Last month, myself and Maxwell Luthy, TrendWatching’s (New York-based) Director of Trends & Insights, reconvened in Dubai for two presentations and a workshop. To say it was a whirlwind trip is an understatement of the highest order – during those 48 hours we were stranded in a flash flood (apparently it does rain in the Middle East!), got lost in the world’s second largest shopping mall and gazed down at the landscape from the tallest building in the world.
But the real purpose of our trip wasn’t to gaze upon man-made marvels, rather to host an ideation session with a government agency who already have a culture of innovation embedded into their strategy – including a purpose-built Innovation Lab. The first session was held with a 35-strong audience from the management team, and included a consumer trend presentation led by Max, followed by a one-hour idea-generation session using TrendWatching’s Consumer Trend Canvas.
Each team took a different trend and applied it to challenges identified by client, mostly centered around improving mobility and transport across the city. The ideas that came out of the session were excellent; each team showed their competitive streak with some less-than-honest voting tactics ;)
The following day, we attended the quarterly Leadership Team Meeting to present each idea to the most senior members of the agency. Immediately after each pitch, a short discussion ensued and an on-the-spot decision about the innovation’s relevance and usefulness was made.
It was particularly exciting for Max and I because all four ideas were accepted and progressed to the next stage during the meeting – that’s idea to implementation in less than 24 hours! Of all the workshops we’ve ever given as an organization, that’s probably the fastest turnaround we’ve ever witnessed. If a government authority can make that commitment to innovation… what’s stopping you?
So that was 48 hours in Dubai – unexpected, innovative and anything but dull!
TrendWatching have given 350+ keynote speeches and workshops in over 50 countries over the last five years. Both Vicki and Max are highly sought-after speakers, regularly delivering insight-packed presentations and workshops on how to analyse and apply trends across the globe. Find out more about our LIVE offerings here.