Curtis Carlson speaking at the annual KEEN conference.

Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN)

The KEEN annual conference is sponsored by the Kern Family Foundation.  It is one of America’s most important foundations, helping students across America learn how to be successful value creators and entrepreneurs. These are increasingly critical skills for all professionals in the global innovation economy.

Innovation is the driving force behind growth, prosperity, jobs, environmental sustainability, and resources for national security and social programs.  Today’s innovative results are only fair.  It is like the poor quality and cost of products before total quality management (TQM). Our challenge is different now.  It is not quality and cost; it is the creation of innovations that grow to global scale.  

This year I was the keynote speaker at the conference attended by 500 academic leaders from 36 universities.  It was an extremely valuable and exciting meeting.   The professors engaged in KEEN are enthusiastically and successfully providing their students with these essential skills.  KEEN sponsors a variety of creative innovation programs and their network actively shares program results, curricula, and best practices.  My presentation is attached below.  It describes some of the challenges we see, the methodology we have developed for successful value creation, and how we are teaching these ideas to student teams at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and other universities.   

KEEN C Carlson 2019

KEEN audience at the annual conference in Dallas Texas.
Doug Melton KEEN Program Director