Bengt-Aake Lundvall, DRUID, Aalborg University
Björn Johnson, DRUID, Aalborg University
Ned Lorenz, Centre d'Etudes de l'Emploi, Paris
Ed Steinmueller, SPRU, University of Sussex
Sidney Winter, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Jens Frøslev Christensen, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School
Peter Maskell, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School


The knowledge based economy has become a standard reference in the vocabulary of policy makers and policy analysts in international organisations such as the OECD, the World Bank and the European Commission. At a different level 'the learning organisation' is a new key concept among managers and management consultants.

Economists and social scientists have responded with more or less scepticism to these signals about a 'new economy'. Some experts insist that the growing knowledge-intensity mainly is a supply phenomenon. Others point to the wide diffusion of information technology as a factor that has changed fundamentally the role of knowledge in the economy. A third perspective emphasises intensified competition and the speed up of change as a factor that gives a premium to rapid learning (and forgetting) but not necessarily to specialised knowledge.

Most would however agree that the on-going radical changes in the division of labour in time and space are strongly connected to changes in the location and organisation of knowledge production and learning. The success of some Asian countries in entering the production and markets for electronics and ICT is one important case Silicon Valley phenomena is another.

Whatever of these perspectives is the most valid one, economics and related social sciences are faced with the challenge to get a better grip of the analysis and understanding of knowledge and learning. (As a matter of fact those who minimise the newness of the role of knowledge and learning in economic development would typically argue that knowledge and learning have always been extremely important.) The conference aims at developing a theoretical understanding and empirical mapping of knowledge and learning at three different levels of analysis: The firm, the region and the nation state. At each level there are different tasks to be pursued.

At the level of the firm there is a need, first, to see how different theoretical approaches capture knowledge, competence-building and learning. Second, how far it is possible to develop indicators that reflect the competence base of the firm? Finally, a critical appraisal of firm strategies related to the establishment of learning organisations and to knowledge management is called for.

At the level of the region, there is, first, a need to test categories, concepts and empirical input-variables that help us ascertain how distinct combinations of institutions and economic structure give rise to superior economic performance - to 'learning regions'. A second major task is to understand and measure cognitive distance and interactive learning processes bringing together complementary bodies of knowledge. Conceptual approaches as well as empirical studies of learning regions and inter-firm interaction will be discussed.

At the level of institutional frameworks the focus will be on how national specificities in respectively the labour market, the education system, information infrastructures and intellectual property rights affect the competence building of national firms and the performance of the whole economy. An assessment of how these different institutional set ups alone or through complementarities or mismatches stimulate or hamper learning processes will be a second task. Analysing the growing importance of the international dimension of competence building in schools and labour markets is a third task.

The division of the conference programme into these three levels of analysis also reflects the structure of the DRUID research programme. The conference thus marks the end of a 5-year research effort of DRUID.

The conference is for invited speakers only. We invite papers that explicitly and systematically relate knowledge creation and learning at the three levels (firms, regions and national institutional set ups) to theory, indicators and policy as well as papers that analyse specific cases or pursue comparative studies using the concept. We also welcome papers that relate to each other knowledge creation at the three levels.

The present state of the art implies that the invited speakers should note that there is especially a need for papers that:


[DRUID members and Danish invitees are not included in the list.]

Professor Ash Amin, Durham University
Birgitte Andersen, CRIC, Manchester
David Audretsch, Indiana University
Jarl Bengtson, CERI-OECD, Paris
Christian Bessy, ATOM, Paris
Jennifer Sue Bond, NSF
Robert Boyer, CEPREMAP, Paris
Eric Brosseau, ATOM, Paris
Paraskevas Caracostas, DG XII, EU
Bo Carlsson, Case Western University
Martin Carnoy, Stanford University
Anne Carter, Brandeis University, USA
Steve Casper, WissenschaftsZentrum, Berlin
Jose Cassiolato, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Mark Casson, University of Reading
Patrick Cohendet, BETA, Strasbourg
Benjamin Coriat, University of Paris Villetaneuse
Robin Cowan, Maastricht University
Carl Dahlman, The World Bank
Paul David, Stanford University
Jaques de Bandt ,LATAPSES, Nice
Christian DeBresson University of Montreal, Canada
Giovanni Dosi, University of Pisa
Peter Drucker
Ken Ducatel, Sevilla Institute, Sevilla
Charles Edquist, Linkoping University
Gunnar Eliasson, The Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
Dieter Ernst, University of Hawai
Jan Fagerberg, University of Oslo
Dominique Foray, University of Paris-Dauphine
Christopher Freeman, SPRU, University of Sussex
Paul Geroski, London Business School & University of Southampton, UK
Meric S. Gertler, University of Toronto
Anna Grandori, Bocconi University
Shulin Gu, Intech, Maastricht
Bernard Guilhon, Mediterarian University, Aix-Marseille II
Paolo Guerrieri, University of Rome - La Sapienza
David Hannan, Economic & Social Research Institute, Ireland
David Hargreaves, Cambridge University, UK
Gudmund Hernes, Fornebu Project, Oslo
Eric von Hippel, MIT, USA
Ken-ichi Imai, Stanford University
Staffan Jacobsson, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg
Neil Kay, University of Strathclyde
Alice Lam, University of Kent
Richard N. Langlois, The University of Connecticut
Kurt Larsen, OECD-CERI, Paris
Allan Larsson, EU-Commission, Bruxelles
William Lazonick, INSEAD, Paris
Tarmo Lemola, VTT Group for Technology Studies, Finland
Robert Lindley, Warwick University
Patrick Llerena, BETA, Strasbourg
Brian J. Loasby, Department of Economics, University of Stirling
Edward Lorenz, Centre d'Etudes de l'Emploi, Paris
Franco Malerba, Bocconi University
Jane Marceau, University of Western Sydney, Australia
James G. March, School of Education, Stanford University
Luigi Marengo, University of Torino
Regini Marino, University of Milan
John Mathews, Marquarie University, Australia
John Stanley Metcalfe, Manchester University
M. Meeus, Technical University of Eindhoven
Frieder Meyer-Krahmer, ISI, Karlsruhe
Lars Mjøset, University of Oslo
Lynn Mytelka, UNCTAD, Geneva
Richard R. Nelson, Columbia University
Paul Nightingale, SPRU, University of Sussex
Ikujiro Nonaka, Graduate School of Knowledge and Science, Tokyo and University of California, Berkeley
Bart Noteboom, University of Groningen
Helga Nowotny, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland
L. Oerlemans, Technical University of Eindhoven
Keith Pavitt, SPRU, University of Sussex
Pascal Petit, CEPREMAP, Paris
Marino Regini, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy
G. B. Richardson, St John's College, Oxford
Paul Romer, Department of Economics, Stanford University
Ron Sanchez, IMD, Lausanne
Paolo Saviotti, University of Grenoble
Annelee Saxsenian, University of California, Berkeley
Gerd Schienstock, Work Research Centre, University of Tampere
Peter Senge, MIT
Giorgio Sirilli, Italian National Research Council, Rome
Luc Soete, MERIT, Maastricht University
David Soskice, WissenschaftsZentrum, Berlin
Keith Smith, STEP, Oslo
Ed Steinmueller, SPRU, Sussex University
Joseph Stiglitz, The World Bank
Michael Storper, UCLA
Hans Christian Sørhaug, University of Oslo
Morris Teubal, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Goran Therborn, University of Uppsala
Mark Tomlinson, CRIC, Manchester
Bart Verspagen, MERIT, Maastricht University
Virginia Vitorino, DG XII,European Commission
Vivien Walsh, UMIST, Manchester
Massimo Warglien, University of Venice, Italy
Olivier Weinstein, Université Paris XIII
James Wickham, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Sidney Winter, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Ulrich Witt, Max-Planck-Institut zur Erforschung von Wirtschaftssystemen
Andrew Wyckoff, DSTI-OECD, Paris

The conference is organised by the Danish Research Unit for Industrial Dynamics (DRUID), a Danish research network financed by the Danish Social Science Research Council, the Danish Ministry of Trade and Industry, and three Danish universities.

The conference will reserve substantial time for plenary sessions, but a large part of the invited speakers will present their papers in parallel thematic sessions. A list of the session themes and session leaders will be sent to all invited speakers. Furthermore, it will be made available at the web site of the conference. After the conference, the organising committee envisages to edit selected papers for publication as one or more books - possibly one for each theme and a major volume for introducing 'The Learning Economy' as a new strategic theoretical and policy related concept.

The conference will start before lunch time June 15, and end at lunch time on June 17, 1999. It will take place at Rebild National Park - about 30 kilometre's from Aalborg University in Northern Jutland. The place is Scanticon Cromwell's Rebild Bakker Hotel and Conference Centre, Rebildvej 36, 9520 Skoerping, Denmark. Tel. +45 98391222. Fax. +45 98392455. Web site: http://www.scanticoncomwell-rebild.dk/


Abstracts of papers from invited speakers should be sent to the address of the conference as soon as possible. The final deadline for abstracts of papers is February 15, 2000. Scientific questions should be addressed to: Björn Johnson and Bengt-Aake Lundvall. Address: DRUID LE Conference Abstracts, Fibigerstraede 4, DK-9220 Aalborg OE, Denmark. Tel: +45 96358235. Fax: +45 98156013. Email: druid-summer2000@busi ness.auc.dk

The final paper should be received by the conference secretariat no later than May 1, 2000. The paper should in double-spaced lines be at least 8 and at most 25 A4 pages - with 12pt fonts including figures and tables.

The paper should, preferably, be submitted as a PostScript file or a PDF file (with inclusion of special fonts, etc.). Alternatively, the file can be delivered as a MS Word or a Word Perfect file. The conference proceedings will be set up in a "paper gallery" in PDF format at DRUID's web site. If an author does not want the paper included in this "gallery", this should be stated explicitly on the front page of the paper. We would also like you to indicate if you might be interested in joining a publication from the conference or not.


If you can participate, please send a note to DRUID's practical conference secretariat E-mail: druid-summer2000@busi ness.auc.dk as soon as possible indicating:

Your e-mail address will be used to send you information on the further development of the conference programme, etc.

Practical conference secretariat: Dorte Køster and Jonna Mejlstrup Jacobsen. Address: DRUID LE Conference, Fibigerstraede 4, DK-9220 Aalborg OE, Denmark. Tel: +45 96358235/8265. Fax: +45 98156013.

Maintained by Keld Laursen
Last modified:

Back to [ DRUID homepage] [DRUID upcoming ] [IKE homepage] [IVS homepage]