Earlier this month we attended the 9th annual Front End of Innovation conference in Vienna (FEI EMEA). FEI is a global event brand that has become the annual meeting place of the most seasoned innovators across the globe. The conference is packed with innovative companies and thinkers, great keynote speakers, workshops and field trips.
“It’s not about ideas, it’s about moving the company in the right direction the next 10 years”
Ed Hebblethwaite, Seymourpowell
The first day started with some great keynote speakers from Google, Disney, Shell, Shackleton Energy and Zaptec to mention some. Two of our friends from the space & energy industry gave us a real brain stretch. Both Jim Keravala from Shackleton Energy and Brage Johansen from Zaptec were invited to speak about their missions in space.
“Every company should have a space program”
Brage Johansen, Zaptec
Jim talked about the worlds three big coming challenges: energy, fresh water and communication, and how their mission in space will help solve these problems. It is safe to say that the audience was mesmerized by his talk and perspective on the industry.
“It’s just like building an oil rig, only in space”
Our own Christian Rangen moderated the last session of the day and we got some great presentations from Christopher Chapman, Global Creativity & Innovation Director at The Walt Disney Company, and Michele R. Weslander Quaid, Chief Innovation Evangelist at Google.
“Find your purpose”
Christopher Chapman, Global Creativity & Innovation Director at The Walt Disney Company
Christopher focused on the humane aspect of innovation. He was a great storyteller, as we would expect from a director at Disney. Michele from Google gave a great presentation where she talked about how they worked with innovation within Google. She also stated that the three biggest barriers to innovation is culture, policy and technology.
“Give people freedom, they will amaze you”
Michele R. Weslander Quaid, Chief Innovation Evangelist at Google.
Google’s Founding Principles
- Ideas comes from everywhere
- Share everything you can
- Rapid innovation, not perfection
- Give employees a license to pursue dreams
- Use data-based (apolitical) decision making
- Focus on the users
The day ended with a visit to a traditional Austrian restaurant. We had an incredible innovation crew dinner with Google, Zaptec, RB, Bombardier, Phillips, Int, Innovation Dock, Holger Nils Pohl and Nordic Climate Lead.