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Accelerate 2017’s keynote speakers to provide insights into how to innovate to survive

By Kai Ping Lew, Tue 13 Jun 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The Accelerate 2017 event series being held across Australia and New Zealand from June 13 to June 22 features visionaries from LEGO and New York Times who have overcome significant disruption in their specific industries and near failure to become the dominant brands in their fields today.

LEGO’s future lab senior innovation director David Gram, credited for driving the 85-year-old company’s innovation agenda and saving the brand from possible extinction, believes that a more radical approach to innovation is required if brands want to stay relevant and survive.

“Think big and start small, act like a lean start-up and don’t splash the cash!” says Gram.

“Use a design thinking approach to fake it before you make it, ensuring you do not assume a new idea is right for too long.”

NYT Global ex-COO Dr James Slezak, who led the digital transformation of the reimagined international publication, believes that to survive, organisations increasingly have to be real.

“Leaders must manage substance, not just perception.

“Amongst all the disruption and fake news, what increasingly may matter most is keeping it real, as authenticity is getting increasingly harder to fake,” said Dr James Slezak.

Sponsored by Certus Solutions, Accelerate 2017 will feature three separate events on one day, each designed to address specific areas of business disruption:

1. The Executive Breakfast Briefing from 8am - 10.30am incorporates a cognitive breakfast inspired by Chef Watson and features keynote speakers talking about disruption and innovation in their specific industries, including David Gram from LEGO and a panel discussion, hosted by Dr James Slezak from New York Times.

2. A Lunch and Learn - focused on new market and product development in the face of digital disruption from 11am - 4pm. Featuring Dr James Slezak sharing his insights on how New York Times is navigating digital disruption and the way personalisation is changing the brand experience. The other speakers will explain design thinking and how introducing this approach can enable organisations to transform everyday user experiences and reinvent traditional business models in response to digital disruption.

3. The Lunch and Learn - focused on process and systems design also from 11am- 4pm. Featuring Astronaut Mike Mullane - three-time Space Shuttle Mission Specialist - in a video interview on balancing risk against mission success. The other speakers will discuss how we can apply lessons from the space programme to building better systems and process as well as take advantage of the Internet of Things.

For any organisation that wants to learn what is happening at the coalface of innovation, this event will help businesses prosper in the face of disruption.

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