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December 2020

ICEMD holds its first Enterprise Innovation Summit 2020: Voyager to Innovation

Publicado por: Barcelona

On 11 November, ICEMD, ESIC’s Innovation Institute, held its first Enterprise Innovation Summit, a new space of reference for talking about and discussing innovation within the company. A range of experts and businesspeople from well-known brands took part in the event by sharing their experiences and ideas about innovation and how it influences everyday aspects of their organizations.

According to Eduardo Gómez, Director-General of ESIC: “Innovation is not so much a question of doing as of being”. In line with this philosophy, the Enterprise Innovation Summit 2020 was presented as a great journey, the details of which were explained by Enrique Benayas, Director-General of ICEMD and Director of Corporate Education at ESIC: “This event aspires to be an expedition of discovery of the different stages or stations on the path towards innovation, in order to obtain a clear definition as to what it involves and how it can be achieved”. The different speakers set out the following stages of this journey:

Station 1 – Megatrends

The first stop on this expedition centred on Joost Van Nispen, the founder and President of ICEMD, who presented the context and framework in which innovation is currently taking place, reviewing the big trends worldwide that are redefining our world and affecting innovation. These include the increasing digitalization of all business sectors, the gamification of our lifestyle, responsible consumption, the increased value given to all things local, the search for personal identity within the collective, the increasing desire for human relations, the search for authenticity, credibility and transparency, the construction of a brand purpose which coincides with the interests and ideals of today's society, and finally, respect for the privacy of users.

In the words of Joost Van Nispen, “we must go back to basics, giving the consumers reasons for trusting us. In order to serve the consumer, we must know how to listen before we start speaking. In ICEMD, our approach to innovation is based on active listening, applied research and collaborative learning. These aspects are essential for open, sustainable innovation that is committed to bringing about a better world”.

Station Two – Young Talents

The second stop on this journey offered a showcase for professionals who are daily engaged in innovation processes, young talents who use the support provided by technology to find solutions for new needs driven by the huge trends mentioned earlier. The experts invited to offer their views and explain which aspects they considered most important for encouraging innovation were: Elia Legaz, co-founder of DSIGN·CLOUD; Carlos Matilla, co-founder and CEO of FuVeX; David Purón, co-founder and Executive Director of Barbara IoT; and Blanca Montero, co-founder of Next Station.

Although this group of entrepreneurs came from very diverse sectors, they presented numerous converging conclusions, such as the risk involved in innovation, the fact that errors are inevitable but at the same time beneficial for making progress, and a shared understanding that innovation must always have a practical purpose. The ways of achieving this objective may vary, but the mission, which must always be linked to solving a problem faced by consumers, must remain at the heart of innovation and must therefore also be part of corporate identity.

Station Three – The role of the CIO / Company Case Studies

The third stop on this expedition focuses on the CIO’s of large companies, who shared with us how they are managing innovation in their respective fields. These included Natalia Bayona, Director of Innovation, Education and Investment at the World Tourism Organization; Eva Ivars Buiges, CEO of Alain Afflelou; Pablo Montoliu, Head of Information and Innovation at Aon and Jorge Herrero, Director of Innovation and the Development of New Businesses at eBay.

By referring to their respective fields, these important executives shared specific technological solutions for solving specific problems, such as using Big Data or Artificial Intelligence. The guests agreed that innovation can manifest itself in two ways: firstly, by creating answers for new solutions, and secondly by speeding up existing processes. In both cases, it is vital to be part of a competitive business model so as to be able to detect the needs in both directions. 

Station Four – The best of the ICEMD Innovation Series

María Albalá, Director of the ICEMD’s Innovation Hub was in charge of Station Four, which focused on how innovation is changing the ways in which people interact.

Changes have been observed for example in relation with the environment, in which sustainability and environmental responsibility have become increasingly important. Innovation has also changed our relationship with clients, which can be personalized to a much higher degree by making the most of everything that digitalisation has to offer; it has changed our relationship with technology, which has seeped into all aspects of our lives, from health to education; it has changed our relationship with data management, as in today's society it is vital to have quantitative and qualitative data in order to design a high impact innovation strategy; and finally, it has also changed our relationship with innovation itself, which is no longer a private, internal process and has now become an open, public process in which companies hope to gain social recognition and improve their competitiveness.

Station Five – Interview with Ignacio Rivera

At the last station on our journey, Enrique Benayas conducted a live interview with Ignacio Rivera, CEO of Hijos de Rivera S.A.U. (the company behind such well-known products as Estrella Galicia beer), who offered his personal vision as to how to put this desired innovation into practice: “Innovating is part of a business culture. It's about taking risks and making mistakes. If you don't make mistakes, you don't learn and if you don't learn, you don't innovate”.

As regards the question as to where to start innovating, Rivera suggested that the best place to start was business culture, as this was the driving force required to introduce a mentality centred on risk-taking and constantly trying to better oneself. “It is necessary to create an atmosphere in which innovation can take place, in which people are not afraid to propose new ideas or to make mistakes. It is important to make sure that innovation processes are a general, overall concept running through the whole organization. If you want to be different, you must set out to be different”. This is why education within the company is fundamental in that it enables management to direct teams along the road towards innovation from the perspective of continuous improvement rather than from a position of limitation.

This wrapped up the online conference with over 500 participants who were keen to learn about the ins-and-outs of innovation at a time of great disruption for business that could unlock new opportunities.