Building a Zero Gravity Innovation Ecosystem

Paul Hawkins

Chief Combobulator at Crazy Might Work

as recorded on 24 February 2021 as part of Innov8rs Connect on Foresight, Ecosystem Engagement and Startup Collaboration

In this session you will learn how to

- Recruit and select core ecosystem participants, whilst engaging other stakeholders more broadly.
- Remove friction and defining objectives for your innovation ecosystem.
- Where and when ecosystems are more effective than single entities.
- How to get started and some tools of the trade.

About the speaker

Paul is the Chief Combobulator at Crazy Might Work, a strategic innovation firm that launched on a Russian icebreaker in Antarctica, in January 2015 with a mission to equip and inspire clients to innovate where it matters most! The firm’s multi-disciplinary methodology for collaborative innovation consistently produces game-changing solutions, characterised by pragmatism, originality and humour.

Paul’s company works with leaders in health, government and across various industries to solve wicked challenges in ways that are, quite literally, ‘DisruptivebyDesign®! The approach incorporates systems and design thinking, appreciative inquiry, anthropology, social neuroscience and even game design! The firm has been twice nominated as a finalist in the MyBusiness Innovator of the Year awards, and a finalist in the NSW Chamber of Commerce, as well as the ‘Talent Makes Future’ awards, hosted in China.
Prior to Crazy Might Work, Paul worked for various multi-nationals leading complex all-of-business programmes, including mergers, acquisitions, shared services and product development, in over 20 countries. In 2005, he left the corporate world to found a cross-border mergers and acquisitions business which continues to complete ‘life-changing’ transactions on behalf of private business owners, in partnership with US, European and Japanese-listed companies.

Paul has an MBA from Oxford Brookes University and is currently completing a doctorate in innovation, whilst writing a book on the same topic! He has also trained in innovation and social neuroscience at (or through) the Centre for Creative Leadership in Brussels, IDEO in San Francisco, Stanford d.School, the NeuroLeadership Institute and Harvard University.

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