In 1997, before Google and Salesforce.com, and way before Facebook and Twitter, the Haas School of Business, at the University of California, Berkeley, convened the First Annual U.C. Berkeley Forum on Knowledge and the Firm.
At Knowledge and the Firm over 40 leading academics, executives and practitioners from Japan, the U.S, and Europe discussed organizational knowledge. The aim was to discover how to influence the creation and use of knowledge. We were honored and privileged to interact, question and conduct meaningful conversations with many knowledge leaders.
The two-day meeting surfaced a rich diversity of goals, assumptions, and vocabularies for knowledge and the firm. There was a notable ‘East/West’ contrast. The contrast was between nurturing knowledge creation socially (East) versus managing and measuring knowledge using information technology (West) .
For many in the audience on September 29 and 30, 1997, at Haas, Knowledge and the Firm was the dawn of the modern knowledge era. It was the debut of knowledge management (KM) for many delegates.
Of course knowledge creation and use was seen as a key economic factor at least since the start of the Information Age (1957). For example, Professor Fritz Machlup, in 1961, introduced the knowledge industry in his seminal work titled, Production and Distribution of Knowledge in the United States.
However, in the mid-1990s factors such as globalization, the Internet, the World Wide Web and dramatic, widespread corporate restructuring, gave new urgency and priority to knowledge creation and use. Knowledge and the Firm attracted the top thinkers and practitioners from around the globe. Today, knowledge leadership and KM remain critical, board-level priorities and activities.
The world’s top global knowledge experts and authorities participated. Among the leaders were Professor David Teece, Larry Prusak, Yotaro Kobayashi, Gordon Petrash (Dow), Professor Hirotaka Takeuchi, Professor Ikujiro Nonaka, Professor Georg von Krogh, Carla O’Dell (APQC), John Seely Brown, Dorothy Leonard, Professor Paul Adler, Professor Robert Cole, Carl Shapiro, Paul Duguid, Jan Torsilibri and many others distinguished leaders.
The key findings of Knowledge and the Firm has set the stage for the first Knowledge Management Conference for Silicon Valley and Northern California in years.
KM2014 will colonize many of the enduring themes of Knowledge and the Firm in a 21st Century context. You will learn the disruptive innovations, methods and mindsets that propels 21st knowledge leadership, productivity, innovation, entrepreneurs and prosperity.