Innovation: The Real Deal

The subject of innovation is surrounded by worn out metaphors, which is why it’s so stimulating to find authentic instances of genuine innovation in practice. You know…real tangible examples, like human commercial space travel, that redefine humanity’s reach and potential.

Identifying this type of authentic innovation has been our remit ever since we first started planning the OpenText™ 2017 Innovation Tour many months ago. Now we are just weeks away, I’m delighted to say that the speaker line-up for this year’s one-day event on 21st March doesn’t disappoint.

Our keynote speaker is Stephen Attenborough, current Commercial Director, and former CEO, of Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial space travel business. Throughout the entire span of human history, only about 550 people have ever visited space. In fact, most of the seven billion of us on the planet have never even met anyone who has been there. And those few astronauts and cosmonauts that have, are hardly representative of our species as human beings. They’ve all tended to be of a similar age, gender, ethnicity, language or professional background. Stephen and his colleagues at Virgin Galactic are using their innovation, imagination and expertise to change all that.

To date, around 700 people from 50 different countries, spanning from ages 10 to 90, from many different professions and speaking numerous languages, have signed up to become future Virgin Galactic astronauts. As Virgin Galactic’s first full time employee, Stephen had the unique challenge of laying the commercial foundations to make one of the world’s most ambitious business projects a reality. Except he wasn’t a ‘space nut’, but rather came from the financial services world. Sir Richard Branson is his boss. If ever there was a need for innovative thinking, it was here. He will be sharing with us the next exciting chapter in their journey.

Closer back to earth, we’ve also got peer level presentations across seven different tracks, including Manufacturing, Financial Services, Energy & Utilities, Public Services, Retail, as well as Life Sciences.  There’s something for everyone. The likes of Thames Water, FinTech Circle, IDG, the NHS, as well as a former Sky, ITV and BBC presenter (to name just a few) are all coming together to share their respective expertise.

And of course, our executive leadership team, including OpenText CEO and CTO Mark Barrenechea, OpenText President Steve Murphy and Executive VP of Engineering, Muhi Majzoub, will be sharing key insights to help with your own innovation plans. In addition, some of our strategic partners, such as SAP, Accenture, Capgemini and Deloitte, will also be providing high level viewpoints that could directly impact both your industry and your future projects – all of this is packed into a single day.

If you’ve not yet registered, I’d strongly urge you to do so as we’re approaching capacity. I look forward to seeing you there, and who knows, you might want to book a ticket on the world’s first space airline.

Mark Bridger

Mark Bridger is Vice President, UK, at OpenText.

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