Connecting Outside IT to Inspire Transformation

One of the best ways to solve a problem is to explain it to someone in a different line of work who can bring different viewpoints and experiences to help find a solution. Every technology vendor is trying to create innovation. Whether it is a new feature that greatly enhances an existing solution, a radical new technology that promises to disrupt existing models, new business models or the collisions of waves of change – innovation is hot topic regardless of the economic environment. While there appears to be no shortage of new ideas in IT recently, the field of innovation itself is a broad and diverse: ranging from how ideas are crystallized, what drives entrepreneurs to how companies and marketplaces can adopt (or resist) embracing the changes of the new ideas or products. I have had the good fortune to be able to attend some amazing innovation events over the last few years where I have heard from some amazing thought leaders, authors and innovators (see some articles on my personal blog). While I have seen speakers and sessions discussing innovation at various technology user conferences and trade shows, I have learned more out of the more academic and executive focused events where the speakers do not feel the need to make references to technology (like cloud computing).

Next week, the Providence, RI based Business Innovation Factory will be holding BIF-7. The BIF group helps to nurture innovation and encourage entrepreneurship and the annual event is an intimate 2-day event with diverse storytellers (similar to the well known TED events). While the storyteller line-up is amazing [I’m especially looking forward to Dan Pink, author of Drive; if you haven’t already, check the animated whiteboard video of Drive and his TED video], what makes BIF amazing is that it is an intimate group that fosters allowing the attendees and speakers to mix. Deborah Schofield sums it up well in this Forbes article about “Random Collisions of Unusual Suspects”. While I enjoy getting to mingle with entrepreneurs, authors, bloggers and innovation enthusiasts, it’s bringing what I learn back to the technology community that makes this event live up to the BIF motto, “Connect. Inspire. Transform”. You can follow the conference on Twitter at #BIF7 and watch the video. Send me questions on Twitter @stu, Google+ stuminiman or in the comments below.

Disclaimer: I am attending BIF-7 on a free blogger pass, which gives me free admission.  I am under no obligation to write.