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Triad Innovation Week: How might we engage with neighboring communities to propel ideas that lead?

Updated: Jun 4, 2019

CHALLENGE:

The Piedmont Triad cities of Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point have a proud history of industry with an economy traditionally tied to textiles, furniture, and tobacco. World-class educational institutions and impressive infrastructure are evidence of the area’s excellence in commerce.

Now, as the world has changed at lightning speed, leaders in the Triad are thoughtfully eyeing the future and vying to position the region as a hub for innovation. So together we asked the question: using the resources unique to the area, how can we equip the Triad to create solutions for impending challenges and hone in on a regional identity of innovative thinking?


ACTION:

First, we met for a roundtable discussion an amazing group of leaders, people heading up some of the most important organizations centered around creativity, startups, and economic growth in the Triad. Together, we created a plan for Ignite the Triad, an innovation week to teach innovation methods and begin discussions sparking big change.

We planned to move from group to group throughout the week with a selection of Spark Sessions (to teach ideation strategies and brainstorm solutions), each tailored to a specific challenge chosen by the Triad organizations. Innovation Week would crescendo with a breakdown of the ideas and outcomes at Venture Cafe in Winston-Salem. The leaders aptly named this our “Innovation Slam.”



IMPACT:

The collaboration of these organizations (powerhouses in their own right) to rally behind a week of innovation within the Triad was a testament to the synergistic dynamism of the area. In short, we found that the Piedmont Triad is ready to explode, and the people and organizations that call this place home have the energy and resources to make a global entrance to the innovation scene if equipped with the right tools.

Spark sessions addressed such impressive challenges as the intersection of immersive tech with existing Triad verticals, tackling economic immobility alongside higher education, and cultivating regional tech talent. Over the week, we witnessed hundreds of conversations over groundbreaking ideas to create lasting positive change.

Ignite the Triad yielded inspiration of a bold future for a strong and industrious region. The power of focused creativity can generate the kind of action that a forward-facing area may harness to carry it into the future in a way a prosperous past can foreshadow but never predict. We are so excited to follow the hard work and brilliant creativity of the Piedmont Triad into the growth and success that its residents so deserve.



Special thanks to these amazing movers and shakers who are supporting phenomenal work in the Triad and who helped make this amazing week come together- Media and Emerging Technology Lab (METL), Hustle Winston Salem, Center for Creative Economy, Flywheel, Launch GSO, Winston Starts and Venture Cafe Winston Salem!


#innovation #casestudy #igniteinnovationweek



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