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Innovation In Times Of Flux: Skoll World Forum 2012

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Published on Apr 10, 2012

At the opening plenary of the 2012 Skoll World Forum, this panel was electrifying. Subtitled Opportunity on the Heels of Crisis, the moderator was Judith Rodin of the Rockefeller Foundation. Panelists were, left to right: Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Business and a Skoll Board Member; Soraya Salti, a Skoll Awardee and Senior VP of INJAZ Al-Arab, and Patrick Meier, director of crisis mapping at Ushahidi.
Martin spoke about failure when Rodin asked him why institutions are slow to innovate. Roger's tweet-able quote was "Governments are better at fostering invention than innovation" and when asked about academic institutions, he remarked that they are too fixed on using scientific logic that requires you "prove" a new idea is possible before you start. As the Dean of the Rotman School of Business, Roger should understand the issues with academia "squelching innovation accidentally", but hopefully with more people like Martin and Turfano leading business schools, this will not be the case into the future.

Salti was probably the most energized speaker on the stage. Her passion for her work supporting the youth leadership ecosystem in the Middle East and North Africa made everyone around me smile. What an energy she has! I am eager to watch what she and the youth she works with will continue to achieve as they reach new goals. As she stated: "they have created the impossible politically and now they will create the impossible economically."

Community-led change fuelled by innovative technologies was also a theme for Patrick Meier, Director of Crisis Mapping at Ushahidi. He received spontaneous applause from the crowd when he spoke about using Ushahidi's information crowd sourcing technology to gather feedback directly from people all over Uganda to be able to share their own voice with regards to the #KONY2012 dialogue. His group's technologies can now facilitate what he calls the Match.com of connecting disaster problems and solutions, and the nods from the crowds indicated that this was an online match making service they would not be to shy to join. Read more: http://skollworldforum.org/2012/03/28...

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