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I’m getting ready to fly out to Zurich and then drive up to Davos (2 hours if it doesn’t snow) and just finished emailing my panel for the Defining Innovation workshop we’re going to put on Wednesday morning. It’s one of the opening workshops that benchmarks where we are on an issue and where we want to go.
The conceit of the workshop is for each of the panelists (I both moderate and “panel”) to bring to Davos the Best Innovation of 2007 to discuss with the audience. Most of us made our choice within the parameters of the major theme of the WEF this year—The Power of
IDEO's Tim Brown is going to say that his choices are Cameron Sinclair's Open Architecture Network and WalMart’s Personal Sustainability Project. Kigge Hvid from INDEX is picking a medical device that keeps your airway passage open in an emergency. I’m choosing Cisco’s Telepresence and HP’s Halo (yes, cheating a bit on the year) and a Navajo website. Doblin's Larry Keeley is choosing the Amazon Kindle and foldable shopping bags. Kiyoshi Kurokawa, the science adviser to the PM of Japan, is choosing the iPhone and wii.
I'm going with the incredible video-conferencing technology of Cisco and HP because they allow global communication without flying and flying is one of the biggest pollutants of our day (especially the private jets that take a growing number of top managers to meetings around the world--including Davos). Cisco's Telepresence and HP's Halo are also so good, so emotional, you can do the kind of collaborative innovation you need to do without being physically there (at least for most collaborations--you gotta be present for others).
Keeley is picking the Kindle because if all newspapers and magazines were read electronically and not on paper, the US could hit it's proposed Kyoto Accord targets for carbon emissions. (And I like Bob Brunner's design of the Kindle).
I think the workshop will be mobbed with people. The innovation workshops and panels at Davos have been among the most poopular sessions in the past two years. One reason is the CEOs and top execs are finally understanding how important innovation is to their companies but lack the knowledge on how to execute it. These nitty-gritty conversations on innovation by top-level consultants like Keeley and Brown are very useful.
So what best innovations would you choose?
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