Vienna Innovation Program WU 2023: Let’s bring together innovation, networking, and students from all around the world

The Vienna Innovation ProgramWU 2023 took place in May and inspired selected participants. For two weeks, WU master students and international students dealt with innovation management and organizational development. In addition to the excellent academic program, the participants had the opportunity to exchange personal experiences through the social and intercultural program.

Univ.-Prof. Christopher Lettl (Head of the Institute for Strategy, Technology and Organization) led the academic program together with his team of Alessio Delpero, MBA, PhD and Dr. Sonja Sperber.

WU Blog: The Vienna Innovation ProgramWU combines academic expertise and project work with practical implementation. What motivated you to participate in the program? What were your personal highlights?
Sanjay Sukumar (Indiana University): There were several reasons why I chose this program. First and foremost, I wanted to gain hands-on experience to be able to solve complex issues around innovation. Secondly, I wanted to deepen the international aspect of my business education. By working in teams with colleagues from different institutions and nationalities, I was able to acquire practical knowledge.
Kunvarjit Singh (WU Vienna, Supply Chain Management): I applied to the Vienna Innovation ProgramWU because I wanted to learn more about open and user-driven innovation. The opportunity to interact with a diverse group of students from all over the world helped me understand other cultures better. This was one of my personal highlights. Overall, the program sparked my passion for innovation and gave me the skills and experience I need to be successful.

WU Blog: During the course weeks, you worked in international teams and also exchanged ideas during social activities. To what extent did you benefit from the networking nature of the program?
Anusha Kamath (University of North Carolina at Chapell Hill): The networking nature of the program proved immensely beneficial during the course weeks. Working in international teams provided opportunities to interact with people from different cultures. The exchange of ideas during the social activities further enhanced the networking experience, as the informal atmosphere allowed for relaxed and open discussions.
Clemens Pettin (WU Vienna, Strategy, Innovation and Management Control): The students from the partner universities were mostly MBA students, which means that they already have a lot of work experience and therefore have a different approach to certain issues. For me, therefore, these two weeks felt like a short exchange semester at home.

WU Blog: From the perspective of WU students, how has the Vienna Innovation ProgramWU enriched you? What makes the program stand out compared to others?
Julia Meszlery (WU Vienna, Export & Internationalization Management): I would recommend the Vienna Innovation ProgramWU to anyone who is currently pursuing a master’s degree at WU. In my case, the program has encouraged me to be more open to smaller, innovative companies that have a lot of growth potential. I am glad I participated in this intensive program and look forward to the benefits it will have on my professional life.
Ines Fürsatz (WU Vienna, Business Communication): The program was an in-depth experience that offered a unique combination of academic content, project work, and an engaging social program. I had the opportunity to meet students from partner universities and exchange ideas with WU students from other Master’s programs. This combination sets the program apart and provides a dynamic learning experience.

WU Blog: Innovation management is considered essential for companies that want to be successful and future-oriented. The Vienna Innovation ProgramWU shows numerous approaches how innovation can be established, used and effectively managed. What benefits does the program offer participants for their professional or academic careers? What is the advantage of a holistic approach?
Academic Team: Developing solutions to real-world challenges in cross-cultural teams is a key asset. The program offers deep insight into topics such as sustainability innovation, the role of people in adopting new technologies, and innovation ecosystems. In two weeks, students learn how to successfully adapt to a changing world and how to positively shape that change. The holistic view of innovation enables participants to understand the complexity of the world.

WU Blog: What was it like coordinating the program?What challenges and highlights do the tasks bring?
Doris Vindl (WU Vienna, Program Coordinator): I especially like the variety of tasks in the organization and the collaboration with different stakeholders.Time management can sometimes be a challenge because students come from different cultural backgrounds. My personal highlight is participating in social activities together with the participants* and getting to know them as personalities.

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