Last Friday I joined several hundred others at NYU’s Skirball Center for Performing Arts for the Disruptor Foundation’s 5th Annual Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards (TDIA). The Foundation promotes and applauds disruptive innovation beyond the borders of industry into meaningful social arenas. And their awards showcase those “whose ideas have broken the mold to create significant impact”.
Fine words indeed: and fine words butter no parsnips, as Disruptor Foundation co-founders Clayton M. Christensen, Craig Hatkoff, and Rabbi Irwin Kula of the, know all too well.
Proceeding from Christensen’s Disruptive Innovation Theory, which shows how simpler, cheaper technologies create products and services that dethrone incumbent leaders, TDIA showcases real world innovation in the fields of healthcare, education, and international development; as well as politics and advocacy; media, the arts and entertainment. Accordingly, their awards are awards with a difference; created by and for people who are truly making a difference; the thinkers who are, in fact, also doers.
The array of this year’s award honorees, the scope and scale of their imagination, ambitions, and achievements, are simply staggering. Here (not to mention the “Fosbury Flop”, the NIH, nine year old Asher Weintraub, the City of Pittsburgh, His Holiness Pope Francis, and many more) are a sample of seven:
Yael Cohen, founder and CEO of Fuck Cancer
Pulaski Academy High School Coach Kevin Kelly http://www.tribecadisruptiveinnovationawards.com/kevin-kelley/
Singer, songwriter, and playwright Amanda Palmer http://www.tribecadisruptiveinnovationawards.com/amanda-palmer/
Jay Walker, creator of Priceline and founder & Chairman of LabTV http://www.tribecadisruptiveinnovationawards.com/jay-walker/
Founder and CEO of Afghan Citadel Software Company, Roya Mahboob
Chef Dominique Ansel who created the Cronut™ http://www.tribecadisruptiveinnovationawards.com/cronut-product-of-the-year/
Yancey Strickler, co-founder and CEO of Kickstarter http://www.tribecadisruptiveinnovationawards.com/kickstarter-christensen-prize/
I can’t recommend these people and their stories to you highly enough. They’re powerful proof of the themes exemplified throughout the awards ceremony: 1) people are amazing, 2) ideas are exhilarating, and 3) innovation isn’t just about selling more stuff, its about both the serendipitous and serious social issues being addressed in new and exciting ways all over the world right now.
There’s no telling what these stories may inspire in your own life and work. You’ll find all of them here. And I bet you can’t read just one:
Copyright Louis MacM. Killeffer May, 2014
All rights reserved. Five Mile River Marketing, LLC
image credit: disruptorfoundation.org
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Lou Killeffer is a Principal with Five Mile River Marketing. A versatile marketing strategist, Lou’s passion for communications and innovation has made him a trusted advisor to some of the world’s most enduring businesses and brands, from AT&T to UPS, where he helps enterprises embrace change, look ahead, and focus on sustaining success.