Best-selling author, advisor and innovator John Kao is making a stop in Morgantown to share his skills and strategies with the West Virginia University community.

Kao, chairman and founder of the Institute for Large Scale Innovation, will give a public presentation as part of the David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas on Wednesday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Creative Arts Center.

Called “a serial innovator” by The Economist, Kao is chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Advisory Council on Innovation and bestselling author of Innovation Nation: How America is Losing its Innovation Edge, Why it Matters and What We Can Do To Get It Back and Jamming: The Art of Discipline of Business Creativity.

He has advised governments and senior leaders of public and private sector organizations on innovation strategies and capabilities, including Nike, Intel and BASF.

Kao has served as a board member of the Bay Area Science and Innovation Consortium, a member of the Innovation Commission of Cisco Systems, a senior visiting fellow at the Singapore Civil Service College and an advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative, among others.

He was a member of the Harvard Business School faculty from 1982-96.

In addition to his business accomplishments, Kao is a Tony-nominated producer. He produced the Broadway play, Golden Child, was a production executive on Sex, Lies and Videotape and was executive producer of Mr. Baseball.

Kao’s presentation is free and open the public. A public reception and book signing will be held following the event.

The David C. Hardesty, Jr. Festival of Ideas is named after WVU’s former president who created the lecture series. Each year, the festival brings key figures from the fields of sports, politics, business, entertainment, research, scholarship and culture to the state.

The series is supported in part by the David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas Endowment.

The next Festival of Ideas presentation will feature science writer Sheril Kirshenbaum. It will be held on Tuesday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Mountainlair ballrooms.

For more information on the 2010-11 Festival of Ideas, visit



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