The Best Talks On Innovation

innovation talks
innovation talks

It’s great to read about innovation, and you can learn a lot from reading some of the amazing articles and books about innovation that are out there. But sometimes, having it as words on a page just makes it feel a little dull. For a concept as versatile and exciting as innovation, something with a little more oomph might fit the bill more. For us, that something is definitely a talk! We love watching talks given by presenters who are clearly deeply passionate about innovation, and pour their heart and soul into their words. Below are what we consider to be four of the best innovation talks ever:


by Rocío Lorenzo

This fantastic talk by Rocío Lorenzo, a Partner and Managing Director at The Boston Consulting Group who has had extensive experience in large-scale growth and innovation, highlights how diversity is a key ingredient for teams to have if they want to be more innovative. Having conducted several extensive studies on diversity and leading the Women@BCG Initiative in Munich, Lorenzo is undoubtedly one of the best people to help shed some light on this issue.

In the talk, she emphasizes that diversity, beyond being the right thing to do in and of itself, also benefits companies in many ways. It increases their revenues, makes their leadership more effective, and boosts their innovation potential. She concludes by noting that embracing diversity means true opportunity for everyone, and that organizations are finally waking up to that.


by Steven Johnson

Steven Johnson is a prolific and renowned writer, who has written several bestselling books on the impact of innovation and how it has led to so much progress in such a short time. He begins by discussing the invention of the flute. He then mentions how it connects to the fact that sometimes, humans just do things for fun, even if they are not practical and necessary in any way.

This continues to be a recurring theme throughout the talk, as Johnson points out how so many innovations originally came about just because someone was trying to pass idle time and have some fun. He states, “Necessity isn’t always the mother of invention. The playful state of mind is fundamentally exploratory, seeking out new possibilities in the world around us. And that seeking is why so many experiences that started with simple delight and amusement eventually led us to profound breakthroughs.”


by Joshua Mitro Lavra

Red tape is everybody’s nightmare. It is a a long-running belief that true innovation is nearly impossible in most large organizations, because of their inherently complex natures combined with their lumbering internal bureaucracies and the attitude of ‘this is how we do it because this is how we’ve always done it!’

Josh Lavra, a San Francisco based designer and project manager, endeavors to debunk that belief in this talk. He says that it is possible to encourage your employees to take on the role of an ‘intrapreneur’, essentially an entrepreneur within the organization. This mindset frees them up to do the key things that lead to innovation: asking more questions, being more agile, and being creative. He says that any organization, no matter how much of a behemoth it may be, can innovate with the right combination of creativity, collaboration, and asking the right questions.


by Charles Leadbeater

This talk by prominent researcher and innovation consultant Charles Leadbeater is a clarion call heralding the era of ‘open innovation’. Leadbeater begins by discussing the invention of the mountain bike. He highlights the fact that it didn’t come from the R&D division of some faceless big corporation, but that it originated from bikers themselves, who were jury rigging their bikes to make them more fit to take on the mountains.

Building on this example, he examines various facets of innovation, noting that the most crucial one is undoubtedly collaboration. He declares that collaboration is the route through which we will be able to reach the apex of innovation, and that it should be promoted at all possible levels in every organization. He concludes by predicting that in the not-too-distant future it will be the users who take the most active roles and drive true innovation through open collaboration, as the companies take a backseat.

And now, we’ll conclude by calling on you to check out all these talks! We promise, they’re just as entertaining as a Netflix binge, and maybe just a bit more informative! Let us know which one was your favorite in the comments below!