Festival of Innovation expert panel debate
At Happen and Winkle’s annual Festival of Innovation, celebrating innovation strategy and innovation research, this year all of the global offices descended on a small village in the French Alps! 8 years on since Happen Innovation agency was born and the team of over 70 incredible innovators came together to share successful innovation projects and learn from an expert panel of experienced innovators.
The panel was chaired by Happen founder Mark Cowen and included the following innovators:
Alex Epstein, Founder and Chief Concoction Officer at Concoction
Ben Chatfield, Owner at BCL Creative Communications Ltd
Jens Odgaard Olsson, MD Odense ZOO and ex Global Innovation Director for Arla Foods
When asked what innovation means, Jens referred to it as a way of living and always being curious. Ben said passion and perseverance is a given, but the ability to pivot is key to successful innovation. Alex’s perception on innovation was about three parts coming together; inventiveness meets commercial opportunity meets consumer need.
The restraints on innovation in large companies was discussed, it was felt by the panel that people usually sit behind their desks with lots of reports just to cover themselves, rather than take chances with innovative ideas. Alex said people are frightened of being seen to fail, and organisations need people who are willing to be bold and overcome any corporate politics. Ben built on that point, emphasising that communication in big businesses is really important and the need to manage your idea with internal stakeholders.
As well as having the drive and passion to push your idea internally, it is equally important to recognise when to pull the plug on an idea which isn’t working and move on.
Meet our team of incredible innovators here