OPEN 2024 Deserves a Spot on Your Spring Calendar—Here Are Three Reasons Why

OPEN 2023 recap; photo collage of past events and activities

Hundreds of higher education faculty, staff, administrators, researchers, and leaders in the STEM fields attend our annual OPEN conference to share the latest trends in innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E) research, learn best practices to move the needle forward in I&E education, and network with inclusive innovation and sustainability changemakers from across the nation.

This year, OPEN 2024 is taking place March 18-20, 2024, in San Diego, California, and our theme is Innovating Futures Together. What might the future look like for the next generation of I&E advocates and thought leaders? Is only one future possible? How will the disruptive technologies of today shape the jobs of the future? Who should be around the table working to solve the world’s most difficult problems? We look forward to exploring the answers to these questions at the conference.

Below are three reasons why OPEN 2024 deserves a spot on your spring calendar:

1. Expand your skills and resources through interactive sessions presented by I&E thought leaders.

OPEN 2023 recap; group doing a building activity around a table

OPEN 2024 will offer varied session formats, including panels, round tables, workshops, and keynotes, to accommodate various learning styles. Whether you are early in your career or a seasoned professional, you are guaranteed to learn something new. Our presenters—who, last year, hailed from 50+ organizations—are thought leaders in the I&E higher education space. At OPEN, you will find sessions centering on topics ranging from an interactive way for students to explore intellectual property to a brainstorming exercise that minimizes Zoom fatigue to an effective method for fostering engagement in interdisciplinary I&E hubs—all leading-edge content that attendees can bring back to their campus and integrate immediately into their courses and programs.

Our poster session spotlights research and teaching practices that are unique, innovative, and engaging. Check out our short video from this past year’s poster session highlighting several winners, and watch our OPEN Foundation session recordings for a quick glimpse into the type of content and learnings you can expect when attending an OPEN conference.

“Being able to have recognition from VentureWell has been really instrumental to be able to carry our work forward.”—Jeana Holt, assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

2. Mobilize your network with I&E changemakers from across the nation.

OPEN 2023 recap; attendees at a past event

At OPEN, you will forge connections with hundreds of faculty, administrators, staff, and leaders from the STEM I&E fields who attend the conference to share their research and teaching experiences. You will leave with new contacts from all corners of the discipline. Last year, conference-goers reported having made an average of 10 new connections, and 75% of attendees said they will be staying in touch with new colleagues.

Listen to a few of our 2023 attendees to hear why they love this event and how they’ve found their community at OPEN.

“The VentureWell annual conference is in the top four of the good conferences you should attend. I think there is an agreement among faculty that this is one of the places where you want to be if you’re serious about your craft.”—Isabelle Monlouis, associate director of the H.J. Russell Center for Entrepreneurship at Georgia State University

3. Refresh, recharge, and rejuvenate your passion for I&E education.

OPEN 2023 recap; attendees at a past poster session

While OPEN is undoubtedly a time to learn, grow, and connect, it’s also an opportunity to reinvigorate your love for I&E education. OPEN 2024 offers a chance to step away from your campus and bring a fresh perspective to your work. We will be offering on-site wellness opportunities, a tour at the University of California San Diego, a chance to explore La Jolla’s dining scene, and a celebration of extraordinary student entrepreneurs at our signature OPENminds Innovator Showcase.

At OPENminds, each student team presents their innovation and practices their pitch with hundreds of OPEN attendees from across the U.S. I&E ecosystem, who then “invest” up to $3 million in Venture Bucks in the team whose invention they find most promising. It is an inspiring and energizing conclusion to a packed conference.

Registration is now available for OPEN 2024! By registering early, you will save hundreds of dollars. Limited discounted tickets are available.

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