Session Descriptions - Innovation & Growth Leadership Summit

Food Innovation: Recipes for Change  Rebecca Chesney, Research Director, Institute for the Future (IFTF), Food Futures Lab

Rebecca Chesney will share IFTF’s groundbreaking Food Innovation: Recipes for the Next Decade. She’ll discuss how technology and social innovations will shape food, wellbeing, and resilience in the next decade, including such topics as:

  • New technologies that will support food choices, and the implications for trust and loyalty
  • Emerging approaches for engagement with food, food companies, and food systems
  • What today’s leading-edge eaters tell us about tomorrow’s new markets and offerings
  • How eaters will make tradeoffs between price, convenience, taste, and need for food system transformation
  • How social media influencers, shopping bots and new tastemakers such as algorithms and chefs—will shape food choices and define food experiences

Collaborating with Food Entrepreneurs: A New Model for Starting and Scaling Up Business  Jen Faigel, Executive Director and Co-Founder, CommonWealth Kitchen (CWK)

At an exclusive Fireside Chat with Cheryl Perkins, Jen Faigel will discuss a comprehensive model for starting and scaling up food companies— providing shared kitchens combined with integrated business and technical training, connections with buyers and distributors, connections with capital providers, and small-batch manufacturing. She’ll cover:

  • Change management— how to innovate within the construct of large institutions and corporations that are not able to be nimble and respond to the rapid changes happening in the market.
  • Experimentation and quick wins.
  • The rise of food incubators and accelerators– like Chobani, Barilla, ACCEL Foods, FOOD-X, and the proliferation of investment funds for new brands.
  • Building diverse networks across the supply chain–including farms, aggregators, distributors, buyers, etc.
  • Understanding demand and market gaps.
  • Specific opportunities to collaborate with CWK food entrepreneurs

Keynote: Macro-Trends and Multisensorial Experiences Driving Innovation Across Industries  Karen Stanton, Director, Global Marketing & Branding, International Flavors & Fragrances

“Can you smell what I see?” This interactive session will reveal some of today’s most exciting macro-trends including how scent and taste experiences are reinventing future products. As Global Marketing & Branding Director for IFF Flavors group, Karen Stanton plays an instrumental role in identifying new growth opportunities, designing innovation pathways, and partnering with industry leaders in the development of future foresights.

She will share:

  • Examples of 5-senses brand engagement from wearables, Agritech, and AI
  • Future health, wellness, and multisensorial experiences
  • Global case studies of disruptive innovation

She will then lead an interactive brainstorming activity to help you translate these trends into strategic, sustainable innovation in action for your company.

Leadership Before Innovation – Four Key Ingredients  Steph Barry, Managing Director, Global Market Development, Solatube International, Inc.

Everyone agrees that successful innovation goes beyond new ideas. It is the ability to continuously generate growth in a fast-changing, dispersed, competitive, and complex global marketplace. Studies show that only 10-15% of ‘innovation’ programs are effective long term – instead we see one-hit wonders, base hits, the occasional home run.  Innovation Leadership doesn’t just manage; they foster sustainable and successful innovation by creating a culture in which new ideas thrive and people deliver.

This talk will focus on four key ingredients of Innovation Leadership and how to cultivate them. They differ from those of leadership with innovation as follows:

  1. Visionary vs. Sharing A Vision: Innovation leaders create a vision with purpose where people feel secure, confident, see themselves in where you are going and their creativity comes out.
  2. Diversity vs. Inclusion: Beyond words, the Innovation Leader creates an environment that respects and harnesses the richness of different perspectives and experiences bringing about the best possible outcome.
  3. Them vs Us: They rely on collaboration, trust and openness to develop products that change the world
  4. ‘In’ vs Integrity: Innovation leadership leaves ego, arrogance and short-term results at the door favoring honor, duty and sustainable organizational objectives to yield higher returns.

Steph Barry will draw on her own experience as an impactful leader in large, complex organizations. She will share insights, case examples, and how-to’s as well as answer your questions.

Panel: Critical Enablers That Must Be Carefully Managed – Process and Culture Herman So, Vice President, Kent Corporation; Dennis Reimer, CEO, Midwest Specialty Products; and Mary Witte, Surpless Dunn & Co. Inc.

You can develop the best innovation strategy in the world, and it will fail if people aren’t on board. At the same time, buy-in takes more than just telling folks what to do. Resistance and fear must be eased, incentives and support must be offered. Dennis Reimer believes in empowering employees to be engaged so they provide highly responsive, relationship-oriented customer care. Herman So guides corporate-wide innovation efforts and resource allocation recommendations to accelerate growth across all Kent subsidiaries. Mary Witte has a broad background in manufacturing combined with exceptional organizational and interpersonal skills. In this interactive Q&A session, Dennis, Herman and Mary will share what works (and what does not) to motivate and get the best from people. Bring your questions – and your headaches; Dennis, Herman and Mary will advise.

How to Create Insight-Led Growth Opportunities: Finding Unmet Needs, Defining the Right Problem to Solve  Anna Husk, Global Insights Director, Professional Products Division, The Clorox Company 

Guiding strategy as well as building insights capability for Clorox’s B2B businesses, Anna has contributed to the launch of many significant innovations over the years. In this presentation, she will share her thoughts on translating consumer needs into successful business propositions and strategic choices. She will talk about her own role and the framework she uses to identify the right opportunities for Clorox. Specifically, she will share:

  • The importance of creating insight-led business propositions (and why insight needs a seat at the table).
  • How leveraging three lenses will help define the most meaningful problems to solve and lead to better growth opportunities:     1) Ensuring the consumer has a voice in the process, even in B2B; 2) Bringing the outside in to challenge scope and boundaries and connect with your consumer perspective, and 3) Thinking ahead to understand how the business landscape and your customer are evolving

She will also offer advice and examples of how to bring everything together and know whether or not you’ve found the right opportunities for your business.

How Do We Generate More Value from R&D?  Pete Dulcamara, Vice-President, Corporate Research & Engineering, Kimberly-Clark Corporation

The rate of innovation is accelerating at an exponential pace, but many companies are still growing at a linear pace – why?  Many are like Rip Van Winkle. They fell asleep in the 20th century and woke up in the 21st to find this digital thing transforming everything in its path. We are seeing exponential organizations that are deceptively small one minute and then completely disruptive the next with new business models, new channels, new operating systems, and new payment methods (think Facebook, Amazon, Alibaba, and Bitcoin). At the same time, our business partners in our own companies want more from R&D, and the people in R&D sometimes ‘play the victim,’ waiting for someone to tell them what to innovate. In many companies we see a vicious cycle of people fearful for their jobs, playing politics, and these politics lead to poor performance and this poor performance leads to further insecurity; round & round we go.  Pete will share his thoughts on how to create a more virtuous cycle comprised of partnership, portfolio, and people that leads to better business performance.  In addition, Pete will discuss some of the most transformative technologies shaping our world today and offer a model to help create a ‘Moore’s Law’ for your business with the aim to double your revenue with half the cost in twice the speed, and to make R&D the very best investment possible for your company.