The 2011 World Conference on Mass Customization, Personalization, and Co-Creation: Bridging Mass Customization and Open Innovation will be held from Nov. 16 to 19 at the San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront, Old Bayshore Highway in Burlingame, California.

It is expected to bring together 500 business leaders and academics to share knowledge about how two major schools of thought on innovation – mass customization and open innovation – can work harmoniously together.

Conference chair Henry Chesbrough, the “father of open innovation” and the Garwood Center’s executive director, organized the conference’s to explore how we can advance our knowledge of innovation effectively by linking mass customization and personalization with open innovation.

He believes that while developed separately and built on different theoretical and conceptual backgrounds, mass customization and open innovation are closely linked and can benefit from a broader exchange between both schools of thought.

The conference is sponsored by the Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

Mass customization which deals with profits from people’s differences by enabling the creation of goods and services that best serve individual customers’ personal needs with near mass production efficiency.

Meanwhile, open innovation refers to the concept that companies should make greater use of external ideas and technologies in their own business, while also allowing unused internal ideas to flow out to others for use in their businesses.

Conference speakers will talk about mass customization in a range of industries and fields, from apparel to food to manufacturing. Companies such as Proctor & Gamble and Ford Motor Co. also will talk about their open innovation practices.