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Achieving Radical Innovation While Keeping it Real to Survive are the Key Themes at Accelerate 2017

Accelerate 2017’s keynote speakers from LEGO and New York Times provide insights into how to innovate to survive

9 June 2017 – The Accelerate 2017 event series being held across Australia and New Zealand from 13-22 June features global visionaries from LEGO and New York Times, that have overcome significant disruption in their specific industries and near failure, to become the dominant brands in their fields today.

David Gram, Senior Innovation Director at LEGO’s Future Lab, which is credited for driving the 85-year-old company’s innovation agenda and saving the brand from possible extinction, believes that a more radical approach to innovation is required if brands want to stay relevant and survive.

“Think big and start small, act like a lean start-up and don’t splash the cash!” said David Gram. “Use a design thinking approach to fake it before you make it, ensuring you do not assume a new idea is right for too long.”

Dr James Slezak, ex-COO of New York Times, who led the digital transformation of the re-imagined international publication, believes that to survive, organisations increasingly have to be real.

“Leaders must manage substance, not just perception. Amongst all the disruption and fake news, what increasingly may matter most is keeping it real, as authenticity is getting increasingly harder to fake,” said Dr James Slezak.

Sponsored by Certus Solutions, Accelerate 2017 will feature three separate events on one day, each designed to address specific areas of business disruption:

1.     The Executive Breakfast Briefing is from 8.00 - 10.30, incorporating a cognitive breakfast inspired by Chef Watson and featuring keynote speakers talking about disruption and innovation in their specific industries, including David Gram from LEGO and a panel discussion, hosted by Dr James Slezak from New York Times.

2. A Lunch and Learn - focused on new market and product development in the face of digital disruption from 11 am - 4 pm. Featuring Dr James Slezak sharing his insights on how New York Times is navigating digital disruption and the way personalisation is changing the brand experience. The other speakers will explain design thinking and how introducing this approach can enable organisations to transform everyday user experiences and reinvent traditional business models in response to digital disruption.

3.     The Lunch and Learn - focused on process and systems design also from 11 am- 4 pm. Featuring Astronaut Mike Mullane - three-times Space Shuttle Mission Specialist - in a video interview on balancing risk against mission success. The other speakers will discuss how we can apply lessons from the space programme to building better systems and process as well as take advantage of the Internet of Things.

For any organisation that wants to learn what is happening at the coalface of innovation, this event will help businesses prosper in the face of disruption, the last few tickets for the Accelerate events are available for the following locations and you can reserve your place at Eventbrite.


Queens Wharf Ballroom
33 Queens Wharf
Wellington 6011

Book tickets

Everybody’s - Level 1
Imperial Lane, 7 Fort Lane
Auckland 1010

Book tickets

Melbourne Arts Centre Members Lounge
100 St Kilda Road
Melbourne 3004

Book tickets


Ivy Sunroom - Level 3, Ivy

330 George Street
Sydney, NSW 2000

Book tickets


About Certus

Certus brings fresh ideas to enterprises across Australia and New Zealand, using the power and capability of IBM software. Every day more than 600 corporate and government organisations rely on software, technology and licensing solutions provided by a team of over 200 people at Certus. Spanning Digital Business Strategy, Information Management, Business Analytics, Enterprise Asset Management, Mobility and Cloud, Certus helps its clients make relevant choices, deliver tangible results and connect project outcomes to customer expectations. For more information please see: www.certussolutions.com or for images to go with this story please see http://bit.ly/CertusMediaImages.