Building an innovation network of trust

Innovation Pioneers brings together innovation leaders from Swedish organisations, startups, academia and the public sector since 2008. What makes the network unique is its members and the sense of trust – working together to solve hands-on innovation challenges within the group. We spoke with Dariush Ghatan, initiator of Innovation Pioneers, about the present and future.

“Back in 2008, we sat 20 innovation leaders from different organizations down together to discuss how to better support each other on our innovation journeys. We came up with the idea of building an innovation network focused on sharing knowledge”, explains Dariush and continues:

“Knowledge is everywhere, but we need to find ways to attach to that knowledge, and to extract what is most important to us. We started Innovation Pioneers as a network where you would be exposed to different types of questions, and then use the collective intelligence of the group to extract knowledge and bring back hands-on learnings to each organization.”

Dariush Ghatan has over 18 years experience of working as a specialist in innovation management, supporting organisations with how they work with innovation. He’s one of the people that has been an active part of the network from start.

Today, Innovation Pioneers consists of innovation leaders and practitioners from 40+ initiator and member companies. The group continues to meet four times per year for tank meetings on specific subjects and methods, as well as annually for Innovation Pioneers Summit.

What makes Innovation Pioneers unique?

“The one uniqueness of the network is the members. We have members from large organizations, start ups and world leaders, in every type of industry and every phase of maturity of the company.”

“During these years, since 2008, each time I come to a meeting, people express what challenges they have, openly and with a lot of trust. We listen to each other, and co-solve different types of challenges. If there isn’t a solution out there, like a method, we help develop it. I think that trust and the members are what make Innovation Pioneers unique.

Where do you see Innovation Pioneers going forward?

“One challenge that we have is how to grow this network into something bigger without loosing the trust. If we look at how social networking has developed, it becomes apparent that it is possible to have trust without being in the same room, or knowing each individual within a group in-depth. We will continue to be a network for innovation leaders and those around these from different companies aimed at helping each other by sharing knowledge.”

“I hope that in ten years time, we’ll be able to have grown to ten times more members, that collaborate and share knowledge to create a library of methods and tools to be used for innovation and innovation management. The library will be under constant development, where it is possible to feed back into each subject and add new learnings as the world progresses.”

“In the past we’ve seen members come together and collaborate around different projects and processes. I hope that we can continue to be an arena where companies meet to start possible collaborations around innovation together. And potentially, also a place where you can turn to find resources to support your own innovation journey, sharing knowledge, tools and energy from the other member companies.”

To find out more about Innovation Pioneers and what it means to be a member, read more about the network or contact Matias Pakarinen.

Selection of our Initiators & Members