This has been a year of travel and learning about design and innovation for me and it will continue into ‘06 with a trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It’s a snazzy conference where the world’s political, business and increasingly, cultural elites come to formally and informally exchange ideas and network madly. It’s a great place to protest against globalization and a great place to discuss fairness and upward mobility in the world economy. Bill Clinton gives incredible late-nite soirees and the Bush Administration sends hoardes of officials and Republican Congress people to talk to the French and other Europeans. And there is incredible skiing, although there is usually one really bad accident a conference and it usually happens to an American. So I cross-country.
This year the conference may as well be called Design in Davos because for the first time there is an entire category of programs, meetings, dinners and late-nite talks called “Innovation, Creativity and Design Strategy.” Is that cool or what? The program says that “Business, government and social innovators are taking on new creative capabilities and innovation strategies in response to a rapidly changing global landscape.” OK. For those designers out there still seeking validation for what you do—this is it folks! And for those folks battling it out in the innovation vs. design arena, well, there’s meat for discussion here for you as well.
Davos is just discovering innovation and design stuff so the panels are all over the place. There one on Doubt and Decision-Making that talks about CEOs and risk. OK. There’s also one about Biomimicry—Nature’s Innovation. “What has biomimicry taught us about design in nature?” Interesting? There’s a panel on Innovating in Innovation that sounds like Larry Keeley (I don’t see him listed as a participant). There’s one called Video Game Zombies and New Innovation that I am going to attend for sure. Another on Basic Solutions For Africa that will probably be CK Prahalad stuff on designing for the Bottom of the Pyramid.
There’s another on Prepping for the Post-Knowledge Economy that I am moderating with a pretty innovative cast of characters. Here is the writeup:
Prepping for the Post-Knowledge Economy
Saturday 28 January 17:00 - 18:15
Congress Centre, Sanada 1+ 2
Preparatory discussion: 16:30 - 17:00
Having digitized, “right-sized” and globalized, companies are competing
through innovation and differentiation. Design strategy offers the
opportunity to build not only better products but also better systems and
1) How can companies measure the effectiveness of creativity and design
2) How can a design strategy be a tool for organizational change?
3) As innovation cycles shorten, what strategies will companies adopt in
order to compete?
The session will include:
· Sir Richard Branson (Considered), Founder and Chairman, Virgin Group,
· Tim Brown**, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ideo, USA
· Klaus Kleinfeld*, President and Chief Executive Officer, Siemens,
· Philip H. Knight (Considered), Chairman of the Board, Nike, USA
· Barry S. Sternlicht*, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Starwood
Capital Group, USA
· Edward J. Zander (Idea), Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,
· Richard Quest**, Anchor, CNN International, United Kingdom
· Bruce Nussbaum*, Editorial Page Editor, BusinessWeek, USA
I sure could use some help in questions for these heavy-weights. Help! Send me a couple of deep zingers would you?
And have a great holiday. 2005 was a landmark year in design and innovation and 2006 promises to be yet another one.
Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.