Moonshot Thinking to Unleash Innovation, Dr Pablo Rodriguez – Telefonica Alpha: MSR Cambridge, Lecture Series – Dr Pablo Rodriguez – Telefonica Alpha

December 12, 2019 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Microsoft Research Ltd, 21 Station Road, Cambridge
Microsoft Research Cambridge Talks Admins

Innovation in most large companies these days is fairly incremental. There is nothing inherently wrong in this, as much of our progress as a society has resulted from such innovation. Over recent years, however, we are seeing a radical departure from incremental innovation. Instead, we look at organisations who intentionally set extremely ambitious innovation objectives, where incremental innovation cannot get the job done.

The focus of this talk is to discuss the ways in which organisations mobilise resources to go after bold objectives which can move the needle: Moonshots. These are not incremental innovation activities, but instead multi-year missions that mobilise extensive scientific and technological resources to expand the horizons for both organizations and societies, and transform both in the process.

From the original IBM 360 mainframe computer, NASA, DARPA, Google X, or Telefonica´s skunkworks facility — Alpha, more and more organisations are trying to inductively develop a coherent approach to creating and executing organisational moonshots.

Doing so requires orchestrating diverse teams of data scientists, developers, programmers, technologists, and business strategists, to work together on audacious projects with the right culture and purpose. Moonshots will affect hundreds of millions of people, create a positive societal impact, and have the potential to grow into billion Euro businesses. Moonshot efforts at Alpha include areas of mental health, learning tutors, AI economies, or distributed energy, some of which will be discussed during the talk.