The Benjamin Franklin Project at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), along with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Wisconsin at Madison, invite you to participate in an interdisciplinary conference on innovation on April 10^th and 11^th at IIT’s historic Mies Van der Rohe campus in Chicago, IL, USA.

The Atlantic Enlightenment of the eighteenth century ushered in an era of unprecedented innovation and creativity along with new types of institutional infrastructure that fostered and informed those creative processes.

Please join as we consider this historical moment alongside today’s innovation landscape, exploring what it takes for innovation to flourish and how institutional structures inform creativity, along with its successes and failures.

In addition to open submission presentations, the program will feature distinguished practitioners and scholars reflecting on the past, present and future of science, commerce, and law.

Confirmed keynote speakers and panelists include:
* Lori Andrews, (  Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Institute for Science, Law, and Technology, Chicago-Kent College of Law, IIT

* Genevieve Bell, (  Director of Interaction and Experience Research, Intel

* Michel Benard, University Relations Manager, Google Europe

* Fred Block, (  Research Professor in Sociology, University of California, Davis

* Adrian Johns, (  Allan Grant Maclear Professor of History, University of Chicago

* Kurt Haunfelner, (  Vice President of Exhibits & Collections, Museum of Science and Industry

* Laura Hosman, (  Assistant Professor of Political Science, Illinois Institute of Technology

* Simona Maschi, (  Partner, Copenhagen Institute for Interaction Design

* Peter Onuf, (  Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor of History, Emeritus, University of Virginia

* Michael Schrage, (  Research Fellow, MIT Sloan School of Management

* Paul Starr, (  Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs and Stuart Professor of Communications and Public Affairs, Princeton University

* Lindsey Thieman, Curator and Director of Development, International Museum of Surgical Science

* John Zumbrunnen, (  Professor of Political Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison

The organizers also issue an open call for presentations on topics broadly related to institutions and innovation in the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries. Scholars from all fields – from the natural and social sciences to the humanities and performing arts, as well the applied fields of law, medicine, engineering, architecture, design, finance, ecology, and technology – are invited to submit a proposal.

Topics could range from the processes of innovation and the innovators themselves to the institutions – private or public – that support (or inhibit) them.

A 500-word prospectus, along with any questions beforehand, should be submitted here (mailto:[email protected]) by January 15, 2014.  Panels will be announced by February 1, 2014.  Proposals not accepted for panel sessions will be considered for poster presentation.

Registration will begin at on December 1, 2013. To contact one of our conference organizers, please click here (mailto:[email protected]).

This conference is made possible by a gift from the Jack Miller Center with the generous support of the Templeton Foundation and the Brinson Foundation.