The Innovation Race Keynote Speaker Sessions

Keynote Speaker Gaia Grant on Gartner Stage

Who wins, who loses, who gets eliminated?
— and why we need to change the innovation game.

Why have some great countries, cultures and companies charged ahead at the forefront of innovation, while others have struggled to survive? Who are the most innovative cultures in the world and why? And what does this mean for organizations today and for the race to survive and thrive?

Through drawing out fascinating insights from different cultures around the world this keynote presentation series reveals principles we can all use to improve the way we think about innovation and ultimately change the game.

Are you a traveler or a tourist, or just a passive observer, when it comes to the innovation race? Most conference attendees seem to want to hear current market leaders share their predictions, hoping to pick up the latest trends in innovation and stay head of the curve. But at best, this can just be an adrenaline hit for a passive audience, and not offer any real actionable solutions to see just how innovation ready we are, and what we need to do about it. Our global & historical research from a broad range of cultures, can give a sobering understanding on what it will take to stay in the innovation race. This is a ‘futurist keynote’ with a difference, providing real strategies that will allow the much talked about ‘Forth Industrial Revolution’ to be a growth opportunity, rather than a disruptive (eliminating) threat. (Presented at the APEC CEO Summit, Danang)

Companies like Google may appear to be leading in the ‘innovation race’, but do they have all the solutions and can they be simply copied? Our research has revealed that most companies today only have half the story right, and that a new perspective and model is needed to overcome the challenges. This presentation identifies core sustainable innovation strategies for surviving and thriving in ‘the innovation race’. It reveals that by simply changing perspective, new ideas can be better supported through to implementation. Discover how to lead and manage innovation through successfully navigating the 4 key innovation paradoxes. Practical strategies and the ‘polar positioning’ tool are introduced to show how to navigate these paradoxical tensions successfully. The fast-paced global adventure reveals how different cultures and companies around the world have effectively managed the key Exploration / Preservation innovation paradox, along with the 4 contributing sub-paradoxes.

How often do we stop to think about why and how we innovate? Are we in danger of innovating for the sake of innovating? This session dives deep below the surface of the most innovative cultures, and challenges the typical assumption that innovation is simply about designing bigger, better, and faster products and services. It suggests, instead, that innovation should be about creative culture change, and explores how to create a purpose-driven innovation culture.

How to identify and develop your individual, your team’s and your organization’s innovation strengths for maximizing innovation at all levels. Includes a fascinating validated assessment and interactive ‘speed dating’ and ‘in or out’ exercises to help people explore their unique perspectives and potential.

How can leaders deal with the complexities and challenges of constant change? This session prepares leaders for sustainable innovation. The insights from Gaia Grant’s latest doctoral research reveal how understanding ‘Paradoxical Innovation Orientations’ (PIOs) at the individual, team and organisation level can enable ambidexterity and assist with strategic alignment. Based on her White Paper on the topic, and drawing from thousands of survey responses, multiple interviews with heads of innovation and a deep dive immersion into 2 year long organisations– along with her consulting work with organisations over 30 years – Gaia shares about how successful leaders can effectively utilise the tensions between ‘fixed’ and ‘future’ mindsets to fuel sustainable development and growth. The rare insights combine rigorous academic research with practical business experience to equip leaders to prepare a culture for innovation implementation.

Our keynote innovation speakers are Tirian Directors Andrew Grant and Gaia Grant, co-authors of the breakthrough new book The Innovation Race: How to change a culture to change the game along with international bestseller Who Killed Creativity?... And how can we get it back?. Andrew and Gaia are top-ranked keynote speakers and Gaia is a doctoral researcher (PhD) and lecturer at the University of Sydney Business School. Between them they have designed and published over 7 books and 30 educational resources used by Fortune 500 companies through to NFPs worldwide.


  • Fast paced engaging stories and humor
  • Original insights and research from experience of over 20 years in the field
  • Interactive exercises
  • Fascinating sociological, anthropological, psychological and business research presented in an accessible way
  • Thought-provoking case studies
  • Practical tools and strategies


  • Recommended practical actions illustrated through contemporary and historic case studies
  • ‘Polar positioning’ tool for identifying and addressing the key innovation paradoxes that can support ideation through to implementation
  • Introduction to iCi Innovation Culture profile tool to identify current state and desired future state for individual organisations.
  • Introduction to iCLi Innovative Change Leader profile tool to identify individual innovation strengths and challenges and readiness for the future.

Keynote speakers on stage promo videos


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