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Research Interests

In the face of looming challenges like childhood obesity, environmental collapse, and soaring health care costs, we need dramatic and sustained innovation. The driving question behind Professor Gerber’s research is how technology and organizations can support the innovation process to solve these challenges. In particular, she examines what she defines as collective innovation, an innovation process that harnesses the diverse and untapped human, social, and economic capital from distributed networks to discover, evaluate, and implement new ideas.  Open, ubiquitous, sociotechnical systems support collective innovation affording greater speed and deeper and broader participation than was imaginable even a decade ago. While collective innovation is a new and exciting collaborative process that has the potential to massively transform society, it is poorly understood. Prof. Gerber uses grounded theory and design research (Easterday, Rees Lewis, and Gerber 2014) to establish theory and design principles and to develop infrastructure for collective innovation. Her pioneering scholarship leads the academy's understanding of this fast-evolving, scalable infrastructure, and directly contributes to its improved functioning to benefit society at large.

Prof. Gerber’s scholarship produces three types of results: 1) theory for collective innovation, 2) design principles, and 3) novel sociotechnical systems to support inclusive and continuous innovation in society.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Management Science & Engineering, PhD, Stanford University

… → 2007

Product Design, Mechanical Engineering, MS, Stanford University

… → 2003

Art and Engineering, BA, Dartmouth College

… → 1998

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