Making smart change happen: CEC WG on Smart Change organizes its second webinar

In the course of the second webinar organized by CEC WG on Smart Change, the debate focused on how open innovation and organizational evolution contribute to create better and more effective business, to better shape the business environment of today and tomorrow.

Moderated by Marco Vezzani, CEC Deputy Secretary General, the webinar took place on October 18, 2022. During the two-hour debate, speakers have been invited to express their views on how companies and economic actors are modifying their operational structure to cope with the complexity in which they operate, and how the traditional tools for fostering innovation (including from the perspective of building resilient eco-systems) need to evolve to embrace the challenge of open innovation and ensure effectiveness and sustainability in company proceedings.

The first section of the webinar was dedicated to exploring the most recent trends in innovation. Introduced by Silvia Pugi, the first speaker, Marouane Abdellaoui, Managing Director for Europe of Mind the Bridge, a start-up company supporting businesses and governments create innovation ecosystems, focused on the notion and importance of open innovation. Mr. Marouane provided an overview of the tools that allow for a successful open innovation mechanism and the different steps of the process to be put in place, before shedding light on the most recent trends in the field of open innovation. After this introduction, Ernesto Ciorra, Chief Innovability Officer at Enel, could bring the successful example of how ENEL, one of the world’s leading energy companies, has transformed the innovation process – or innovability, as the specificity of innovation necessary to guarantee sustainability and the ultimate survival of the company – into one of the pillars of the company’s business culture and overall approach. Finally, Francesca Perrone, Head of UnionStart Lab at Unicredit, could bring the case of UnicreditBank, one of the leading banking groups in Europe, that has created a structured business platform to support start-ups and SMEs, offering new services and conquering new markets in innovation-related fields.

In the second part of the webinar, Nina Langerholc Cebokli introduced the second block of discussion, presenting the most recent trends in organizational development and design, identifying innovative examples of best practices, and putting these in a wider systemic context that looks at how they are reflected in societal terms. The discussion was opened by Violeta Bulc, former Member of the Slovenian government and European Commissioner and currently curator of the Eco-civilisation program, who proposes a comprehensive approach to innovation, adopting a broader perspective that starts from the concept of civilization. Ms. Bulc could illustrate the functioning of a model that connects the different evolutionary steps through which companies need to pass – from the traditional hierarchy-based structure to the current innovation-based model, empowered by focusing on human capital and creativity. The last speaker, Director of Tricordant Nick Richmond, introduced the concept of designing in fog, to stress the difficulty of imagining new paths for organizational development in a context where fundamentals change every day and adaptation must become the rule. To overcome this fog, driving the digitization process and “industrializing” the innovation process (in order to transform it into a sustainable and lasting feature of evolving companies) while investing on the human capital becomes essential.

You can find below a link to a more complete report of the meeting, and download the PowerPoint presentations screened during the webinar. If you would like to watch the recording from the webinar, please visit the following page on CEC’s YouTube Channel.

Download here the full report of the webinar
Download here the presentations Marouane Abdellaoui , Francesca Perrone, Violeta Bulc  and Nick Richmond
Watch the recording of the video on YouTube