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Risks and rewards of innovation the centre of the debate

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Business leaders will be challenged to argue how an organisation might build and capitalise on a culture of innovation as part of a debate hosted by the Curtin Business School and DuPont Sustainable Solutions Australia this week.

As Curtin University celebrates ‘50 Years of Innovation’ in 2017, recognising the combined history with the Western Australian Institute of Technology (WAIT) since 1967, the debate aims to challenge the thinking around the role of innovation in organisations.

Professor Fran Ackermann, Dean of Research and Development at Curtin Business School, said two teams will go head-to-head to debate the most important concept for today’s organisations, which need to be more dynamic than ever before by fostering cultures that enable, support and genuinely promote innovation.

“Today’s continuous digital disruptions, changes in the socio-economic trends, and shifting political landscapes, are driving organisations to continually innovate to stay competitive,” Professor Ackermann said.

“Innovation is seen as critical to organisational performance and it has been argued that organisations can design and implement a culture of innovation with the right approach and tools.”

Mr Michele Villa, Director and Global Practices Leader at DuPont Sustainable Solutions, said DuPont would not be where it was today without continuous innovation.

“We see enormous opportunities for companies embracing an innovation-driven culture, which generates sustainable outcomes not only for the organisation but also for its stakeholders,” Mr Villa said.

“We are therefore proud to partner with Curtin Business School to promote innovation in Australia.”

Professor Ackermann said the debate aimed to explore the challenges of embedding a culture of innovation within an organisation.

“The concept of innovation sounds simple in theory but what is innovation and exactly how can you be more innovative?” she asked.

“These are the questions we really want to answer in this lively debate, which promises to challenge and inform conventional thinking about the role of innovation in organisations and map a way forward for how companies might implement innovative cultures.”

The debate will explore the proposition that ‘Any organisation can design, implement and capitalise on a culture of innovation’.

The team supporting the proposition will be made up of Jeanette Roberts, Director of Jeanette Roberts Consulting, and DuPont Sustainable Solutions Global Practice Leader Alexey Lesin. The team against will include Ideas2Results Director Rod Evans and Ernst & Young Mining and Metals Business Development Account Director Kristie Young.

The debate, which will include an opening keynote delivered by Woodside Energy Chief Science and Technology Manager Neil Kavanagh, will be held at the Curtin Graduate School of Business on 17 August 2017, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.

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