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5 August 2022

OSME at the Strategic Management Society’s conference in Milan

Fast-paced innovation and technological breakthroughs are changing the way society, business, and technology relate to each other, requiring new ways of thinking and operating. The SMS conference ‘Governing Knowledge and Imagination in the Digital Era’, organized at the Bocconi University in Milan, brought together a selection of academics and practitioners to collaborate for three days in mid-June.

Christian Sundman of Wärtsilä and Johan Wallin of Synocus presented the development of the Open Smart Manufacturing Ecosystems OSME at a full-day workshop at the conference. The discussions during the workshop offered valuable feedback on addressing the new requirements when working in ecosystems. The concluding discussions raised the following topics:

  • Innovation increasingly concerns capability building, which requires long-term relationships among the key individuals engaged in the collaboration.
  • The example of Nautor Swan yachts has shown that the concept of collaborative industrial communities can be transferred from one location (Italy) to another (Finland) if individuals are motivated to initiate a new way of working.
  • Capability-building communities represent a complementary networking effort alongside offering development in firm-centric ecosystems.
  • Originally, industrial collaboration in communities was more geared towards longer-term capability building for value-creation, whereas the present focus on ecosystems tends to emphasize shorter-term offering development and value capturing.
  • The increasing demand for sustainability suggests that the community perspective may have an increasing role in the network portfolio of progressive companies.
  • Digitalization enables the use of common data both within value proposition-centric ecosystems and capability-building communities. Such enabling platforms represent an interesting new area for research and experimentation.


The two other full-day workshops of the conference included one dedicated to Human-Centered Design and Design Thinking in large transformations and the other dealt with Agility through Aligned Autonomy. The course of OSME’s development strongly embraces these principles, Design Thinking and Agile Development. The role of communities as well as understanding the customer perspective was highlighted in all workshops.

The conference offered the possibility to discuss OSME experiences with both academics and practitioners and follow-up discussions will continue this autumn. A summary of the lab sessions can be found on this website