Taking ‘Think Outside the Box’ to a New Level at IACC

At a time when “thinking outside the box” has become a rallying cry for the meetings industry and other industries, a faculty member at Singularity University in Seattle is encouraging an even more disruptive approach.

Basically, it’s to go beyond thinking outside the box by transcending even that box.

“If I’m interested in creating a better Inkjet printer, I’m not going to just improve upon the current models—HP will do that. I would want to create what comes next,” said Pablos Holman in his keynote address, “Innovate or Die Trying,” at 2019 IAAC Connect, currently being held in Toronto.

Holman teaches at Singularity, an organization that focuses on preparing global leaders and organizations for the future. He emphasizes that in other contexts, as well—including the meetings and conventions industry—a more radical approach is needed than simply building upon past work.

“The meetings industry needs to provide a context in which people can come up with ideas, test them and then share results,” he said.

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Holman stated that there may be far more failures than successes, but that disruptive experimentation is necessary to attain ground-breaking achievements. As an example of how critical this new way of approaching problem-solving is, he cited the current malaria outbreak, in which 725,000 people die each year.

“We can and we will eradicate malaria in our lifetime, but it won’t be done by reading an instruction book: We need to be inventive,” Holman said.

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