Keynote Speaker

“Challenges of Technological Innovation: is a moral compass needed?”

By Professor Kevin Grant, Kent Business School, University of Kent, UK

Kevin Grant_site


The discussion into technology and innovation continues to expand. Technology led innovation and organisational transformation refers to the process by which new products and processes are generated.  When emergent technologies are deployed to bring about new ways of making existing products and services ‘better’, this is called process innovation. When they include entirely new products and services, the change is referred to as product/service innovation and, when something so disruptive changes how we work, rest and play, this is often termed paradigm shift based innovation.

A number of challenges and concerns still exist today with regards to our understanding and sense making of technology infused innovations. In this session, some thoughts and observations will be explored such as; hidden technological innovation, what is being measured and how, gender based technological innovation, how do we ‘spot’ emergent technologies, financial innovation, socially responsible innovation and new organisational forms and model of innovation to promote, enhance and deliver technology transfer. One developing concept is the notion that all IT led technology innovation is a good thing.  We will explore/interrogate this further looking at the relationship between technology adoption and potential addiction factors of ‘Generation Y’ users as archetypical digital natives.  We will also explore the possible need for us, as IT professionals, to incorporate a moral compass as technology led innovation continues to expand and permeate our everyday lives.



Kevin joined higher education in 1992, as a lecturer and Programme Director, within Napier Business School, Napier University, and stayed at Napier for six years. After Napier, Kevin moved on to become the Head of Department of Information Management at Bell College of Technology, a higher education institution in Scotland, and was promoted Head of the Business School two years later. Kevin spent four years at Bell College, before providing the foundation stones for its merger to forum the University of the West of Scotland. After Bell College, Kevin joined Glasgow Caledonian University’s Business School, where he spent just under eleven years in range of teaching, research and knowledge transfer functions, the last years being as the Director of UG programmes within the Caledonian Business School. This was followed by a two year stint, as a Senior Lecturer in Business and Innovation and as the Director of Teaching and Learning (UG and PG) within the School of Business, Management and Economics, at the University of Sussex, before joining London Southbank University in February 2013 as Head of Informatics, with the School of Business, prior to joining the University of Kent in November 2014.Kevin has earned over £650K in academic enterprise and consultancy engagements and was part of the ALFA Research Project (€1,023,472.93) KICKSTART 2 ‘New Ways to Teach Innovation’ in Latin America. Other key research funding has been on Carbon Reduction Commitment Strategy (Green IT and Innovation), for Scottish Power/SSE and NHS IT Professionalisation for the Cabinet Office.

Prior to academia Kevin was a British Army Officer. Professor Grant’s postgraduate level studies have been at the University of Lancaster and University of Edinburgh and his undergraduate studies at Napier University all of which are connected to the area of information systems/management, strategy and Innovation in and for business. He also holds a higher education teaching qualification.

Finally, Kevin has been a QAAHE reviewer and as an institutional reviewer and is or has acted as an external examiner for the Universities of Kingston, Cambridge, Brunel, Gloucester, Royal Agricultural University, University Campus Suffolk (UEA and Essex Universities) and Northumbria.