Jun 1, 2018

10 Lessons Learned from our NYC event “Innovation Drivers”

Recap: Event NYC, 18/05/17 “Innovation Drivers – An idea requires momentum in order to move”.

Jessie Stettin

Sitting on the 48th Floor of the beautiful 10 Hudson Yards with sweeping views of downtown NYC and sunset over the Hudson, we brought together 65 industry leading professionals to explore innovation drivers as part of New York Design Week with our after work event “Innovation Drivers – An idea requires momentum in order to move”.

Throughout the evening, we heard origin stories of purpose, witnessed incredible career perseverance and explored the ‘adjacent possible’. Below is a quick snapshot of just some lessons learned from our incredible speakers; Karel Golta, Domhnaill Hernon and Kevin Bethune.

1.    Start with the Basics (KG)

Through starting with the basics and asking the right questions, Indeed not only increased the safety of industrial gas valves for Linde, but also uncovered an opportunity for Linde to design smart, trackable canisters and develop a new service business (see more here).

2.     Don’t Fail (KG)

Though conventional startup wisdom is “fail often and quickly”, Karel views failure as the point you stop trying. Through working with momentum, German home entertainment startup Vion transformed into Seon, a safety solution for Cape Town Residents (case here). Most importantly, don’t stop trying!

3.     Think in Ecosystems (KG)

Hoyer’s Monsieur cuisine is the perfect example of how a company set out on a mission to make home-cooking easier for all at a relatively low cost while creating a dynamic ecosystem between professional chefs, aspiring home-chefs and friends (details here).

4.     Innovation must be both inventive (new and distinct) and impactful (world-changing) (DH)

At the E.AT. Lab, they are innovative in the truest sense. With the challenge of breaking down barriers between people based on race, culture, religion and politics, they work with artists across multiple mediums to develop true empathy; clearly inventive and impactful work.

5.     Work toward the adjacent possible (DH)

One of the chief benefits of true diversity is the adjacent possible; namely through bringing together radically different people with different skills and life experiences, we expand possibilities. Their collaboration of Artists and Technologist is just one example of how we ought to bring diverse thought together to create true innovation.

6.     Digitization has made us lonely and poor communicators (DH)

Though we are the most “connected “generation, much of the recent advances in technology have done more to isolate us than connect us. Reducing our emotional expression to emojis has created more barriers than it has removed and we need a better tool to connect.

7.     Work Hard, Sometimes 2x as Hard as Others (KB)

Originally trained as an Engineer, when Kevin wanted to explore his designer side, he essentially worked two full-time jobs at Nike until he was able to prove inventive as a designer

8.     Design isn’t always (and often isn’t) linear (KB)

While customers who see the end product may assume that the process was clear and linear, the design teams know that it is far from it. It’s a highly iterative process with many twists and turns along the way.

9.     Design unlocks solutions to our deepest problems (KB)

The superpower of designers is to use empathy to discover what customers need, even when the customers can’t articulate their deep needs

10.  We need to continuously bring brilliant minds together to solve our greatest needs (author)

Hosting an event like this reminded me of the dire need for collaboration. While Steven Pinker argues that the world had never been a better place (and he may be right), we have many global and local problems we need to solve quickly. More than ever, we need to work in collaboration not in competition.

A special thank you to the German American Chamber of Commerce for co-hosting this event with us, SAP for lending us their beautiful venue, our incredible speakers for sharing their insights and all of our guests for their participation. We look forward to seeing you at the next Indeed event – stay tuned!

Jessie Stettin

Director of Strategy

Jessie occasionally supported our New York subsidiary. He is a behavioural economist, humanist and futurist whose passion lies in preserving the beauty and enhancing the depth of humanity in an age in which technology, efficiency and data increasingly overshadow that.


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