The FUTURE OF INNOVATION SUMMIT is an annual event where globally recognized leaders of innovation come together for three days to discuss and shape the future of innovation. Stanford has been hosting the event for a number of years, but the first Summit championed by multiple organizations was held in 2012 and led to the creation of the Future of Innovation Summit as a global annual event. It is considered to be one of the most leveraged gatherings of innovative minds, and it has served to advance the cutting edge of innovation thinking.
In 2015, we launched a book generated from previous Summits titled Creating Innovation Leaders: A Global Perspective. This book explores innovation generally, the innovation ecosystem, and the changes academic institutions will need to make to prepare future innovation leaders.
We are surrounded by challenges that require system-wide transformation at scale and that are geographically and socially distributed. Some of these challenges are at a global level, others affect a continent or a population or a nation. We try many interventions. Some bring improvements; others make no change while others exacerbate the challenge. There is a theoretical gap in scalable, integrated solutions and interventions that are (a) actionable (b) cross the diversity of contexts and desired outcomes and (c) make an impact at scale. There is a need for an advanced innovation methodology as well as a set of “models” that can bridge the current constraints. Traditional approaches exhibit key structural limitations:
Innovation is being recognized as being a crucial component to define the capabilities to survive and succeed in the face of dynamic and complex futures, but it implies a significant change in mindset. As businesses, universities, governments, and NGO’s grapple with questions requiring system-wide transformation, there is a widespread increase in the emphasis on innovation methodology, alternative models of leadership, creating cultures of innovation, and the ability to catalyze transformations. Innovation is emerging as the next form of leadership as well as a core determinant of organizational success. As innovation methodologies advance from bounded problems to unbounded, complex and scaled challenges, it creates two key opportunities – to advance the methodologies to meet this shifting frontier and to create a way to influence adoption of the appropriate methodologies at every level across contexts and sectors.
The Future of Innovation Summit 2015 takes on a new theme. It will bring together two fields of high current interest, big data and behavioral economics, and explore how these might combine and be applied to system-wide transformation in scaled and distributed challenges. The 2015 Summit might explore the application of big data and behavioral economics in the contexts of challenges such as:
A key feature of past Future of Innovation Summits has been a focus on outcomes generated from the Summit. This year we hope to produce:
In addition, we will create a community around innovation of complex scaled systems, new knowledge that can be applied in our respective fields, new partnerships, and new insights for future exploration.