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Solomon N. Darwin - Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. Berkeley, CA, US

Solomon N. Darwin Solomon N. Darwin

Executive Director, Garwood Center Corporate Innovation | Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley



Areas of Expertise (8)

International Accounting and Multinational Corporations Smart City Innovations and Business Models Cognitive Computing Business Models Open Innovation and Business Models Sustainability Forensic Accounting Profit Center Accounting Strategic Planning and Cost Reduction Strategies


Solomon Darwin has broad leadership experience in corporate management and academia. He is an international speaker recognized by peers, executives, and students with numerous awards for his innovative leadership and passion for teaching. He inspires students from both business and engineering disciplines in his courses for open innovation, business models, smart cities, scalable smart villages, IBM Watson and business models for emerging economies.

As an expert in "open innovation" and "open business models," he is an adviser to senior executives of multinationals and government leaders in the emerging world. The list includes Google, Genentech, HP, Health Net, J&J, Toyota, NHS of UK, UCSF, Royal Caribbean, Autodesk, Nestle and government entities in Mexico, China, Russia, India, Colombia and Europe. He directs and moderates international innovation conferences and forums, and chairs quarterly Chief Innovation Officer round tables in Silicon Valley.

Prior to joining Berkeley Haas in 2005, he was an Associate Professor for nine years at University of Southern California.

His progressive corporate leadership experience covers a span of 14 years as a Senior Executive Officer at Bank of America, First Interstate Bank, and Glendale Federal Bank and Motorola.

During summers, Darwin regularly teaches in executive programs at prominent international universities and institutions. He has conducted workshops and programs in over 18 countries. He also serves as honorary professor at several universities in Europe, China, and India. His current project, “Building Scalable Smart Villages,” was commissioned by the government of Andhra Pradesh, India.

Education (4)

Golden Gate University: Doctoral Studies (Finance)

Harvard University, Graduate School of Business: MCCP (Management Program)

Golden Gate University: MBA

San Francisco State University: BA

Honors & Awards (11)

Honorary Professor on Faculty

Lancaster University, UK
Since 2015

Honorary Professor on Faculty

Shanghai Jiao-Tong University
Since 2011

Honorary Doctorates

Shanghai Jiao-Tong University, Overseas College

Leadership Award for Exemplary Service

Haas School of Business

Honorary Doctorate

CapStone University, Pasadena, CA

Golden Apple Teaching Awards

Marshall Business School, USC
Three time winner

Most Innovative Teacher Award

Marshall Faculty Award, USC

Several National Teaching Awards

2002, 2004, 2005

Motor Board Outstanding Professor Award


Professor of the Year Award

National Greek Society – Gamma Sigma Alpha

"Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers"

National Teaching Award

Selected External Service & Affiliations (22)

  • Executive Education – Taught courses for: Google, HP, Genentech, Health Net, Conceptus, UCSF Medical Center, CIO Institute, American Association of Corporate Counsel.
  • Keynote Speaker: International Triple Helix Conference, London – 2013; International Open Innovations Conference, Moscow, Russia -2012 ; Big Innovation Center, London -2013/2012. Fraunhofer Institute’s Innovation Conference, Germany – 2011; World Trade Center, Mexico City – 2011; The Atlantic’s “American Competitiveness ”- 2006.
  • Organized The World Open Innovation Forum (annual) 2014 – present
  • Directs and Organizes Berkeley Innovation Semiannual Forums – since 2009 – present
  • Chair, Chief Innovation Officer Round tables (quarterly meetings) 2009 – present
  • Conduct Leadership Seminars for Indian & Chinese C-suite Executives 2012 – present
  • Chair, Chief Financial Officer Round tables (quarterly meetings) – 2006 – present
  • Chief Content Officer and Moderator: CFO Summit for Global 1000 companies -2010
  • Developed a new Masters Degree at UC from inception to approval. 2007-2010.
  • Directed and moderated annual Financial Reporting Conferences 2005 – 2009
  • Chair, CFRM Executive Board and Advisory Boards for Financial Reporting Conferences.
  • Developed new courses: Business Models & Open Innovation, Innovation in Emerging Economies (travel study course); Forensic Accounting and International Accounting and Custom Executive Accounting Programs.
  • Faculty Advisor to several student organizations student case competitions
  • Founded and Spearheaded an International School and Charity Hospital in India (1999 / 2003)
  • President – Hope For People International, Los Angeles, Ca. 2005 – Present
  • Chairman – Project India, 1986 – Present
  • Board of Directors: Genius Labs, Pasadena, CA. (1998-2000)
  • Board of Directors: Mustard Seed International, Pasadena, CA. 1998 – 2004
  • Board of Directors: Mission Compassion Inc., (Relief Organization), SF, CA. 1980 – 1990
  • Chairman of the board – Project India (a humanitarian organization), India. 1986 -Present
  • Consulting Experience – 1998-2000 to several startup companies of former students.
  • Chief Financial Officer – Mustard Seed Inc, USA, Pasadena. 1992 –1993

Positions Held (2)

At Haas since 2005

2013 – present, Executive Director, Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation
2009 – 2013, Associate Director, Center for Business Innovation, Haas School of Business
2009, Executive Director, Center for Innovative Financial Technology, Haas School of Business
2009, Associate Director, Center for International Business Development, Haas School of Business
2005 – 2009, Executive Director, Center for Financial Reporting & Management, Haas School of Business
1996 – 2005, Associate Professor of Clinical Accounting, University of Southern California
1995, Senior Manager of Finance/Vice-President, Bank of America, San Francisco
1993 – 1995, Vice President of Finance/Planning & Analysis, First Interstate Bank, Los Angeles
1984 – 1092, Corporate Controller/Vice President, Glenfed Inc., Glendale, California
1983 – 1984, Senior Financial Analyst, Bank of Oklahoma, Tulsa
1980 – 1983, Senior Financial Analyst, Motorola Inc, Chicago

Visiting Positions

2014, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India
2014, University of Science & Technology, Hefei, China
2013, BI Norwegian Business School, Norway
2013, University of Turku, Finland
2010 – 2013, Jiao Tong University, China, Summer breaks
2011 – 2013, Lancaster University, School of Management, United Kingdom, Spring Break
2012, Korean University, South Korea
2012, Qingdao University, China
2011 – 2013, International University of Business & Economics, Beijing, China , Summer Breaks
2010, 2011, University of Zurich, Switzerland, Spring Breaks
2010, East China Normal University, China – Summer Program
2005, Wuhan University, China, Executive MBA Program , Summer
2004, Euro-med School of Management, France, Summer
1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, EM Lyon School of Management, France, Summers
Stanford University, Graduate School of Management (guest lectured at various times)
Peter Drucker School of Management, Claremont, CA (guest lectured at various times)

Media Appearances (7)

Solomon Darwin takes corporate innovation to rural villages in India

Oakland Magazine  online


Solomon Darwin, Executive Director of the Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation, has become an increasingly influential promoter of U.S.-India ties. He's also the leader of a Smart Village Movement that aims to bring technological and economic development to India’s rural villages.

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Consul General visits IBM, talks of technology for greater good

India Post  online


Solomon Darwin, executive director of the Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation, will serve as an advisor to a new Smart Village project facilitating technology innovation, research, and development in selected villages of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.

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What the FDA Can Teach Us About Regulatory Excellence

The Regulatory Review  online


Regulators must often make difficult decisions based on uncertain or limited information. When it comes to issues of public health or safety, these decisions can become even more difficult due to media scrutiny and public criticism.

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Opinion: Internet inclusion is meaningless without digital literacy



Solomon Darwin, executive director at the Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation, part of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, spoke at the Internet Inclusion: Advancing Solutions event in Washington, D.C., organized by the IEEE Internet Initiative: “In every village in India, residents can get Nike shoes delivered by Amazon or find a shop in the most Godforsaken places selling a cold can of Coca-Cola ... but the lady who is making the beautiful sari in an Indian village can’t put it on the Internet to sell to people in other countries.”

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Ericsson demonstrates 'Water Grid Management' IoT solutions in AP

Deccan Chronicle  online


"This project has been conceptualized in order to develop a smart village by leveraging digital technology and open innovation. Ericsson's ' Connected Aquaponics' and 'Smart Water Grid' solutions integrate sustainable agriculture and aquaculture which help optimize water distribution and reduce adverse effects on ground water," said Executive Director of Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation at UC Berkeley-Haas School of Business, Professor Solomon Darwin.

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Growth Opportunities for Large Multinationals in Emerging Economies

LinkedIn Pulse  


Solomon Darwin: Dear Honorable Chief Minister, you have been a proponent of the creation for smart villages, and I am very much with you in this movement from the Open Innovation point of view. Unlike many prevailing definitions of a smart village, UC Berkeley’s Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation has established a unique proprietary definition of smart village, which is clearly stated in my executive summary provided to you. I teach Open Innovation in developing scalable and sustainable business models at UC Berkeley.

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Plan to set up premier digital, innovation centres in State

The Hindu  online


Terming the setting up of the COI by Prof. Solomon Darwin of Garwood as a great beginning, Mr. Chowdary said people-to-people, intellectual connections were important for success.

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Teaching (10)

Open Innovation & Business Models


IBM Watson Leveraging Open Innovation

UGBA 198

Building Smart Cities Leveraging Open Innovation (Travel Study)

UGBA 193i

Open Innovation and Business Models


Business Innovation in Emerging Economies (Travel Study)


Topics in Open Innovation

MBA 290T.2/ENG 298A.2

Financial Reporting

EMBA 202

Managerial Accounting

MBA 224

International Accounting / Forensic Accounting

UGBA 127

Creating Smart Villages