Recently I was fortunate enough to attend the Edison Awards in New York. It is always reassuring and inspiring to be immersed in an atmosphere where you are encouraged to be and think differently. Innovation is alive and well.

The Edison Awards were originally founded in 1987 and celebrate the legacy of the great inventor, Thomas Edison. They’re mission is to recognize, honor and foster innovation and innovators creating a positive impact in our world. The awards honor excellence in new product and service development, marketing, human-centered design and innovation.

The awards are not limited to any specific industry, but focus on areas of innovation, including a category for Collective Disruption. As you can guess, that’s my favorite one. The organization describes the Collective Disruption Award as such:

The Collective Disruption Award is presented to a group of organizations that together have … undertaken the challenge of working collaboratively with partners to create transformative innovation and market disrupting new solutions. The award can also be presented to an infrastructure or ecosystem platform provider that enables established large enterprise and entrepreneurial co-creation and collaboration.”

Their perspective of collective disruption and its importance in creating transformative innovation is music to my ears, which is why I was honored to partner with them for this awards category through my company, Venture2.

The 2016 Collective Disruption award winners each supported the mission of collaborative innovation in their own way. They were:

  • Gold – Cisco CHILL Labs. Cisco Hyperinnovation Living Labs (CHILL) brings together multiple companies to drive disruptive industry-scale innovation. Living Labs emphasize live customer involvement, rapid prototyping, live testing, and lean startup principles. They are creating new partnership models with other companies to tackle difficult and shared problems, especially those problems that need community or networked solutions to be effective and seamless, like the Internet of Everything (IoE).  I highlight CHILL and its leader, Kate O’Keefe, in a case study included in Chapter 10, “Leadership in This New Era,” of my my book, Collective Disruption.
  • Silver – GreenTouch Green Meter. The Green Meter study analyzed different methods of energy efficiency, specifically regarding energy usage in telecommunications. The findings create a technology roadmap that leads to 98% energy reduction while supporting future applications and traffic growth.  GreenTouch is a global collaborative consortium of 48 industry and academic partners.
  • Bronze – Local Scene by Uber and Hilton. Hilton and Uber teamed up to bring the hospitality industry and sharing economy together to deliver Local Scene and Ride Reminder. Travelers in 20 different cities can view local hot spots, like restaurants and bars, based on their drop-off popularity with Uber riders. The access the information through the HHonors app.
  • Bronze – MasterClass. MasterClass offers affordable online classes from the best in the world so anyone anywhere can get access to genius (e.g. Dustin Hoffman teaches acting; Serena Williams teaches tennis, James Patterson teaches writing). Classes are filmed by Academy and Emmy award winning directors and feature interactive tools, making classes as engaging as watching TV.

Being recognized with an Edison Award is one of the highest honors a company can receive in the name of innovation. If your company is on the cutting edge in any of the categories, you should consider getting on the list to be notified about the 2017 nomination process. You can get an idea of the categories and subcategories by reviewing the 2016 winners.