David Cummings, CEO of Atlanta Tech Village, recognizes the importance of having the right environment to foster innovation. There are only a small number of people who are innate innovators. If we want to drive our region to a place of global leadership, (and we do!) then we need to create environments that are rich in connection, collaboration and community. Insert the creative class, and you have a laboratory that is a breeding ground for sustainable innovation.
But innovation doesn’t come exclusively out of a lab, or an office building or a university. It can come from anywhere that connection points occur — a greenway, an online exchange, a community.
Katherine Kelley and Paul Morris, co-panelists at (co)lab 2013, spoke about the need to create environments that nurture people. The sense of a complete community is one that meets the full spectrum of housing, work and lifestyle needs and interests. Evidence is abundant — just look at the migration of “innovation companies” that are seeking office locations in urban, amenity-rich environments.
Robin Chase knows plenty about the importance of community and sharing. As the founder of BuzzCar and ZipCar, she has demonstrated the power of our new “collaborative economy”. Today, sharing is everywhere — it’s the new way of life. From social media to community networks, sharing cars, rides and even beds.
Genevieve Bos, founder of IdeaString, agrees. She identified that innovation comes from sharing — and not just tangible assets, but something even more valuable: sharing IDEAS. If continuous — even disruptive — innovation is the edge that we all seek, then we must commit to foster sharing in every possible manifestation.
Together, these speakers have captured the essence of collaborative leadership, and the inspiration for (co)lab 2013. (You can view their presentations by clicking on their names above.) By creating communities, we foster connections; through connections, we create sharing; and by sharing, we fuel a collaborative economy. This is the way that we will shape a dynamic, engaging and promising future for ourselves, our city and our region.