What We Learned from Future Festival - The Best Innovation Conference
For the second year in a row, we partnered with Trend Hunter, external link for this year's Future Festival, external link where not only were we invited to attend the 3-day conference in Toronto, but our teams got to demonstrate their innovations at the Future Party to a global audience.
Trend Hunter is not only an expert in discovering new and innovative ideas; they excel in helping businesses develop new ideas. Some of our key takeaways from their speakers include:
Prepare for innovation now.
Large and small businesses need to take innovation seriously, because the speed of innovation is not just fast, but is getting faster. Much faster. What we think will happen in 3-5 years have previously taken less than that, and it is a critical task to not only innovate but to prepare for innovation.
Taking a page out of the book of Chief Idea Hunter Jermery Gutsche, here are some ways to encourage disruptive thinking:
- Assume you are incorrect
- Be open to new ideas
- Reward and encourage dissent
- Case study emerging trends
- Embrace diversity
Innovation starts with you and your people.
Innovation is not just for users and customers, but can and should start from your own staff - your teams - your people. This includes developing a modern workplace that fits the changing needs of your people.
Trend Hunter noted several prevalent trends, such as:
- smaller teams of 4-6 over large teams
- formalizing flexible work arrangements
- investments in the training and development of your staff have been proven to improve employee experience
The discipline of disruption.
Disruption at your company does not happen by any one individual, so workshops that encourage brainstorming, trial-and-error, and open communication are key to training you and your team to effectively design new and innovate ideas.
For more information on what kinds of workshops to run, contact the experts at Trend Hunter, external link!
Special thanks to all the participating companies - you all not only represented your businesses amazingly but represented the Zones and Ryerson with passion and enthusiasm - we could not have done it without you - 2020 Armor, external link, Authentic or Not, external link, Beatnik and Sons, external link, Benchwork, external link, Biosa Technologies, external link, Hedgehog Umbrellas, external link, Inlighten, external link, Jamstack, external link, Ki, external link, Koy Gear, external link, Krippit, external link, Lucid, external link, Odessu, external link, Passen, external link, Ryerson Helium, external link, Sprout, external link, and Wuxly, external link!
The Future Party is the opening night celebration to kick off Future Festival, and our teams got to present their innovations, and experience the latest technologies, trends, and lots (and we mean lots!) of fun getting to meet top innovators from Canada and around the world.
Multiple zone members from Fashion Zone, Design Fabrication Zone, external link, Transmedia Zone, external link, and Music Den, external link got the chance to exhibit their businesses and projects to leading industry professionals in research and innovation.
The conference is structured to be a crash course in innovation - with Day 1 starting with a keynote speaker from Jeremy Gutsche, Innovation Keynote Speaker, CEO of Trend Hunter, Futurist & Award-Winning Author.
Following the keynote speakers, conference attendees went on Trend Safaris, which are curated tours visiting companies and their offices in Toronto (including visiting Fashion Zone and our beautiful space at The Studio at Ryerson University).
Day 2 and 3 were filled with keynotes and workshops surrounding topics and exercises for innovation, with speakers coming from Coca Cola, Hallmark, Universal Resorts, and many more!