How INNOVATEWest is harnessing diversity in thinking to drive innovation

Co-founder David Tyldesley shares how the event’s approach and programming will foster breakthrough ideas — and action

Diversity in thinking is one of the most powerful drivers of innovation. Yet, it’s often not harnessed as it’s either misunderstood or overlooked.

The concept goes beyond bringing together experts from different backgrounds or cultures or providing a platform for them to voice their ideas. It’s about creating opportunities for people to lean into and share the different ways they see and approach problems — which research shows is a catalyst for coming up with breakthrough ideas. 

One such opportunity taking place between April 16 and 17 is INNOVATEWest, a cross-sector conference gathering an array of tech and business leaders through various panels and networking opportunities. Organized by the locally-run and leading conference and tradeshow company, Cube Business Media, the event marks the biggest of its kind in recent years since the BC Tech Summit and Traction.

Cube Business Media co-founders, David Tyldesley and Mark Stephenson

Fostering alignment

David Tyldesley, co-founder of Cube Business Media, shared what sets INNOVATEWest apart from other events aside from its scale is its intention. 

“Vancouver has many great events that are focused on their own verticals,” said Tyldesley. “Here's a chance for all these different communities to come together around the common theme of innovation. So what we've done is made an effort to break down these silos and bring all these different business and tech leaders together.” 

INNOVATEWest’s programming is set up in a way that allows for different sectors to not only connect with but learn from each other.

“We have so many great SaaS companies in Vancouver,” Tyldesley explained. “What can those SaaS companies learn from gaming? [...] It's all about growing sustainable and successful businesses.”

Tyldesley highlighted that INNOVATEWest will feature over 100 speakers, including many globally recognized leaders who don’t often speak in Vancouver. For example, Guy Kawasaki, the Silicon Valley legend renowned for his role as Apple's original chief evangelist, will be the event’s keynote speaker.

Carefully curated

To ensure diversity across the event, INNOVATEWest put together a steering committee with more than 60 members.

“We've never run a steering committee so big,” said Tyldesley. “We leveraged their expertise [...] They helped us come up with the topics and get going on the programming,” highlighting that he and his team and the committee pulled everything together within about eight months.

INNOVATEWest’s steering committee include Paulina Cameron, CEO of The Forum, Brandon Zhao, partner at Two Small Fish Ventures, Preeti Shivpuri, executive director at Deloitte Canada, William Johnson, founder of the Vancouver Tech Journal, and many more notable leaders.

‘All about action’

What Tyldesley hopes people will take away from INNOVATEWest is that the event is all about action.

“The number one thing we hear when we talk to [...] leaders is that they want something tactical,” explained Tyldesley. “They want to come home from this conference with something they can implement right away that will help propel their business forward.”

Tyldesley said attendees can expect to leave INNOVATEWest with a new investor, more customers, or some knowledge instrumental to their business.

“It’s really about learning from the best,” highlighted Tyldesley. “It just happens to be in Vancouver, but it's not just about Vancouver. This is about being successful on a global scale.”

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