GLOBAL INNOVATION - M
GLOBANT LATIN AMERICAS SOFTWARE SUCCESS STORY -
40 WOMEN OVER 40 INNOVATORS, MENTORS, ENTREPRENEURS -
WHAT MAKES AN INNOVATOR? TEN THOUGHTS THAT COULD BRING OUT THE INNOVATOR IN YOU -
HEALTH INNOVATION HOW LOSS DELIVERED HOPE FOR OTHERS -
SAM PITRODA INDIA’S GODFATHER OF INNOVATION
GLOBAL INNOVATION -
M A G A Z I N E
ISSUE 1 MAR 2014
CONTENTS FOUNDER’S VOICE JAMES O’FLYNN
HOW TO BE AN INNOVATOR GI
GLOBAL INNOVATION -
BROMPTON BICYCLE ENGLAND
M A G A Z I N E
THE GLOBAL INNOVATION INTERVIEW SAM PITRODA, INDIA
PAXMAN COOLERS ENGLAND
FOUNDER James O’Flynn CREATIVE DIRECTOR Aidan Creed EDITOR Karen McCandless
CARBON TRUST HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND
Published by SoMoGo Publishing/ firstname.lastname@example.org/ www.somogopublishing.co.uk Global Innovation Magazine is published every quarter /Copyright SoMoGo Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be stored or transmitted or reproduced in any form or by any means, including photocopying, scanning, or otherwise without the written permission of SoMoGo Publishing Ltd. Views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publishers. Acceptance of advertisements does not imply official endorsement of the products or services described. While care has been taken to ensure accuracy of content no responsibility can be taken for errors and/or emissions. Readers should take advice and caution before acting upon any issue raised in the magazine. The publisher reserves the right to accept or to reject advertising and editorial material supplied. The publisher assumes no responsibility for the safe return of unsolicited photography, art or writing.
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FOUNDER’S VOICE JAMES O’FLYNN
“ INNOVATION IS BIG BUSINESS.
It defines the way we work, who we are, and how our organisations are perceived by customers and competitors. Let’s face it - we all want to be seen as forward thinking and innovators in our field.
The concept for this magazine came to me one rainy Sunday afternoon. While planning the week ahead I was struck by how excited I was about Monday morning coming around, which wasn’t a regular feeling at that stage in my life. I was working on a couple of new ideas which I felt could have a real impact on my work, and change the way we operated. These were new ideas that did things differently, they were pushing boundaries and yes, I thought, they were innovative. I wanted to capture this excitement and share it with my colleagues, customers and, actually, anyone who would listen. Working on these ideas during the week I found that I shared a couple of lightbulb moments with people, they were as enthused as I was and it became infectious. I was in the middle of an innovation whirlwind! I wanted to share this excitement with large numbers of people and create a
conversation about innovation. So here it is, Global Innovation Magazine. Coproduction is key to our vision, so I hope if you get a chance you will email us to share your lightbulb moments, however big or small. Share your successes but also share your failures. To me and many others they are often the more important ones, they dictate who we are and tell a story that others can really learn from. All businesses can learn from each other, and if this magazine can spread just a small amount of that learning and passion I’ll be happy. Take a couple of minutes from your day, reflect upon where your business is going, and see how you can do things differently. As somebody once said (me I think, but it may be on short term loan from someone far more learned) Business as usual is yesterday’s news. Enjoy this first issue. James
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HOW TO BE AN INNOVATOR 10 TIPS
Innovation can be the greatest idea you have ever come up with. It can be, but more than often it isn’t. There are some people who keep on coming up with great ideas, intersected with failures of course, but the reason that they keep on succeeding time and time again isn’t just about the ideas, it’s about their attitude towards formulating and capturing them. In our first issue we want to share with you some of the commonalities that can make you an innovator and improve your business. These things can be learnt but in order to act different you need to think differently.
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I CO-PRODUCTION EMBRACE YOUR BIGGEST ASSET YOUR STAFF When you employ someone they come to you with much more than just their ability to do the job. After you give them the role, they are much more than just a job title. The problem is we only ever capture a small amount of the enthusiasm and skills that someone brings to the table. If your staff are not appreciated or told that work is about much more than doing their job then you’re missing a trick. An assetbased approach towards your employees will open up another world of possibilities. Did you know that Mike in accounts is a designer in his spare time? Did
you know that Bea in logistics is a trained motivational speaker? You may have seen their CV in 2004, but the likelihood is that as day-to-day takes over, you don’t know what their passions are, or how they view their job or the business. Our advice to you: stop and reassess. Even if it takes you the next year, factor in ten minutes to meet everyone in your office. Ask them how they think things are going or what the competitors are up to. Ask them what you can do to develop them or what they would do if they were in your shoes with a magic wand. If business is largely about relationships then, alongside customers, your relationship with your staff should be top priority. If you converse with them, capturing their ideas and
passions, then you show that you care, which in turn can lead to them caring. Often all that takes is a ten-minute chat to see what they can do and how they would do it. At the very worst, that ten minutes will last for weeks and weeks in their mind, going from “my director doesn’t even know who I am” to “she does care about her staff after all”. Who knows what will come from these conversations? John from the canteen may have an idea that can save you money and time, while Brenda from the shop floor has been waiting for years for someone to take on her idea about improving the shift rota. You have nothing to lose, it’s going to take a bit of time, but the rewards can be huge both on a personal and business level.
II NETWORKING - GET TO KNOW THE ONES YOU DON’T I push the point regularly that one of the cornerstones of good business is relationships. Relationships with staff, customers, allies, competitors they all count. One thing that is often missed, however, is the opportunity to network, and to network regularly. You’re too busy? Something has to give, okay, but you’re missing one of the cornerstones of innovation and the chance to
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take your business into a new sphere. Networking with your peers is important. It won’t be hard to find businesses in your sector that meet up regularly. A great example on the tech scene in London is the Silicon Drinkabout. Organised by the @_3 beards, it has been a staple on the technology scene for some time now. It gives people interested in technology an opportunity outside of work to talk about hopes, fears, ideas and plans. Once these discussions start, you are going to learn something.
technology forum recently in my home city in the UK (Leicester Tech Start UP). Attending this session led to attending another session, which led to a chat, which has now resulted in a business opportunity that I could never have imagined: the chance to work on a big data project. I couldn’t have planned this to happen but it did, and it happens to innovators and innovative organisations regularly. Why? Because innovators open themselves up for new opportunities.
Networking with other businesses and people not in your immediate line of sight is also important. I attended a HOW TO BE AN|007
III BECOME A WATCHER AND PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT IS HAPPENING Observing what is happening in your business world, and on the periphery will reap rewards. You will be able to keep on top of things and learn from others. At the very least take
IV WHY ARE WE DOING IT THAT WAY? ARE YOU SURE IT HASN’T NOT BEEN DONE ALREADY? QUESTION, QUESTION AND THEN QUESTION AGAIN It has become a bit of a cliché, particularly after one company named after fruit used it in their marketing, but questioning, and in turn doing things differently is king when it comes to innovation.
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an hour each week to research your industry, look at papers, magazines and your competitors websites. Attend forums and go to network meetings, use the internet and learn. It’s extremely rare to come up new ideas, but these can come from several sources, which in turn form new ideas. Nokia used to be in the rubber boots and paper business but somewhere along the line they observed, learnt something, saw the opportunity and went forward into telecommunications.
Sometimes by just asking why you will lead you to acting differently. IBM asked 1,500 CEOs (IBM 2010 CEO Global Study) what was one of the most important skills going forward in business. The response? Creativity. This will often come from questioning. So if you don’t question, you’ll struggle to create something new.
V HOWDY PARTNER! LET’S DO IT TOGETHER Working and collaborating together will introduce a whole new world to your business. There will be times (due to competition or conflict of
VI WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU THINKING? DON’T WORRY... IT’S OK TO BE WEIRD One of the tag lines from this magazine is business as usual is yesterday’s news, which is great for innovation. However sometimes doing things the conventional way works, and of course there are times when you don’t want to be seen as the ‘oddball’ in the room. However nothing new or innovative was done by following the rules. Creative entrepreneurs are often different, they can see through the facade, and they stand out with their ideas and the way they do business. Just because GI | MAR 2014
interests) that this isn’t going to work, but certain streams of business are crying out for partnerships, and often fail due to a we know best mentality. You don’t always know best, and it’s fine to be wrong as much can come from this path. Going forward alone in the wrong direction can often be corrected by partnerships with others who may have the yin to your yang.
it doesn’t fit doesn’t mean it’s wrong. On the contrary, the rules that currently exist may be wrong. We’re often told to change, to tone it down, sit down and fit in. Them’s the rules. If you want to change something, give it a go; it may be weird or different, but you can trace the oddballs or the different ones to a multitude of brilliant and game changing ideas and successful businesses. Once upon a time the word geek was an insult, but now the geeks are running the tech show, and they wear their geekiness with pride. Be true to your own style and things can change.
VII BLOW YOUR COMFORT ZONE TO PIECES, IT’S SCARY BUT DO IT ANYWAY We can often operate solely within our comfort zone, never trying anything new, never daring to enter the brave new world where our passions can be ignited. It’s tough and it takes a deep breath to try something new. Perhaps you’re skilled at communicating with large groups, but struggle to make friendships on a micro level at work? Perhaps you’re a control freak who manages every decision in your organisation?
VIII ASSOCIATION- HAVE A BIT OF THIS, SOME OF THAT, AND UMM THAT OVER THERE If you can come up with great new concepts, ideas and thoughts that have no connection to anything else
My message to you is: if you know you struggle with something then that’s the thing that needs your attention, not the things you’re already good at. I’m pretty good at coming up with ideas, but my failures have all taught me that I need to share the ideas with others who can often do a better job than me in some way. I’m in my comfort zone coming up with ideas, but it’s tough to let them go and grow with others. What I have learned is that when I step aside and let others in, the results are far better than if I had gone it alone. If you want to innovate then try something new, open the door to the fear, try it and repeat. You’re going to learn and develop as a person, which will ultimately impact on your business.
that has been done before then well done. You’re pretty unique. However, in my opinion, we only get Elvis once in a lifetime. That’s not to say that all music that followed Elvis was useless, on the contrary, it wasn’t. The point is that innovation more often than not comes from putting a number of concepts or ideas together. Observation will lead to you getting an overall view of your sector, which in turn will lead to you seeing great
ideas, and sometimes great ideas can be better ideas when placed in the same box together. Innovation is learnt to a great degree, and learning from other innovators isn’t cheating. It’s the way the game works, so play the game, open your mind and put the ideas together to build a better idea.
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IX ALLIES, SUPPORTERS AND DOOR OPENERS You may be great at ideas but it may take someone else to get those ideas to the right people, at the right time. I have someone that I take my thoughts and ideas to, she listens, laughs,
X EMBRACE AND LEARN FROM YOUR FAILURES In some countries and cultures it is perfectly acceptable to have a couple of failures under your belt. Indeed, you’re not a success in some circles unless you can discuss the dotcom failure you headed up in 2001. It’s not about how you fall down, but how you get up. Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first reporting job, Van
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agrees, disagrees, but most importantly when it really matters, and we both believe in something, she can take it to the right people to take it in the right direction. Talk things over with your boss, a forward thinking board member or a mentor perhaps. One thing is for sure, whether it’s finance or expertise, or just a listening ear, no one ever made it alone. Having a supporter on your side is going to make all the difference.
Gogh sold one painting in his life, to a friend, and so on. The world is full of people who failed in other people’s eyes but then went on to huge success. There are countless examples of innovators who have been on the cusp of something great, something amazing, only for it to turn to dust. I almost don’t need to say this because as you’re reading Global Innovation, you’re probably interested in innovation, and you’re probably the type of person who is determined and tenacious. However, it’s okay to be bright and breezy when things are going okay. When you
can’t sleep because of worry, or you have staff who could lose their jobs with kids to feed and a mortgage to pay, things can be very different. Learning in these situations is really hard. However, when the lights go off, and dinner at The Ritz is replaced by dinner at the drivein, remember this, dear reader: failure is one of the foundations of innovation.
BROMPTON BICYCLE ENGLAND
WE MAKE DAMN GOOD BIKES THAT ADD VALUE TO YOUR LIFE…IT IS COOL!
Interview with Will ButlerAdams, MD of Brompton Bicycle. Brompton Bikes are one of the world’s leading manufactures and designers of folding bikes. All Brompton bicycles are built in their factory in West London, one of only two frame manufacturers still based in the UK. The company remains in private hands. Today Brompton bicycles are sold in 42 countries. Global Innovation Magazine spoke to their MD Will Butler-Adams, the man who is credited with taking the company to the next level.
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Will’s story is either one that will confirm your belief in fate, or if you don’t believe in fate... then...well, it won’t make you believe in fate... but it’s an interesting one never the less. Brompton history began in 1975 when a man called Andrew Ritchie started designing a folding bike in his flat, overlooking the Brompton Oratory in South Kensington, London. In 1981 the first thirty bicycles were produced to order by Andrew in his spare time and by 1987 Brompton went into full time production underneath a railway arch in Brentford. Even if you don’t know the Brompton brand you will know the product. Fold up bikes that are as common a sight on global transit systems as they are on the road.
man next to him who was the chairman of Brompton Bicycle, Tim Guinness. The upshot was that Tim was looking for someone just like Will to come into Brompton. Will put his plans for an MBA on hold and grasped the opportunity with both hands. Will’s vision - with the right team and expertise alongside him - has taken Brompton to the top of their market. Their bikes are desired worldwide with China being a country that has shown strong interest in recent times. Today Brompton has reputation for building timeless yet cool machines that are at home in the boardroom (folded up of course) as they are on the road.
Many years ago, Will took a ride on a bus and got talking to the GI | MAR 2014
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I read an interview with you recently and the first thing that struck me was about how you feel that you have something to prove. It really struck a chord with me. That wanting to prove something is a real driver, don’t you think? It feels there is more for me to do and in many respects this is driven by a desire to prove myself. Academia was never my strong point. Up until the age of 13 life for me was not about learning but having fun. From 13-16 I was in the bottom class of six, so I was in the “fick” classes. I suppose I am still shaking that off. I did maths, physics and chemistry A-level, and just scraped in to Newcastle University to study engineering, where I finally got a formal education and came out with a First. Tell me something about how you pick the right team to work for the company? It is Andrew Ritchie (inventor of the Brompton Bike) we can thank for creating the Brompton. He took the great risk and had unbelievable resolve and determination. What I have done is taken his baby and helped her grow up. How I have done this is in recognising what skills the business needed, recruiting the right people with those skills and giving them the space and support to do their job. We are a pretty honest company, everything is open GI | MAR 2014
book and we are all out to make a great bike so anyone can come up with ideas from anywhere to help us do that. The unemployment rate of young people across Europe is so high. I imagine you get the opportunity to work with, and interview some amazingly talented young people. What’s your ethos on bringing out the best in the young people you come across or work with? Give them responsibility mentally and commercially to prove what they are capable of. Be there to offer support but not to judge and encourage them to take risks. What makes a good innovator? Do not be afraid to take risks and be confident enough not to follow the crowd. The chairman of Brompton sat next to you on a coach trip, which is completely random is it not? And that initial conversation you had with him led to your job at Brompton. He sounds like a fascinating character who perhaps took a chance on you?
I think when I first started I took a chance on Brompton and had it all gone pear shaped I would have gone back to doing an MBA. Equally Andrew BROMPTON BIKES |019
Ritchie had little to lose and needed plenty of help. Where he took a chance on me was in relinquishing his control of the company and allowing me to take over and run his company and lifeâ€™s work. That was extremely tough and I have tremendous respect not only in that he did it but in how he has supported rather than hindered me since. Meeting Tim Guinness (chairman) was extreme fate!
What mistakes have you made and what lessons stayed with you? My first project for ICI [ICI was a British chemical company, who employed around 29,000 working in Wilton, Middlesbrough UK] was to redesign an agitator bearing housing. Basically a big bearing holder at the bottom of an enormous tank to steady a massive stirrer. I had just graduated, I had been taught everything- stress analysis, CAD etc. Naturally, I thought it was my responsibility to design and deliver this thing. With a lot of bashing and middle of the night panic modifications it was the most expensive, over engineered and nearly not on time solution to the problem. It was then that I realised that I was not being paid to do the work but instead to deliver the project on time, on budget and fit for purpose. How much I actually did myself was irrelevant and it is far more GI | MAR 2014
effective to find those who can do it falling off a log, rather than struggle to do everything yourself. Innovation for me is largely about taking bits of learning and experience and piecing them together at the right time. What did you bring to Brompton in the early days? In my case I think innovation is a generous term, all that I did was do what others have done before me. Unless you happen to be in the most cutting edge of manufacturing technology, the chances are someone has done it and learnt the lessons before you. The trick is to recognise this and go and find the information and the things not to do and apply them to your business. We are the same age and growing up a fold-up bike was definitely not cool, yet Brompton bicycles now seem to be so. How did that happen? We make damn good bikes that add value to your lifeâ€Śit is cool! Do you ever take time to reflect on where you are, to sit back and enjoy? Iâ€™m not there yet.
I BELIEVE THAT INNOVATION IS JUST 10 PER CENT IDEAS, 90 PER CENT EXECUTION
Interview with Guibert Englebienne, Co-Founder of Globant. Globant is a technology service provider, whose innovative approach to working has won them contracts worldwide. Guibert Englebienne is a co-founder of the company and he spoke to GI Magazine from Globant’s office in San Francisco.
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Four friends had a vision. To bring a small company from Argentina to the world. An inspiring dream, which has come true. Today Globant is one of the top providers of innovative software products in the world. It employs around 3,000 people, working on multiple project lines including gaming, big data, social networking and cloud computing. It offers an innovation service to their clients crowd sourcing ideas from across the company, ultimately delivering products in a fraction of the time that it would take to create the product in-house.
Guibert Englebienne is one of the founders. He describes himself on Twitter as a “rock star wannabe”. Back in the real world he’s a passionate believer in innovation, who can count Google, LinkedIn, EA Arts, Nike and Sony amongst his clients. Englebienne may have “more guitars than he deserves” but he takes the running of Globant and enabling innovation for his clients extremely seriously.
Your Twitter profile says your a rock star wannabe, an unfulfilled ambition? I’m 46, and I always need to be learning new stuff, so a few years ago I said why don’t I learn to play the guitar? And I like playing, but I’m not very good. I started three or four years ago, and I have more guitars than I deserve, but I don’t have that much time. At the age of around ten years old, I went to learn guitar, Argentinian style, so, if it wasn’t for that bad experience I would have 35 years of experience by now! If innovation can flow down from the leadership ethos in an organisation, how do you encourage that to occur? I don’t think that, as leaders, innovation will come from us. What I believe is that we are social engineers, that we need to create the environment where people will feel comfortable picking up new ideas, so I’m always thinking outside of the box. I consider myself a creative kind of guy, more than an analytical kind of guy.
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Early in the process of starting up, our customers started to request things that were not typical of IT companies at that time; they were demanding technology that would engage consumers directly. Our first big customer was lastminute.com; our work there was very valued by the people we working for. As the guys from lastminute. com moved on to other organisations they were always referring people to us. In 2006 one referral led to us entering into a process whereby Google were looking for a company to develop software for them. Until then everything was done internally. Did things change after the Google contract? Google was a big brand for us and, after this, many companies from Silicon Valley came to us, like LinkedIn, Yahoo, Electronic Arts, Sony, Nike and many others. So we started to create for them. At one point we realised that our service would not just be to develop, but we could allow our customers insight into all the different technology that we had come across. This allowed us to bring
innovation to our customers. When I started thinking about this, I really wanted to bring scale to everything we did. We have gone from our four founders in 2003 four people, to nearly 3,000 people today. We are one of the fastest growing companies in our country, and also one of the fastest growing IT companies in Latin America. There is a lot of young talent out there, what’s your attitude towards supporting them as employees? We have a lot of young people in our company. Many from what is known as Generation Y. Technology has shaped this generation, technology facilitates them, and allows them immediate feedback. In two seconds you can get the answer to anything you want. When I was a kid, I had to walk ten blocks to the library to find the right book to get the answer! They have blurred boundaries surrounding hierarchy and around free time and work time.
When you analyse this our guys are always producing. What if we could replicate some of this in a corporate environment? We allow these to people come up with ideas. We have created processes which invite people from very different backgrounds to come up with ideas for our customers. They bring richness to the dialogue. I believe that innovation is just 10 per cent ideas, 90 per cent execution. Many times companies do not innovate, not only because they don’t have the culture, but also because they are unable to execute rapidly. So we also help our customers execute rapidly. We are very good at rapid prototyping. We focus on bringing ideas forward, on rapid execution and helping our customers to continue to innovate. Many companies try and create the ambience and the physical architecture that to allow innovation to flow more freely, Google being a famous example. Do you subscribe to this school of thought? Definitely. Let me describe my operating environment. Nobody
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has a private office; we have shared spaces where people can communicate. I can see surfboards that were designed to be grabbed and used as spaces to visualise projects. We have different kinds of rooms - music rooms, brain storming rooms - that enhance creativity. I don’t believe in having to specifically move to be innovative though, we have created an environment where you can do that all the time. How do you work with your customers? Customers come to us with a problem, and we will try to discover, to brainstorm, and to find the solution. The truth is that sometimes technology is enabling. We explore new ideas around technology and currently have around 100 new projects in the lab looking at robotics, face recognition, artificial intelligence, games that you control with your mind. Why? Well because we wish to discover opportunities for our customers. Google Glass, for example, is creating unlimited opportunities.
Yes. I find the relationships very rewarding. Actually I have just returned from holiday with one of them and his family. We continue to nurture this friendship. On the one hand, we have friendship, but we also recognise the time when it’s important to focus on what we are doing, and nothing must get in the way of this. We’re like brothers, and it works wonderfully for us. We are our own people but we complement each other. We instantly recognise which person is the correct one to focus on a task. That’s important. It brings balance into a relationship. I always say if I didn’t have a reality check I would always be dreaming up new stuff and ideas, so it’s very important. When was the point that you realised that the dream behind the business was turning into a reality? Customers from ten years ago are still our customers today, we are growing together. In the case of lastminute.com, we went
When you founded the company, were the cofounders a group of friends?
from employing 15 to 70 people in four months. Our customers were referring others to us all the time. It’s pretty simple, everybody needs new technology. Everybody here at Globant I class as a co-founder. We view our team that way. I’m an igniter, and through this we have created a culture that recognises everyone. We are opening three or four offices a year and you will find a lot of entrepreneurship here. We combine freedom and innovation with great execution. Culturally some countries seem to embrace failure better than others and see it as the best way to learn, grow and develop? What’s your take on this? In Argentina it’s sometimes hard to accept failure, but it’s also hard to accept success. Role models never seem to be good business people or people related to a work culture - they are footballers or celebrities but not many people are valued for creating companies, or being entrepreneurs. There is often corruption, and therefore if you do well you can be subject to
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suspicion. We need more role models from the work area. This is what we are working on with Endeavour (www.endeavor. org). Endeavor is a global nonprofit, pioneering the concept of high impact entrepreneurship in emerging markets, (Guibert sits on the Endeavor Argentinian board). We try to promote a culture of creating value-based organisations, and recognise the impact we can have as businessmen. Our companies are just tools to make impact, which is very powerful.
Photography by Raghunandan Bharathur.
GLOBAL INNOVATION INTERVIEW SAM PITRODA INDIA
WE ARE GOING THROUGH A MAJOR GENERATIONAL REVOLUTION. I HAVE BEEN SAYING THAT THIS IS A BIGGER EVENT THAN WORLD WAR II, THIS IS DESTRUCTION OF A DIFFERENT TYPE.
The Global Innovation Interview: Sam Pitroda on engineering, India and the second telecoms revolution.
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Perhaps not as well-known as some of his global business counterparts, Sam has been in business and on the periphery of politics for many years. He is the Indian Prime Minister’s advisor on innovation, and often cited as the man who revolutionised the country’s telecoms industry. Enabling most to have access to a phone. As if this wasn’t enough, he runs a number of hugely successful businesses including C-Sam, a company that is at the forefront of mobile
wallet technology (making everyday bill payments and money transfers, through a mobile phone). Sam has spent most of his life in the telecommunications business and has more than 100 patents to his name. James O’Flynn interviewed Sam from his office in Chicago.
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Do you still see yourself as an engineer or has your view adapted to include all the other things you have become? I’m still an engineer in my heart, because I see things as systems - input, output, delay, response, efficiency and productivity. I also integrate this to include social systems, how does my work affect people? Poor people, young people, so I think in terms of systems, but multiple dimensions, being logical, it’s a way of life. Engineering systems are incredibly handy when dealing with social systems. Your engineering led you into business, which is a different beast altogether. Haven’t you ended up chasing money to some degree? I had to, because I’m from a very poor family. My father had a fourth grade education, the family had no money, I borrowed money to travel out of India. I had eight brothers and sisters. I realised that in the beginning making money was important, so when I was young I used to say to my friends, without really understanding its meaning, that I needed to make enough money by the time I’m 40 so that I can do what I want afterwards. The tough task is to stop that at some point, to
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say I have enough money, it’s time to switch off and focus on something else. What did your family think of your career choice and did they offer you support? Total support. The family was always behind me. I was the key breadwinner, so they thought I was doing okay and there was no issue at all. How did your interest in engineering, design and development come about at a young age? Partly by accident. I had a degree in physics. I came to the US to get a PhD in physics. Then my professor told me it takes seven years to get a PhD. I had a girlfriend, and I was young and stupid, so I said, “I’m not going to spend seven years getting a degree!” So, I thought, can I do something quickly to get a job? He said, “yes, you can get a degree in electrical engineering in nine months”. So that’s what I did. I got a job in electrical engineering, but found out pretty quickly that I thought differently due to my background in physics. I would do my work and they would say, “Sam, this is a great product, you need a patent”. I didn’t even know what a patent was! So that’s how I got into inventing. Life just takes turns
and you never know what will be delivered to you! You became an engineer and you have a lot of patents under your belt, you have more than 100, can you talk about some of them? A lot of my patents are system patents. My first one was on tone generation, how do you generate analogue tones using digital memory? This was in the 1960s when people had no idea about such things. Next I had a patent on conference calling and digital conference calls. Then on electronic diaries, the Casio thing - electronic storage devices capable of storing names, addresses etc. I had a lot of little ideas! And now I have a series of patents on digital mobile wallets. Were you working for Casio at the time when you developed the electronic diary? I had nothing to do with Casio, in fact I sued them! (for patent breach) I was not in the electronic diary business, I was in the telecoms business. So that was my own patent, other
patents are often company patents, so if I worked for a company the patent belongs to them, but not in this case. What innovation or area of your work do you think will have the biggest impact over the next five years?
Evolving Bike Share
free bikes no payment no protection
coin operated no electronics chain security
RFID locks kiosk POS interface docking-point lock
3G GSM connection GPS accelerometer electronic lock
Some of these things take a long time to be persuasive. C-Sam (a technology business that works on platforms for secure transactions) technology is designed to reduce the cost of transactions and provide consumer flexibility, convenience and integrate a lot of the payment instruments, credit cards, debit cards, airline points, ticketing and coupons. Today all of these things are separate, but with mobile phones you can start to integrate these things, that was the original idea. But then you need smartphones, payment infrastructure and lots of things coming together to create the right ecosystem. When all of this happens, transaction costs will go down, people will begin to spend bits and bytes, convenience will increase, and awareness of financial systems will increase substantially.
internet has changed everything around us, it has changed business models, delivery systems, learning models, interactions and social systems. The basic advantage is reach, which is very deep. If I want to learn about wine I can, and then I spend nine months learning about wine! That’s the beauty of the internet which is having a huge impact on research, education, health services and governance. We are going through a major generational revolution. I have been saying that this is a bigger event than World War II, this is destruction of a different type. Couple this with biotech, stem cell research, alternate energy and you see a whole different way of solving problems. The problems we solved using technologies of the 20th century basically gave us centralised systems and power. Now it’s decentralised systems that solve problems. Telephonic systems are now decentralised. It used to be all the wires in the exchange, lots of copper, big buildings with hundreds of thousands of wires. Now you have technology hanging off a tower.
Anything else in a wider sense?
If you were to define and encapsulate innovation, how would you describe it?
This is a very exciting time in terms of technology. The
This word does not recognise the type of innovation that I do.
This word encapsulates what the Apples of this world have done. People get all excited about gadgets. My innovations have nothing to do with gadgets. Plus, I’m not a high profile kind of guy, and I haven’t made US$5 billion. If I made that much then the world would pay attention. My focus is how do I take the benefits of technology and innovation to poor people? Designing a smartphone will not solve the world’s problems, designing a better watch or bag will not excite me, but solving the problems of the slums and using systems is of great interest to me. However this problem solving doesn’t pay, so people don’t do it. Are the greatest resources and focus really being put into this type of problem solving? I never get tired of saying that the best brains in the world are solving the problems of the rich, who really don’t have
/socialbicycles GI | MAR 2014
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problems to solve. As a result, the problems of the poor really don’t get the talent to solve them that they deserve. They’re the kind of inventions we need. We need to reduce cost and improve access to food, education, health and energy. We need to take care of these four things and make it so cheap so that anyone can afford health services, good energy. Surely everyone should have these things today? We all know that climate change is a problem, and that we should change, but we don’t. Will there be enough food, water and energy in the future? Can technology solve all of these problems, or do we need to change as humans? We have to learn to change and change our developmental model. The model currently is more cars, more homes, more, more, more. That model can’t work for ten billion people. Can we imagine ten billion cars in the world! So we have to think about new models, based upon happiness. Where people are happy with personal growth, happy with their family. The whole thing about family when I
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was growing up was that it was a complete joy. It had problems, but the model has now broken. Everyone is now so greedy, so selfish, so individualistic. Is that the kind of life we want to live? Happy times are often based around family, even when money isn’t so plentiful don’t you think? How do you tell people that there is more to life than money?! It’s very difficult to understand, and an even harder message from someone who has money. You have to love your family and have great relationships with people, that’s the joy in life, not about purchasing a diamond, that stays in the safe deposit box anyway.
the journey and love people in the process. Life has to end at some point in time and the train journey of life continues. You support a lot of young people in your companies and work, don’t you? I believe in the young and they give me the energy. They give me ideas, they work with me, and they take care of things, the nitty gritty details. I have reached a point where I’m no good with detail or with names. Our strength is in the fact that we all play our part in the business, they are good at things that I struggle with. They
There’s a humble aspect to you Sam, even though you’re given big titles. I don’t care about titles. So you win a Nobel Prize big deal, that’s not the game in life, no one’s going to remember you after a while anyway. It’s all fake, we will give you a plaque, a statue, and all that, and it doesn’t really mean anything. It’s a journey that has to end at some point in time, so enjoy
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learn, I learn and we enjoy life in the process. So you’re a mentor, but did you have such a figure growing up? No, unfortunately I didn’t, I wish I had. Do you plan to slow it down at all? No, I don’t. If I slow down I die. So I enjoy what I do. Last night I had two hours of video from 11pm to 1am. I got up at 6am on my email, came to the office. I would rather be busy, but I enjoy life and have no stress. Never retire! Always do something, teach kids, help others, but don’t give up. You were part of the first telecoms revolution, what will the second revolution look like? It will be much more exciting and challenging. The first phase was about connecting people to talk. Not that long ago we had two million telephones in India, today we have millions of telephones. India is a country of a connected billion! That was
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only for ‘A’ to talk to ‘B’, that is over. Now how do we use that technology to bring education to people, information on agriculture, financial services, how do we facilitate people’s day-to-day lives? How do we bring knowledge to them? It is all about democratisation of information, that’s the next revolution. A lot of poverty in the world is a poverty of knowledge. So if you can bring knowledge to people they can learn, they just have to be interested in learning. Empower people. There is so much to learn in this world and then you realise how little you know. What would you like to see change in India in the next ten years? I would really like to see a change of mind, a mind-set change. We are in a mindset from the 19th century. Everybody is arguing, everybody is blaming others rather than blaming ourselves. I think people need to search their souls. Am I a problem? Or am I a solution? I would like for people to revisit some of Gandhi’s thinking, simplicity, truth, unconditional love, no anger, no
enemies. This stuff is simple, not complicated and it can be done - it’s not rocket science.
Gandhi is my hero and his is the model we need.
PAXMAN COOLERS HUDDERSFIELD - ENGLAND
INNOVATION INSPIRED BY LOSS. GI Magazine spoke with Richard Paxman the current CEO of Paxman Coolers, a manufacturer and supplier of scalp cooling equipment for the prevention of hair loss during chemotherapy - to discuss the story behind the company. The story of Paxman Coolers is a remarkable one, and one that touches all of us who have been affected by cancer, either ourselves or through a loved one. Often business isn’t personal. It’s about a wish to succeed, or a desire to create money. Paxman Coolers, as a business, came from a different place all together. Glenn Paxman, seeing how difficult hair loss was for his wife during her treatment for breast cancer, was determined to try and alleviate the problem for others.
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His father Eric had invented the beer cooler in the 1950s, so knowing the technology, Glenn took the innovative step forward to look at how cooling methods could be used and adapted to halt the hair loss associated with chemotherapy. Glenn and his brother Neil built the first prototype of the cooling cap in 1997 and, in the ten years that followed, modified and improved the technology, in the process supporting thousands of patients. The Paxman system uses a small refrigeration unit that circulates coolant to a cap worn on the head. The temperature of the scalp is lowered before, during and after chemotherapy. This, in turn, reduces blood flow to the hair follicles and means that hair loss is no longer inevitable during treatment. The current CEO is Richard Paxman, who is the son of Glenn, and whose mother was the inspiration for the innovative development of the cooling cap technology. “Hair loss prevention for cancer patients started with tourniquets, with the head being wrapped in a tourniquet which was quite crude,” says Richard. “Then it moved on to the idea of using ice packs, which again were not ideal as they melted quickly. Since then we’ve had gel packs, incredibly cold at -20 degrees Celsius, but they also lose their temperature and need to be changed every 20 minutes.”
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Chemotherapy uses anti-cancer drugs to destroy the cancer cells in the body but this also affects other cells in the body, which means that normal cells can be destroyed, too. “Back in the nineties my mother had breast cancer, and was treated with chemotherapy,” says Richard. “She was offered a treatment called scalp cooling, which unfortunately wasn’t successful for her. So because of the family history in innovation and cooling, my father looked to develop something that would work for patients. He had seen the distress that my mother went through and how people start to treat you differently because of your treatment and was determined to use the family knowledge and to do something for my mum, which was incredibly special, and still is to this day.” If you have ever known anyone who is going through chemotherapy you will know that as part of the process, as part of keeping things normal, patients will often go to great lengths to keep their appearance as it was. As part of this interview we spoke to a survivor of breast cancer who pushed the point home. “The battle against cancer is no such thing,” she says. “You get cancer and you’re in the hands of the medical professionals and the chemotherapy that you take. One thing that you can do, that you can control to some degree, is how you look. You actually have some say in PAXMAN COOLERS |045
that matter, so anything that can help you keep your hair is incredibly important.” The science behind the products is actually fairly understandable for such a complex area of medicine. Richard explained. “We cool the scalp to below 22 degrees Celsius, so anywhere between 18 to 22 degrees Celsius, and at this temperature we see a constriction in blood flow and chemotherapy agent to the hair follicles, which is quite a basic idea.” What’s more complex is the drop in metabolic rates, reducing the level of cell activity due to cold temperatures which is where Richard’s relationship with the University of Huddersfield comes in. Currently there is research being done with the university to understand this area further so that the mechanisms for scalp cooling can be improved. Once the cap is on the patients head, they wear it for 30 minutes before the chemotherapy infusion.
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This is called the pre-cooling stage. The patient then keeps it on during the drug infusion, which can vary in time according to the chemotherapy regime. After the drug infusion, the patient continues with cooling for an average of between 45 to 90 minutes. Richard explained that the success rate for patients with the cooling system depends upon a number of factors, including the type of chemotherapy regime and dosage they receive. This can be anywhere between a 50% and 90% success rate. So why is this option, this support for cancer patients so unknown to the wider public? “In the last five years, things have changed; we’re getting stronger clinical data and attitudes have changed. We’re now proving the product to oncologists and patients. Patients are becoming more empowered to choose their own treatment path, and if they want to keep their hair then they can start to request
the cooling option. We’re a business, but what we want primarily is for patients to have this choice worldwide.” The modern Paxman business is one that came from a difficult place to say the least, as it was the loss of a loved one, Richard’s Mother, that led to the development of the technology in the first place. However, as Glenn originally hoped for, this technology is now offering a choice to cancer patients globally. A choice in having some control over cancer, when choices are at a premium.
CARBON TRUST ENGLAND
BRIDGING THE ENERGY GAP Global Innovation writer Karen McCandless speaks to offshore wind visionary Phil de Villiers to find out more about the innovation projects the Carbon Trust is initiating in the offshore wind industry.
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As associate director of innovation at Carbon Trust, Phil de Villiers has quite a job on his hands: to reduce the cost of offshore wind by at least 10% through the Offshore Wind Accelerator projector. Having joined Carbon Trust to do something more worthwhile, de Villiers is working to convince industry of the viability of offshore wind through a series of innovative projects that use technology that has often already seen success in other industries.
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What is your background and how did you first get involved in the offshore wind and renewable energy industry? I first became involved in the renewable energy industry in 2006 when I was working for Boston Consulting Group as a strategy consultant. I was lucky enough to be staffed on two energy projects. The first was to identify which low carbon technologies the UK should focus on to deliver significant carbon reductions and to create economic growth. Offshore wind and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) were the clear winners. The second project was to help a European oil and gas company determine whether to invest in any alternative energy sectors. We concluded offshore wind would be a good choice, and the company now operates and develops offshore wind farms in UK waters. What led you to work at the Carbon Trust and what are your responsibilities in your current role?
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By 2008 I wasn’t enjoying work as a consultant any more – most of my projects were about cost cutting and reducing headcount, and I wanted to do something more worthwhile. I was lucky to get a job at Carbon Trust – a fascinating company with a compelling mission (“to accelerate the move to a sustainable, low carbon economy”), working closely with industry and government to commercialise low carbon technologies. After a year I was asked to lead the Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator, a project that aims to reduce the cost of offshore wind by at least 10% in time for Round 3. Tell me about the Offshore Wind Accelerator, why the project was set up, what its continuing goals are and how it is progressing. The Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) is a joint industry project involving Carbon Trust and nine energy companies - DONG Energy, E.ON, Mainstream Renewable Power,RWE Innogy,
ScottishPower Renewables, SSE Renewables, Statkraft, Statoil and Vattenfall. It was set up in 2009, just before the Round 3 projects were announced – the large, deeper-water, far-fromshore projects that have the potential to deliver at least 25% of the UK’s electricity needs. The OWA was set up because the offshore wind developers realised that new technologies would be required to make the Round 3 projects economic, and if they worked together, they would all benefit. The OWA focuses on five research areas, including the foundations that fix the wind turbines to the sea bed, access systems to allow technicians to transfer from vessels onto the turbine to undertake operations and maintenance, and the study of wake effects (wake effect is to disturb the flow of the wind inside a wind farm) to reduce the uncertainty of predicting the yield of wind farms. What kind of innovation projects are you working on as part of OWA?
The approach OWA takes to innovation is to identify the critical technology challenges, and then to encourage industry to develop new products to address the challenge. For example, we realised that 70% of the UK’s Round 3 wind farms would be in 30-60 metre water depth. Historically, most offshore wind farms have been in shallower water, where monopiles have been used to support the turbines. But monopiles will not be suitable for larger turbines in deeper water, so we launched an international competition for new designs – rather like the ‘X-prize’. We got more than 100 entries from around the world, and we’ve been providing technical and financial support to get the best designs to market. After a lot of desk-based engineering studies, we were delighted when Mainstream Renewable Power and DONG Energy used one of the four competition winners – the Keystone ‘twisted jacket’ - to support a meteorological mast at Hornsea in 2011, 100 kilometre offshore in 30 metre
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water depth. This was the first structure to be installed for Round 3, and the foundation has the potential to be much cheaper to fabricate than other designs. Earlier this year, Forewind used Universal Foundation’s Bucket Foundation to support their met mast (a mast or tower which carries metorological instrumentation) at Dogger Bank, 150km offshore in 25 metre water depth. The next step will be to demonstrate these foundation designs with a turbine. We’re also supporting innovators to prove other types of technologies. In the last 12 months, OWA has helped 3E and Babcock to deploy floating LIDAR systems in the Irish Sea next to offshore met masts to prove they can measure wind resource accurately. The correlations have exceeded expectations, and the 3E FLIDAR system is now being used by Danish developer DONG Energy. What technology is being used as part of these projects?
Many of the innovations are technologies that have been successfully used in other industries and transferred to offshore wind applications. For example, Keystone ‘twisted jacket’ has been used in the Gulf of Mexico to support oil and gas structures. The Universal Foundation uses suction buckets, which have been used in the maritime industry to anchor large ships. Motorsport technology has been applied to operations and maintenance vessels by NautiCraft. The designers developed the suspension system used by Mitsubishi to win the Paris Dakar rally. The suspension has been applied to a catamaran so it can travel faster in choppy seas and remain stable in rough weather when it’s next to turbines. But it isn’t just novel hardware that’s being developed - it’s also software. The Technical University of Denmark has developed pioneering new algorithms to calculate wake effects in a matter of seconds rather than weeks, which allows offshore wind developers to
consider a far larger number of wind farm layouts than before to ensure turbines are positioned optimally to maximise yields. How much support are you getting from industry on these projects and how are they enabling innovation in offshore wind themselves? The OWA is industry driven - we have more than 150 technical experts from the nine energy companies regularly attending meetings to review the findings from the research and to decide how it should be taken forward. They provide their commercial requirements to the innovators so that the designers can develop their products to meet the needs of industry. Industry is also taking the lead in many of the projects. For example, we are running a project to improve design standards for monopile foundations, which will allow them to support larger turbines. DONG Energy is leading the work because they understand what needs to be changed and
how to achieve it. OWA provides a framework for all the energy companies to work together, making it easier for the likes of SSE Renewables and Statoil to work with DONG Energy. However, to get new turbines and new foundations to market, they need to be demonstrated offshore, and to do this, industry needs to take the lead. The challenge is convincing industry that there’s a viable long-term portfolio of offshore wind projects in the UK, and that requires the Government to provide certainty through Electricity Market Reform setting the right strike prices for the right duration, and committing sufficient funding for many gigawatts of offshore wind.
third of the overall funding. They have also been providing grant funding to companies in the supply chain in a separate scheme to develop innovative component technologies. The Scottish Government is also very supportive of offshore wind, not only by providing grant-funding through Scottish Enterprise, but also offering more generous support to offshore wind developers using innovative technologies in their wind farms. This should help incentivise the industry to demonstrate new technologies to make them bankable in future commercial projects. What has led you to believe that offshore wind is critical to bridging the UK’s energy gap?
What kind of investment have you seen from the government and corporates in innovation in offshore wind? The Department of Energy and Climate Change in the UK has been a strong supporter of the OWA, providing one-
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About 25% of the UK’s electricity generating capacity will be closed in the next few years as aging dirty coal-fired power stations are retired. This means new capacity has to be built, the main options being gas, coal, hydro, nuclear, onshore wind or offshore wind. Each option involves trades-offs between cost, carbon reductions, security of supply, and time to build. If the UK Government is serious about tackling climate change, nuclear, gas or coal with carbon capture and storage, and offshore wind are the most viable options. However, nuclear typically takes more than ten years to build, so will not address the immediate energy gap. Carbon capture and storage is very expensive and there is no regulatory regime to incentivise generators to build capture technology and the infrastructure to transport the CO2 to where it can be stored. On the other hand, offshore wind projects are under development and have tremendous potential in the UK because of the excellent wind
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resources and the relatively shallow water in the North Sea and the Irish Sea. Although the costs are currently higher than for onshore wind, they are expected to fall substantially over the next few years as innovations are commercialised, the supply chain develops and becomes more competitive, and the cost of finance falls. What other interesting and innovative initiatives are you seeing as part of the UK’s drive to move more renewable energy? I like the Scottish Government’s approach - they’ve set a bold target for renewable electricity, they’re introducing favourable incentives to encourage new technology to be demonstrated in Scotland, and they are working closely with industry to attract inward investment.
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40 WOMEN TO WATCH OVER 40 USA
40 women to watch over 40 is a list that celebrates women who are upending the perception that 40 is past your prime. The winners - selected from more than 1,000 nominees around the world - span a multitude of sectors, from arts to sciences. The overwhelming response to the inaugural list highlights a cultural shift towards innovation and lifetime learning that inspired cocreators Christina Vuleta and Whitney Johnson to start this initiative. Global Innovation Magazine talked to Christina about the list.
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Particularly in the tech industry/start up sector it all seems to be about bright young things launching apps and innovative products, but there are a lot of men and women really just finding their feet in their 40s. It can be a great time in life to really make an impact don’t you think? Yes. I have become fascinated with the subject in the past few years as I built a crossgenerational mentoring resource in 40:20 Vision - a resource to start conversations, share experiences and facilitate mentoring between generations. I noticed a fervour for change in the over 40 cohort that goes beyond the need to achieve a genuine vision for making a positive impact in the world and in our communities. These women are impatient to make things that matter happen.
In the process of interviewing hundreds of 40-something women, I have seen first hand that the more you know yourself, the more you are open and ready to give to others. It’s selfactualisation. You also get increasingly better at applying your insights. In looking at innovators from both the arts and sciences, we see there is often a breakthrough idea that occurs in your early life… but the impact of that idea or concept increases as you continue to develop it and apply it to greater impact. Marie Curie’s early discovery of radium grew in impact when she created the Curie Institute
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in later years, and continues to have meaningful applications in healthcare today. Steve Jobs credits the work he did in his 20s with the Apple technology renaissance of his 40s. As it turns out, it’s a developmental truism. On her Harvard Business Review blog, my partner in the 40 Women To Watch Over 40 list, Whitney Johnson explains that the developmental stage that occurs between the ages of 40 and 65 is one that strives for generativity over stagnation. People in this stage are driven to generate value for others beyond themselves. Where did the spark come from to do the list? It was a bit of an evolution. About three years ago I quit my job in strategic insights and futures to start Vision. Along the journey I found incredible energy and thirst for reinvention amongst the over 40 crowd. Through this work, I got involved in a community of women in technology, media and entrepreneurism, and met Whitney Johnson. She was in the final stages of writing ‘Dare Dream Do’ a manual to encourage women to act on their dreams. I had seen her Ted Talk on Disrupt Yourself,
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where she applies the disruptive innovation principles she practiced as co-founder of Clayton Christiansen’s Rose Park Advisors (investment firm) to individuals. I sensed a kindred spirit. I told her that I wanted to create a list that would be an antidote to all the 30 under 30 lists out there, raising awareness of the significant achievements of women over 40. Whitney shared my passion for the idea. After reconnecting earlier this year we decided to do it! We started working on it in March 2013, got more than 1,000 applications in April and announced the list in June.
also providing new role models for younger women. The specific criteria were:
1.Is this person entering a period of creating high growth in their field of work, whether in business, tech, media, entrepreneurship, social good, science, academics, creative arts or politics?
2.Is this person a positive role model, bringing other women along and up, and innovating around work/life issues or promoting women for leadership, whether in business, board rooms or building diverse communities?
3.Is this woman a disruptive
What were the criteria for being included? And did you receive any backlash for not including certain individuals who had applied?
innovator, instinctively understanding personal disruption, and harnessing the power of successive learning cycles?
We spent a lot of time thinking about the criteria. We didn’t want it to be another list of the same power women. As inspiring as they are, we wanted the ‘to watch’ factor to mean something. We wanted women who have more in front of them than they have behind them. They are playing on the edges of something that is tapping into a greater need. Our goal was to motivate them to persist while
I don’t think we saw any backlash, but it was a tough exercise. There are so many amazing women out there and sometimes we had to say no to people who actually had achieved too much to be on a ‘to watch’ list. There were a few people who thought we only were looking at women in their 40s but it is for women at any age over 40. We had two women on the list in their late 60s and
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early 70s this year. We look forward to seeing the 80s and 90s represented in the future!
a rock band. from motorcycle riding to travelling everywhere (suborbital flight up next!).
Are there any surprises in the list, people who perhaps didn’t think it was about them in some way, or didn’t view themselves in such a manner?
What traits, skills and attitudes make an innovator for you?
There were some interesting anecdotes of women who decided to ‘come out’ with their application – to openly admit they are over 40. Many women, particularly in the technology field, had kept their age a secret for fear of how people would react to them, not just as a woman in a male dominated field, but also as an older woman. It has been a liberating process and hopefully the beginning of a movement that will break age stereotypes. You must have interviewed some amazing people. What for you were some of the commonalities between them, apart from age, of course? Aside from the commonality that they exemplify our criteria around disruption and role models, I noticed they all possess a real sense of adventure and zest for life. They are jumping in feet first, from competing in judo to playing in
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To me, innovators are seekers and doers. They are restless, but not just for the sake of curiosity or being in on the next thing. They have a hunger for a better way… a better life. It’s not about being right because there is no one right answer. You have to believe the answer doesn’t exist yet and be willing to make leaps without knowing if you are entirely correct. I would also say it is helpful to be a good observer of culture and judge of human character because you have to connect what you can see on the fringe to what people are ready to embrace and use and do. I also think there is a little bit of a sixth sense. After years of helping big companies understand and apply emerging trends to product development, I realise you have to have the vision to see the possibilities and then be able engage others in seeing your vision and making it happen. Entrepreneurs do this naturally. They have an innate skill in taking what is bubbling
up in technology, science or the environment and envision how it can fulfil age-old needs in new ways. They often just want to experience something better and different and they make it happen in a way that is accessible to others through their persistence and passion. They may not be on the list, but who inspires you in a business sense? Amanda Hesser, CEO and co-creator of Food52. She was doing farm to table 20 years ago and now has created a modern cooking-centred community, with her co-founder Merrill Stubbs that allows foodies and fans alike to interact with food in a more collaborative, creative way. It was genius in that she took a year-long project to make a crowdsourced cookbook and turned it into a thriving online platform and e-commerce marketplace. Sally Krawcheck, from Wall Street to 85 Broads women’s network, she’s putting money and business acumen behind the belief that women are the key to our economic future. Nick Law, global CCO of R/GA
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creative agency for knowing that advertising is not the answer and being willing to take leaps as to what advertising will become. Jill Beraud, CEO of Living Proof hair care products, for being able to take a real innovation in haircare and make it beautiful. She did not fall prey to hitting customers over the head with the science and had the patience to let the hair speak for itself, proving that premium price is worth it. The women on the list are arguably role models to a younger generation. Have you had any feedback for younger women as to how it’s inspired them? They are just so excited to see a different future than is often served up in the media. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when comparing yourself to the extremes - the 25-year-old start up rockstar or the woman who is CEO of a leading Fortune 500 global organisation. The list has shown them that life isn’t over if neither is their path. Molly Ford, a 20-something on our hosting committee, has said the list gives her inspiration to find more role models and mentors in her own life, as well as to champion women in all stages of their career.
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We also partnered with PushPage, a start-up out of Harvard that allows for curated Q&A between fans and influencers. They created a page for each of the winners that brings to life the context of their lives both professionally and personally. This was a great way for younger women to relate to these women and discover they actually have a lot in common with 40+ women. It gives them a sense that doors are opening, not closing, as they get older. It must be great to be included on the list from a personal point of view, but more than that what is its legacy as you see it, any plans to continue with it? Absolutely. This is just year one. We will do the list every year and will have some sort of award/event next year to celebrate winners past and future. It will be something interactive and that brings to life the spirit of the list. What advice would you give to a young female innovator taking her first steps into the world of business? Don’t set out to be right. Do ask questions. Never think your idea is stupid. Revel in the fact that you are not boxed in by ‘the way things are done’.
Surround yourself with diversity of thought and the support of amazing people. Consider each failure a pivot and take stock of each success. Each is a chance to reassess and move forward. Christina Vuelta is founder of 40:20 Vision, a platform to start conversations and facilitate mentorship between generations. She spent many years as a strategy/consumer insight specialist with both advertising agencies and global consultancies. Christina also serves as a managing director at Perks Consulting, a digital consultancy focused on transferring digital and entrepreneurial competence. You can follow her on Twitter at @4020vision. Whitney Johnson is a co-founder of Rose Park Advisors, Clayton Christensen’s investment firm, and the author of Dare-DreamDo: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream (Bibliomotion, 2012). Whitney is available for speaking and consulting. Follow her on Twitter at @ johnsonwhitney.
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The Australian Information Industry Association AIIA is the representative body and advocacy group for the ICT industry in Australia. For over 34 years it has represented 400 plus membership organisations nationally, including hardware, software, and services companies. Suzanne Campbell, the AIIA CEO chatted with Global Innovation Magazine about the iAwards, and what a typical day is like running such an organisation.
how do the AIIA promote innovation as a tool for development and growth? The research in the area of innovation and growth is clear - businesses that innovate are more profitable by almost 25%, three times more likely to increase the number of export markets targeted and 24% more likely to increase employment. This message is embedded in all our discussions, particularly in terms of how the digital economy is creating and driving innovation across all industry domains. Given that ICT has a far reaching multiplier effect across a broad range of industry sectors we have established an extensive range of Special Interest Groups (SIGs) for members that specifically focus on driving awareness of the role of ICT and innovation in driving growth across these different domains. These include, for example, SIGs focussed on health, education, the environment, sustainability,
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financial services, Government services - to name a few. The activities of these SIGs and the input they provide to influencing broader public policy is key to our evangelising efforts to promote innovation as necessary for future capability and economic growth. One of your pieces of work is the smart ICT platform, can you share how actions under this banner are progressing? Our Smart ICT Platform has been a great success. Since releasing the platform - an industry policy positioning paper - in early May this year, a number of the issues we raised have either been explicitly addressed or subject of positive
and ongoing discussions. For example, in partnership with Australia’s National ICT Australia we have secured some $6m over four years to implement a national program aimed to address Australia’s ICT skills shortage. The program specifically targets young people from grades 5 through to 12 encouraging, building and supporting their interest in an ICT based career. Importantly, the program also involves the education and support of parents, teachers and career councillors who play a key role in influencing the career choices of young people. Another key area of progress is in the debate around Employee Share Option Schemes. The AIIA has engaged directly with the current and former gederal governments to review existing arrangements that effectively penalise innovative start-ups and is delighted the newly elected Government has put this issue back on the agenda. While more work is to be done in areas like better measurement of the contribution ICT makes to the economy, the platform has proved the effectiveness of a targeted, focussed approach on the issues that matter. Can you tell us about your involvement in the
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Australia iAwards, and some of the highlights of this year’s awards for you personally? The iAwards is Australia’s premier ICT awards event. With 25 categories the iAwards recognise achievements in ICT across all industry domains, showcasing the passion and dedication of Australian innovators. AIIA is proud to be the creator of the iAwards and sponsor and supporter of the program for over 19 years. It is important to understand that the iAwards is an annual process that takes place across all states of Australia before culminating in a national gala presentation event. A key feature of the program is that members can participate in a number of ways depending on their interests and expertise. While the major area of participation is in submission of a project for award consideration, members can also nominate to judge various award categories. In doing this we are both encouraging the development of ICT led innovation and, importantly, by drawing on the expertise of the industry to peer review applications, driving high quality and commercially competitive new ideas. While I have to say there were many
highlights this year, I will limit myself to a couple of things that I found particularly exciting. Firstly, I never cease to be amazed at the number and diversity of applications submitted by companies, organisations, individual entrepreneurs, research institutions and even students. In 2013, for example, some 180 applications were submitted with initiatives covering multiple industry domains and disciplines financial services, industrial services, the resources sector, consumer services, education, health, government, sustainability, community to name a few covering new products and service development, research and development, innovation and entrepreneurial achievements. The breadth and depth of innovation in our industry simply astounds me. Perhaps though, the one stand out was Yvette Adams winner of ICT Woman of the Year Award, who started down her entrepreneurial path at the age of 17 and has since started from scratch five businesses, two of which she has subsequently sold. She was hardly 30 years of age! What is your vision for Australia in terms of its position globally in ICT?
These days ICT is a gamechanger. In my view, Australia needs to be at the front of the pack both in terms of how we all use and apply ICT and most importantly, as a thought leader in leveraging and applying smart ICT to improve national productivity, grow our economy and ensure we remain competitive in an increasingly sophisticated global economy. To be a little more specific, I believe Australia has enormous capability and very great need to leverage ICT to position itself as leader in the smart services industry. With services contributing almost 80% of industry value to the economy and employing some 85% of Australians, combined with a stable political and reasonably strong financial environment, world class research institutions, strong industry engagement and bipartisan commitment to ubiquitous high speed broadband, there is a huge opportunity for us to develop our service capabilities for export and ultimately drive market growth, new revenues and new jobs. There is also a compelling need for us to do so noting the current net trade ICT products and services and the trade exposure for services. Describe a typical day running the AIIA
My day starts early with a scan of various daily press circulars highlighting the top ICT news. This is important so I keep abreast of what is happening across the sector and also because it can be a good bellweather for the sorts of issues we may be asked to comment on, respond to or alert to our members. My first priority is making sure I engage with our members, so I dedicate a lot of my time to talking with member companies and stakeholders about the issues that are affecting them, the concerns they have, their expectations of the AIIA, how we can better meet their needs and what specifically we can do to support their success.
Like most people who head up member based organisations, I also spend a lot of time thinking about how I can position the organisation strategically to achieve outcomes for my members in both the short and long term and in particular, how I need to respond to new and emerging business and digital economy trends that will drive the success of the organisation in the future. There is a good mix of thinking and doing - an absolute essential to running any high performing organisation these days.
We have a small, focussed and highly professional team and it is important that I connect with them and that we share information, agree priorities and work in unison to ensure we deliver value to our members and drive their priorities and the profile of our industry. We take our industry representation and leadership role very seriously so most days involve circling back with the team in one way or another to ensure we all have visibility of the issues impacting our members and that I am connecting our members with the people in our team who can best support them.
Karen McCandless finds out more about the journey towards 5G from Tong Wen, a research fellow at Huawei.
With 4G still in the early stages of adoption, why is Huawei already exploring 5G?
We’ve come a long way since Nordic Mobile Telephone introduced the first 1G system in 1981. This was followed by 2G in 1992, 3G in 2001 and 4G in 2012. We live in a more mobile world than ever before, with the International Telecoms Union predicting that there will be more mobile phones than people by 2014. Consumers use their phones to listen to music, stream videos, video chat with their friends and share content via social media. And their data connectivity expectations are changing. They aren’t happy to wait five minutes for a video to load. The introduction of 4G in 2012 is the first step in achieving this faster connectivity but companies like Huawei are pushing this even further by working on 5G problems.
Innovation is a continuous journey with overlapping development cycles. Huawei began working on 5G in 2009, the same year the first commercial 4G network went live in the Nordics. Developing next generation technologies like 5G is a complex task. They require agreed engineering standards to be reached across the global industry so that the various elements of the 5G network – from base stations and handsets and core network equipment – can work seamlessly together to agreed standards, regardless of the company or country where the components are developed or used. Huawei is currently engaged in detailed discussions with customers, partners, competitors and policy makers
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to ensure that clear and shared agreements for the development of 5G are reached that we can all work towards. This will take some time, debate and discussion. What are the driving forces behind its development? The key driving force behind the development of 5G services is customer demand and the rise of what is known as big data, customers want faster and faster connections that allow them to do more things online faster. We live in the era of big data where people create and access huge data volumes online. In this world, 4G provides a step
change improvement over what 3G can deliver. 5G will provide a further step change when it becomes available commercially from 2020. Up until now, mobile networks have mostly connected people with networks. Increasingly, 4G and 5G will also connect billions or, even trillions of things worldwide, from domestic automation systems and home appliances to vehicles on the road and trains on the railways. This is often referred to as the “Internet of things.” What exactly will 5G networks involve, how will they work and what kind of speeds of data transmission will they enable? 5G networks will still include the type of base station technology that connects devices to the mobile network and customers to the internet, but the technology in the network will be able to transmit data much faster over a different type of network architecture. 5G networks will rely heavily on an architecture based on cloud computing, where the
power of supercomputers and virtualisation in the network will unleash the power of software defined network technology and enable a much faster and more open innovation for a vast range of new service and applications. 5G networks will not only connect everything but will exploit big data technology to bring our work and life into a new wave of the digital society. 4G networks today are capable of delivering data speeds of up to 100Mbps. 5G, we believe, will be capable of data speeds of 10Gbps, 100 times faster than today’s fastest 4G networks. A network running at 10Gbps is capable of downloading a high definition movie in one second and of providing a true-to-life 3D teleconferencing. But 5G networks will be about more than speed. They will also be designed to provide customers and things with the most reliable connections and will achieve this while consuming lower levels of energy.
There remain many barriers to 5G. Most are technological, such as how to engineer network technology and architectures capable of handling much higher data volumes and transmission speeds with many more users on the network. By 2020, many technical breakthroughs have to happen to make this a reality. Another key barrier is in the public policy space, which is how to make available the spectrum and the airwaves over which mobile data travels - which are licensed to carriers by governments around the world – and how to make that spectrum more efficient. What work is Huawei doing in this area? Today, around 200 Huawei engineers are focused full time on 5G development looking at all aspects from hardware
What barriers are there to the development of 5G?
and software development to spectrum and wireless radio architectures, new air interface designs, new modems and next generation multi-antenna technologies. As a founding member, Huawei has established a 5G innovation centre in the UK to conduct 5G tests. We are also engaged in 5G development programmes in China and with the European Commission. When do you think 5G might feasibly be up and running on devices? We expect the first commercial 5G networks will become available by 2020 and that 5G will reach its market peak between 2030 and 2040. In terms of handsets, 5G users will need to replace their handsets and use 5G-enabled handsets to access 5G services.
integrated around big data analytics. For example, this will mean real-time data that details and supports the movement of people, cargo, vehicles and routes integrated with intelligent ICT systems to make intelligent transportation, intelligent supply chains and self-driving vehicles a reality. Similarly, real-time translation will leverage the power of language and culture to enable machines to understand the human thought process and break through the barriers of language. It could mean teachers will be able to teach a class of a million children online at the same time rather than 20 in a classroom. 5G will underpin smart cities, smart transport and a smart society.
How will 5G change the world we live in, what kind of communications innovation will it enable, and will it help work towards the vision of smart cities? The 5G future will be defined by a new systematic intelligence: human and machine intelligence
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SOCIAL INNOVATION CONTEXT PARTNERS
In our first of a regular section on Social Innovation, Stewart Sarkozy-Banoczy, Managing Director with Context Partners, a social innovation firm made up of entrepreneurs and brand innovators - discusses groundbreaking social schemes, and the role that government can play in delivery. Global Innovation Magazine spoke to Stewart from Washington DC.
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We often hear about innovation in a technological sense, new exciting developments where products are created, but social innovation is a term perhaps not as widely known? How would you describe the term, what does it mean to you? Social innovation does suffer from a bit of an identity crisis sometimes, on both the ‘social’ and the ‘innovation’. Coupled together, they create more of a barrier to understanding and support than should rightly be there. An innovation is so often not new, just renewed or something innovated upon, to solve a challenge or improve the given circumstance. As you say, for technology that is pretty straightforward, in the marketplace and for the average person, we have a communication puzzle, for
instance, and we create some kind of physical widget or a piece of software. I don’t see it any different on the social side – these are innovations and developments that solve a wide range of social problems, some of them very complex, some of them quite simple. We just have to be better about sourcing the solutions and telling the stories that solve these social obstacles. We see these solutions in the work that we do all the time they might be product, a process, an organisation or some kind of policy that innovatively solves the issue. But because they are not something that is mass marketed, take the computer
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mouse, for instance, there is not the widespread marketing and storytelling that leads to adoption, adaptation and scaling. We need to proactively fuel the social innovation machine. You were previously the Director at the Office for International and Philanthropic Innovation, at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. What did your role entail and what kind of projects did you witness develop that particularly excited you? There were so many exciting efforts I was fortunate to be a part of and this position in many ways exemplifies what I call â€˜federalpreneurshipâ€™ â€“ a new and better way of changing the way the government works from the inside out, in an entrepreneurial way. We created the office to be the hub for seeking out best practices, models, partnerships and innovations to better align activities and funding for greater social good. I directed a small but nimble team that worked with our international counterpart ministries, cities and non-governmental organisations, as well as a wide range of philanthropic and private sector actors to
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move forward the methods and partnerships that really changed the policy and practice in arenas like economic development, urban and rural revitalisation, resilience and sustainability, to name just a few. The Office for International and Philanthropic Innovation is unique, not just in name only. It is still really one of a kind, but as I was leaving we saw other federal agencies striving for something similar. That is exciting. We started pushing on trends and innovations that the government needed to pay attention to, like program related investments, social impact bonds, public private partnerships at a variety of scales. And that work continues. That is what is most exciting. I see the country and city exchanges progressing, I see the US inter-agency work blossoming. I see the adoption of these new and smarter ways of funding what the government does. It is not, was not, easy, but it needs to keep happening and at a greater speed and scope. What drove you into social innovation as a field of work? I started volunteering for a few organisations in New York City that focused on youth, indigenous issues and the
environment, while I continued my business and creative day jobs and that triggered a real desire to somehow blend the MBA mindset with social innovation efforts. I could see that corporations and the government were important players, but they were never going to shed light in every dark corner and address a wide variety of issues that plague our planet. That ended up expressing itself in the community development field and the now long-standing community development finance institutions or CDFIs that I am still involved with. A decade of deep indigenous economic development work really shaped my view.
I took that experience to the US federal government and it gave me a completely new angle on the important role of social enterprise and impact as we all attempted these multi-sector efforts together. I was lucky to see many sides of many sectors and the work that was being done, or not done, together - sometimes as the driver, sometimes as the passenger. I have now landed in a place where those threads are being tied together for me in the heart of the social innovation sphere. Can you tell us about your role at Context Partners? Context Partners is a social innovation design firm working with clients in philanthropy, government, corporate and noncorporate, and as the Managing Director in Washington DC, I am fortunate to work with these clients as well as having a direct hand in growing our own company in a socially innovative way. That means I am seeing organisations we partner with from the inside out as we develop new strategic and organisational direction for them but I also observe our teams work with those communities inside and outside a particular client in a much grander scope and scale as innovations and ideas are
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sourced. Using our community centered design tools and processes, we are helping groups every day to ignite collective intelligence and action. Those tools and processes also do more than solve for the specific client project â€“ they give us data and information, as well as help inform our own business mode. With one of my primary roles being business development for the corporation, I can see how we need to adjust as the marketplace changes through every client experience. I love developing partnerships and looking for those unique projects that really test a new way of working or discover a best practice that needs a chance to fly above the radar. We are technically still a start up, so I look forward to the exciting growth we will have in the coming years. You must feel like youâ€™re in a privileged position to have an overview of some of your clientâ€™s social innovation schemes? What has jumped out at you in recent months that could have a particular sustained impact? This is easy and difficult to answer. On the one hand, I am in a privileged position in the sense that we see what our clients are doing to move
the innovation and impact needle, be it the Rockefeller Foundation and the 100 Resilient Cities Challenge or the Knight Foundation and black male empowerment work. These are far-reaching and life changing, live saving projects at a foundational level. So we have a front seat for that. On the other hand, what is equally, if not more exciting, is who we meet and what comes from those projects at the ground level. Our work with Knight led to amazing efforts in four cities here in the US and the creation of a completely new organisation, BMe, working in Detroit, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Baltimore. Go to BMecommunity.org and you cannot fail to be inspired by the people you will see and hear there. BMe will have a sustained impact socially. And that is just one of our stories. We get to meet the people, organisations, cities, societychanging movements, etc. that our client work produces. It is amazing. I would add that we also get to innovate on the innovations, if you will, for our own work. We get to experiment and test what works for both our clients and their communities, however those communities are described. We constantly improve and adjust to make our work more
impactful at all levels. What do you think will be the greatest challenges on the horizon in the US, and where do you see the greatest need for socially innovative solutions? Reduced funding everywhere is going to be a challenge. And ironically in a time of greater need as we see the wealth gap grow by leaps and bounds and the economic recovery takes it sweet time. But that also means we are all in it together, whether we are sourcing the best of the informal economy or financing the best resilience efforts and scaling globally. We need to pay attention to the resources we do have and work smarter together to focus where the need is. It feels daunting, but it is also very exciting.
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NEWS A FEW THINGS THAT CAUGHT OUR GAZE
TECHNOLOGY THAT HELPS KEEP STORIES AND MEMORIES ALIVE ‘Digital Memorial’ uses augmented reality technology to keep our memories alive of those who have passed. It works by generating photos and media whenever family and friends visit a place of rest or graveside. Using smartphones you can instantly receive a flow of pictures and media that will provide comfort and a multitude of visual memories. There is also an option to find out more about other people who have passed away. Managing Director Richard Longworth decided to develop the idea after realising there were “so many stories that I never knew about my father”.
BAGS RETHOUGHT ‘Bag Re:Born’ came out of Richard Simmonite’s vision to create a product that could make a difference to the world. Nothing too ambitious then! The product is a reboot of the conventional bin liner, its twist being that it’s multifunctional as a carrier bag. The product asks us to rethink our relationship with two-a-penny plastic bags and to reuse what we have. www.bagreborn.com
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COFFEE, CAKE AND TEA, BY THE MINUTE
MAKERBOT ON CAMPUS
The arrival of ‘Ziferblat’ on the London cafe scene has got the the hipsters nodding their heads in innovative appreciation. No more buying a skinny vanilla encrusted latte and nursing it for hours whilst discussing the next pop up burger van. No, ‘Ziferblat’ has a pay by the minute business model, so the longer you stay the more it costs, which could be attractive to people looking to use the space to work.
MakerBot, the 3d printing company, has developed an innovation partnership with universities and business, launching their first MakerBot Innovation Centre with The State University of New York. The aim is to empower business and universities to innovate faster, collaborate better and be more competitive. The centres will be filled with 30 plus MakerBot 3d printers and scanners with the goal of helping to train the next generation of engineers and designers, as well as transforming businesses into innovation hubs where rapid prototyping and product development becomes the norm.
At 3p per minute (£1.80 per hour) you just pay for the time you spend there, but work is involved. You have to get your own coffee and food from the kitchen and some people even wash their own dishes. In short, every customer becomes a micro tenant of the space. Perfect for community-minded people looking to network, share and collaborate. Challenging perhaps for those of us who are lazy and socially incompetent.
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PDF FILES AND ONLINE PUBLICATIONS ARE NOW A MUST FOR PUBLISHERS, BUSINESSES AND WEB DESIGNERS. HOWEVER, IS IT ALWAYS EASY TO CREATE OR EVEN READ THEM? NO.
The problems you might encounter include: File incompatibility for mobile device users Downloading problems (for big files) Troublesome zooming Lack of indexing in Google Uncomfortable page flipping And many others An innovative and intuitive approach to creating online publications is extremely important for producing an excellent reading experience. What if the PDF publications you design every day were significantly better, captivating your readers’ imaginations?
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MASTER DIGITAL PUBLISHING FLIPPINGBOOK MAKES IT DELIGHTFUL
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