, investment and promotion agency. Our purpose is to support the Mayor’s priorities by promoting London as the best city in the world in which to invest, work, study and visit. We do this by devising creative ways to promote London and to amplify the Mayor’s messages, priorities and campaigns. London & Partners is a not-for-profit public private partnership, funded by the Mayor of London and our network of commercial partners.

For more information: www.londonandpartners.com

London & Partners and the Royal College of Art deliver the Open Innovation Fellowship in collaboration which provides world-class executive education with real-world immersive sessions, peer-to-peer learning and highly-focused networking aimed at senior level innovation leaders.

For more information:


Course leaders and guest speakers

Andrew Tibbitts London & Partners

Andrew Tibbitts

Head of Innovation Programmes, London & Partners

As Head of the Innovation Programmes team at London & Partners, Lauren leads on several key activations including SVC2UK, London Tech Week and the Open Innovation Fellowship.

Tanveer Aziz, Head of Innovation, UST

Tanveer Aziz

Guest Speaker - Head of Innovation, UST

Katy Ho, Head of Innovation Practice for Future Networks, Digital Catapult

Katy Ho

Guest Speaker - Head of Innovation Practice for Future Networks, Digital Catapult

Andrew Humphries, Co-Founder, The Bakery

Andrew Humphries

Guest Speaker - Co-Founder, The Bakery

Contact us

Get in touch with Jo Chounta if you'd like to find out more about this or any of our other short courses.

Email us at
[email protected]
Executive Education