The Innovation Seminar paved the way towards the Innovation Excellence Awards.
Innovation should involve more diverse groups and target a wider range of ages (particularly the elderly), people of colour, women and non-binary groups. Expect in the next five to ten years more automation of innovation and hyper personalised products. “How did they know that I needed a potato peeler that can also play the Sex Pistols?” joked Alf Rehn, Professor of Design and Management at the University of Southern Denmark, speaking from the Copenhagen waterfront.
“Snatching Victory from the Jaws of Defeat” was the title of a Zoom-connected evening with members of the Stationers’ Company in association with Kogan Page publishers. ”Necessity is the mother of invention, but what are the pitfalls, as well as the opportunities afforded in such trying times?” was the theme addressed.
Alongside Alf Rehn was Jeremy Dalton, who heads up the PWC London team focused on XR technologies (virtual reality, augmented reality) and Bradley Leimer, a specialist in banking technology who was speaking from San Francisco. Stationer Oliver Gadsby chaired the event.
There was a belief that after the initial shock of the global pandemic, innovation continued and many creative thinkers are believed to have thrived better because they had the time to continue to develop or use innovative technology. Many who hadn’t previously engaged with new technology learnt to embrace it, including the mass of teachers who learned to set up YouTube channels to teach, older folk who kept in contact with families using voice technology and there was the rise of contactless payments.
The panel expressed a hope that innovation could make the world better, that technology might allow for investment choices that improve sustainability and make for better, more sustainable communities or it might make insurance and banking available to a wider global audience. Innovators should, and some are, looking to create more sustainable solutions. Jeremy Dalton said that not only technological innovation but innovation in the sense of a new ways of working and the mindset shift has made businesses more open to XR technologies. Instead of asking why they should engage with the technology, they were asking how do we work with this technology? Virtual reality can help collaboration, offering a really good alternative when time, money or other limitations means a face-to-face meeting is not possible.
“We have a lot of technology. We need to learn how to use it intelligently,” suggests Alf Rehm.
Print, paper, packaging, publishing, design, digital marketing, and education are capable of great innovation and it has been recognised by the Stationers’ Company with the annual Innovation Excellence Awards. Last year, as the pandemic took off, the Awards had to be suspended but this year it’s back and it’s not too late to enter.
There are seven categories for entry and from the winners of these an Innovator of the Year will be selected.
• Business Process
• Communications and Marketing
• Customer Experience
• Product Design
• Product Performance
• Service design
The awards are free to enter and companies do not need to be affiliated to the Stationers’ Company. Sponsors of the Awards again this year are Picon, the trade body representing suppliers of print and paper equipment, and Mathys and Squire, ranked Tier 1 in the Legal 500 and one of the most highly regarded specialist intellectual property firms.
You can access an entry form atThe 2021 Stationers Innovation Excellence Awards.The closing date for entries is 14 April 2021 (6pm). The awards presentation will take place on 22 June 2021.