In October 2016, the IIT Institute of Design invited me to participate in the organization and curation of activities for the second version of The Strategy World Tour. The event provided a behind-the-scenes look at the work of leaders in highly innovative organizations both large and small. Twenty individuals were invited to join three-day tours in Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia. During each tour, participants had several discussions about strategy with the leaders who are driving design and innovation in multiple companies and with the founders of start-ups and social service organizations creating the next wave of innovation. The IIT Institute of Design Strategy World Tour took participants to transforming cites to experience innovation where it is most critical. All of this was done with the goal to enrich the experience for a final event in Chicago, when participants and industry leaders would convene to discuss what we discovered in the preceding cities. The 2016 version started in São Paulo, Brazil. The city is going through a rapid pace of change. The critical crises across many sectors suggests opportunities for systems-led advancement that design can support inform. Together with a diverse group of strategists, executives, researchers, students, thinkers, and leaders, we went through immersive experiences, previously curated to showcase initiatives where design contributions have been expanded or re-invented. Among others, we visited leaders of the emerging finch industry like Nubank and Jeitto. Both companies are leveraging new digital technology to provide financial services previously unavailable in the region, as well as pushing the envelope on creative banking solutions. We met influential venture capitalists who support startups and workshop in the maker space WE FAB. We visited Fluxo, a networked journalism collective created by Bruno Torturra, responsible for Mídia Ninja, a journalism phenomenon that emerged from the protests in Brazil. We explored emerging examples of innovation solutions in education and those stemming from the global maker movement, as well as healthcare companies advancing on new models and platforms with more inclusive services.
After the tour, I was invited to write one piece about the main topics that emerged during conversations. While the level of complexity was high, my goal was to translate the experience to a non-academic audience. More specifically, I was intrigued to write to other students who did not get the chance to go, but were excited to learn about it. I wrote one journey-style blog post for each day, with the intention to expand this conversation in a more accessible, yet personal way. Click on the links below to see the blog posts.