YPO Innovation Week 2019 concluded Friday with its continued deep dive into how innovation is transforming work and life. Imagine knowing about an illness before getting sick – and knowing what you can do to help prevent it from happening. Wonder why the gig economy is a good thing? YPO members got some insight from the experts on that. Plus, the week’s final virtual event inspired attendees to include their customers in their innovative brainstorming, for a win-win. And no Innovation Week would be complete without the Global Innovation Awards — four individuals are being honored for their contributions to medical, social impact, technology and manufacturing innovation.

Virtual — Look to Customers for Innovation Inspiration

Calling his audience “conductors of the innovation orchestra” at their respective companies, Founder and Director of MIT Boot Camps Erdin Beshimov engaged them with a story, then data, about why they should collaborate with their customers to create new products.Erdin Beshimov_YPO Innovation Week 2019

“Disruption creates anxiety,” Beshimov acknowledges, as he opened the fourth and final virtual event of Innovation Week . “You are between the rock of disruption and the hard place of stagnation. I will tell you about the third way — a symbiosis between company and customer.”

He then shared the story of a man with cystic fibrosis who realized at a concert that the low-frequency sound waves coming from a speaker were helping to clear his airways. The man ended up inventing a device that would go on to help other patients.

Beshimov says the traditional producer-innovation-diffusion paradigm has shifted, and that as many as 58 million consumers in the 10 countries surveyed have innovated new products.

“Your companies are ships in the sea of consumer innovation,” Beshimov advises.

San Francisco — The Future of Work and Everything Else

In California, YPO members returned for a second full day of “Silicon Valley Summit 4.0: 4th Industrial Revolution — Transforming Work and Life.” Speakers covered multiple topics on the future of everything.

Future of medicine

Speaker Deepak Savadatti, President of Viome, is using innovative technologies to solve medical problems. His company’s mission is to eliminate chronic conditions. “It’s not about preventing or treating disease,” says Savadatti, “it’s about using data to predict disease.”

He says he asked himself, “What if we turn medical problems to data problems?”Deepak Savadatti_YPO Innovation Week 2019

Technology allows them to measure the transcripts — the molecules of RNA that are transcribed from DNA. RNA allows them to gauge activity. From the data received, they can analyze the microbiome and create a microbiome score that alerts you before any severe illness occurs.

Users can take the recommendation from the microbe in the gut and provide a real-time recommendation of which foods to eat and supplements to take. AI takes all the functional scores and features and predicts users’ glycemic response.

Viome is currently doing 20+ clinical studies on diseases. “We don’t want to focus on any one disease,” says Savadatti. “We want to collect the data, analyze, and let the data help us get to every disease. We have done clinical studies and built prediction models.“

Mark Goldston quote - YPO Innovation Week 2019

Future of work

According to Mark Goldston, CEO of Goldston Ventures, the 1970s were about segmentation. The 1980s, automation. The 1990s brought departmentalism. The 2000s spawned freedom and mobility, and today we are in the decade of the gig economy.

Millennials are changing the landscape of the workforce and are wanting speed, flexibility and decentralization in their work.

RELATED: Erik Huberman Embraces Gig Economy With A Twist

The gig economy allows for flexibility, and businesses need to innovate their structure to accommodate the new workforce. Companies shouldn’t fear the gig economy but embrace it.

Mark Goldston at YPO Innovation Week 2019

“The fourth industrial revolution is about people and their ability to morph. You have to constantly evolve. The biggest problem in innovation is being left behind,” says Goldston. “We will be in an environment soon where people value process innovation as much, or more than, product innovation. Process innovation will become the new product innovation. Companies don’t focus on process innovation because they are scared of change.”

He adds, “People thought the fourth revolution was the internet, but the internet isn’t a thing; the internet is life.”

Future of freelance in the enterprise

Speaker Matthew Mottola, driver of Microsoft’s Future of Work, spoke about embracing freelance in the enterprise and the future of work being remote, flexible and digital — and how technology bridges the gaps.

With the gig economy, workers are now expecting flexibility in their day and in their work structure. People want to work when they want and where they want and are looking for companies that accommodate.

Freelancers are key to enabling companies to hit their goals and work with top talent and unlock a business’ ability to thrive. “You are no longer limited to the people in your zip code and can now work effectively with people all around the world without sacrificing quality,” says Mottola.

Matthew Mottola_YPO Innovation Week 2019 c

An office structure does not guarantee top performance. Workers want to work in environments that motivate and empower them, which is often a location of their choosing. He says, “If you give employees the freedom and flexibility they need, and trust them, you will increase the output.”

Fortunately technology has evolved to allow employees to seamlessly manage work and their day from the palm of their hand. The creation of apps allows for direct and constant communication, so there is no longer a risk of people falling behind.

The 2019 Global Innovation Awards

Presented in conjunction with YPO Innovation Week, the 2019 Global Innovation Awards are recognizing YPO members who are making an impact through transformation around the globe in four categories: social impact, medical, technology and manufacturing.

The 2019 YPO Global Innovation Awards

  • Medical: Johan Löf, CEO of RaySearch Laboratories AB, which supports thousands of clinics worldwide in the fight against cancer. By making oncology software faster, easier and more flexible, the company enables better care for cancer patients worldwide.
  • Social Impact: Mina Guli, CEO of Thirst, a nonprofit organization focused on tackling the world’s water scarcity crisis by educating and engaging the next generation of global water ambassadors.
  • Technology: Marcin Kleczynski, CEO of Malwarebytes, which imagines a world without malware, addressing the issue on a global scale for both consumers and businesses.
  • Manufacturing: James Rogers, CEO of Apeel, which helps farmers and retailers maintain produce quality and greatly reduce food, water, and energy waste from farm to kitchen.

The 2019 Global Innovation Award winners were selected from more than 90 nominations submitted by YPO members. A judging committee of YPO peers and a distinguished representative from Salesforce reviewed the submissions and determined the winners.

Tech Next - YPO EDGE 2020

This year’s recipients have been invited to attend Salesforce’s annual Dreamforce conference. Dreamforce brings together thought leaders, industry pioneers and the entire Salesforce community for four high-energy days of learning, inspiration, equality and fun. Salesforce is a YPO Global Strategic Partner and the presenting partner for the 2019 YPO Global Innovation Awards. The YPO and Salesforce partnership is focused on helping YPO members become better leaders, drive business transformation and connect to their customers in new ways.

YPO Innovation Week 2019 was held the week of 12 May. More information and a complete listing of events is available at www.ypoinnovationweek.com.

You can access more of YPO’s executive learning events from our 2019 Innovation Week here.