The Incentive to Innovate conference hosted by X Prize Foundation and British Telecom was held at the UN headquarters in New York June 8-9, 2009
Enjoyed two days of open exchange around the role of inducement prizes to foster innovation, solve problems, and develop new sources of business value. Brought together by X Prize Foundation folks and British Telecom, Incentive to Innovate was packed with excellent panels and interesting folks w/a range of backgrounds – industry, non-profit, gov, academic etc.
Important to say off the bat is that one of the features I enjoyed most were the “break-out” discussions (NTS: need better physical setting), in particular one conversation centered on using prizes to address poverty and other development-related challenges. While the “product” of these conversations was centered on defining new competition space, they did surface interesting tensions and dynamics in approaches. One in our group was how you involve the beneficiaries in these competitions directly, so we break the mold of Northern winners, Southern venues. No solid answers, but I think Grameen offers a good, if “high burden” model of getting people out into the field – in this case to host conversations, sort of bridge the “customer-solver-inventor” gap.
Among those I found most helpful in applying their experiences to the Global Challenge:
- Peter Diamandis, X Prize: Define the challenge in terms of measurables – specific. Think about not just producing a product, but catalyzing an entire industry.
- Filippo Passolini, Proctor & Gamble: Don’t orchestrate – create a context for self-organization.
- Paul Jansen, McKinsey & Co: Be prepared to support winners with follow-up eg getting innovations to market is an entirely different proposition.
- Rob McEwen, US Gold and Marthin de Beer, CISCO: Have a plan for internal resistance and addressing organization culture.
Continue reading ‘Gleanings from X Prize/I2I’