This is a session at Innov8rs New York, 1 August 2019

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The Fetishization of “Innovation”How Business's Obsession With ‘Innovation’ Robbed the Word of its Meaning, and How We Can Reclaim It

As businesses–brands and consultancies alike–we fetishize ‘innovation.’ We’ve thrown the word around so much that it’s lost its meaning in a time when its true practice has never been more essential. And it’s not the first time. Business corrupted terms like “design,” “diversity,” “empathy,” “collaboration” to name a few. So, how can we redeem “innovation” and bring dynamic new life to the practice?

In this talk, Alain Sylvain, founder & CEO of Sylvain Labs, will draw from neuroscience, linguistics, history, pop culture and his experience with clients like Airbnb, Spotify, and BlackRock to argue that by liberating the meaning of innovation, we have the power to unleash a new wave of creativity in business.

Alain Sylvain

Founder and CEO at Sylvain Labs

Alain is the founder and CEO of Sylvain Labs, a strategy and design consultancy that helps companies seize the reality and potential of their business, products and brands. Clients include Google, American Express, Airbnb, Spotify, Blackrock, Samsung, Pepsico, AB InBev, Jet, IKEA, GM, Sonos, the NBA, and others. Founded in 2010, the company is headquartered in NYC, with offices in Amsterdam and Richmond, VA, and is a Certified B-Corporation.

In addition to Sylvain Labs, Alain is a partner and investor in several ventures, including Master + Dynamic, a design-driven, premium audio brand, So Choice Softworks, a mobile gaming company, Lilo, an açai bowl company, and PetMio, a smart pet food startup. In addition, he has served as executive producer on short documentaries, including Some Kind of Quest, a profile of one very unique individual and his journey to keep a dream on track, and Instafame, an exploration into the psychological impact of digital fame on young people.

Prior to founding Sylvain Labs, Alain was managing director at Redscout and a lead strategist at Mother New York. He frequently shares his perspective on innovation and culture as a contributor for Quartz, and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, The New York Times, Monocle, Inc. Magazine, Business Insider, AdAge, Paper Magazine and others. Additionally, Alain is an active contributor to various non-profit initiatives around the world.