Stories to change the world

At BIF, we believe storytelling can change the world. We act on that belief every year with the Collaborative Innovation Summit. Explore the archive of stories through which we've been inspired, learned together, and co-created the future narrative. 

Retired Founder/Chairman

Boston Scientific

The USS Grunion was a Gato-class submarine named for a small fish of the silversides family, indigenous to the western American coast. Under the command of Lieutenant Commander Mannert L. Abele, she launched on December 22nd, 1941 with 70 crew members aboard. On July 30, 1942, the submarine reported intensive antisubmarine activity and was ordered back to Dutch Harbor Naval Operating Base in the Aleutian Islands off of mainland Alaska. The Grunion was never heard from nor seen again.

Director, Industrial Design department

RISD

Internationally recognized design and project leader Mickey Ackerman has spent decades teaching designers how to define problems clearly and then solve those problems through multidisciplinary teamwork. As Director of RISD's Industrial Design department, Ackerman established a portfolio of sponsored projects and created real-world design solutions for industry leaders such as Intel, Rubbermaid, Frigidaire and General Mills.

CMO,

Extreme Networks

Vala Afshar is the CMO for Extreme Networks, responsible for global marketing and customer service and support operations. An award-winning inventor of social technologies and customer services operations, Vala is considered a pioneer in cloud computing, social collaboration, business intelligence, and customer relationship management. Vala is also the author of The Pursuit of Social Business Excellence.

Artist

Marla Allison is trying to do something that hasn’t been seen yet. As an artist living and working in Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico, the influences on her work date back to the pre-Columbian era. So, it’s difficult to do something new under the sun.

Nevertheless, Allison brings freshness to ancient Native American artistic practices by putting her own twist on centuries-old patterns in pottery, painting and weaving, and by beautifully blending her traditionally-derived sensibilities with the best of today’s mixed media.

President

Innosight

Scott is President of strategy and consulting firm Innosight. Scott has worked with Fortune 500 and start-up companies in industries such as media (print and broadcast), consumer products, investment banking, transportation and logistics, healthcare, medical devices, software, petrochemicals, and communications equipment.

CEO

Swat Team Partners

Randy Antik is currently CEO of Swat Team Partners. Swat Team Partners provides growth strategy consulting to marketing leaders for major corporations at the CEO/CMO level in technology, retail, marketing services, and health care. Clients/projects include: EDS, RadioShack, AMD, Agere, Neiman...

Senior Curator, Architecture & Design

Museum of Modern Art

Paola Antonelli is one of the world's foremost design experts and was recently rated  one of the top one hundred most powerful people in the world of art by Art Review. She is a Senior Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art. Antonelli received her MA in Architecture from Milan Polytechnic in 1990, and worked at the design magazines Domus and Abitare before coming to MoMA in 1994. Antonelli is known for her eclecticism, and has curated well-received shows such as Design and the Elastic Mind (2008), an exhibition on science, design, and innovation and Workspheres (2001), devoted to the workplace of the near future. Antonelli has taught design history and theory at UCLA and Harvard and is the author of Humble Masterpieces: Everyday Marvels of Design, and co-author of 2008 book Design and the Elastic Mind.

Co-Founder

23andMe

In promoting her new genetic testing company, 23andMe, Linda Avey finds that people are highly inquisitive about how the process works. How long after mailing my saliva collection tube will my genetic data be posted on the Web site? What will I learn about my genetic predispositions to hundreds of inherited diseases or physical traits? What, exactly, is my ancestral path?

Professor

Institute for Exploration and University of Rhode Island

Robert Ballard is best known for his 1985 discovery of the Titanic. Ballard is director of the University of Rhode Island's Institute for Archaeological Oceanography.

Founder and CEO

BzzAgent, Inc.

As consumers, we are all word-of-mouth marketers. We buy a product, love it and share our opinion with a couple of our friends. Conversely, if we hate the product, well we certainly don't keep that view to ourselves. Either way, what we say can have a dramatic impact on a company's bottom line. Of course the difficulty for marketers is creating the right kind of buzz with enough momentum to carry it over the tipping point. Dave Balter, founder and CEO of BzzAgent and his network of 300,000 volunteer agents believe they've figured out a way to crack that code.

Director of Business Innovation

Intel Corporation

Brandon Barnett has spent his career experimenting with strategies to achieve new growth businesses: inventing new technologies, incubating new businesses, and most recently researching fundamentals of new market landscapes. Currently, as Director of Business Innovation in Intel Labs, Brandon is focused on executing research programs in the area of business analytics and external incubation.

Robotocist,

Beatty Robotics

Fourteen-year-old Camille Beatty makes robots with her Dad (Robert) and eleven-year-old sister Genevieve. Last year they built two Mars Rover replicas for the New York Hall of Science. While her specialty is machining, she also loves riding horses and playing the piano.