7 March 2024  -  8 March 2024

Research Forum – Breaking Bad (Habits): How Can Foundations Move from Siloes to Shaping Future Innovation Ecosystems

The Research Forum will delve into “Breaking Bad (Habits): How Can Foundations Move from Siloes to Shaping Future Innovation Ecosystems” on 7-8 March, in Milan, hosted by Fondazione Cariplo, with the support of Cariplo Factory.

As societal challenges are becoming increasingly multidimensional and industries evolve at an unprecedented pace, it has become imperative for stakeholders to collaborate across boundaries, foster interdisciplinary connections, and catalyse innovation ecosystems that drive meaningful change, and include a social perspective. What is needed for philanthropy to spearhead and spread purpose-driven innovation as the main approach over others?

While the promise of open innovation holds immense potential, it remains an enigma for many, replete with uncertainties, demanding unwavering engagement, and consuming time at a significant rate. It is not universally navigable, with financial limitations often acting as a deterrent to embracing open innovation paradigms.

Because of their unique role in society, philanthropy and foundations can play a key role in fostering open and purpose-driven innovation ecosystems. As independent risk-takers with an eye for participatory grantmaking practices, they can support creativity and innovation in unprecedented ways. Philanthropic practices are shifting, challenged by the changing world. This shift opens pathways to explore novel ways to support new forms of innovation, with special emphasis on social innovation and creativity.

The Research Forum 2024 surveys the accomplishments and pitfalls of the past with key players of the European innovation arena, bringing in views from other geographies. With the ambition to embolden participating organisations to proactively shape the trajectory of innovation through a social lens, the conference will explore strategies, case studies, and first-hand experiences for transcending siloes, fostering collaboration, and leading the transformation towards dynamic and inclusive innovation ecosystems.

Together, we will explore new ways of thinking, highlight successful models of ecosystem development, and identify actionable steps to create a more integrated and impactful innovation landscape.      

The conference will include inspiring site visits in Milan looking into the unique experiences of local innovators.


Ilaria d’Auria
Head of Programmes – Thematic Collaborations