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Innovation Series: Sharon Zickovic, Cofounder and Chief Innovation Officer at Wicked Lab

Innovation Series: Sharon Zickovic, Cofounder and Chief Innovation Officer at Wicked Lab
What's new: K-Startup Grand Challenge 2020 for Australian/New Zealand Startups! More information here.

What is the Innovation Series? 

We interview innovation leaders from around the world and share their insights on corporate innovation.

Innovation Leader: Sharon Zickovic

Sharon Zickovic is the cofounder and Chief Innovation Officer at Wicked Lab. Wicked Lab supports multi-stakeholder groups address complex social policy problems (wicked problems).

What has been your biggest learning as an innovation leader over the last 12 months?

My biggest learning over the last 12 months is that it is now widely accepted that innovation ecosystems are complex adaptive systems. The idea was being talked about eight years ago when the book ‘The Rainforest: The Secret To Building The Next Silicon Valley’ was released. With the release last year of Brad Feld and Ian Hathaway’s book ‘The Startup Community Way: Evolving an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem’, the acknowledgement that startup communities, entrepreneurial ecosystems and innovation ecosystems are complex adaptive systems has become mainstream.

Which technology are you most excited by and why?

I am excited by social media platforms for social learning. These enable the social learning experience to be broken down into tasks, learners to reflect on their experience of completing tasks and to receive real time feedback from an educator.


What is the biggest barrier to corporate innovation you’ve encountered and how did or are you overcoming it?

As a social enterprise that focuses on addressing complex social policy problems, our biggest barrier is exclusion from R&D support by the Australian government. In Australia, research in the social sciences and humanities are excluded activities for the Research and Development Tax Incentive. We overcome this barrier by self-funding all of our research and development.


What will be the key trend in innovation over the next 12 months?

There will be a greater focus on systemic innovation over the next 12 months. Systemic innovations are a set of interconnected innovations, where each is dependent on the other, with innovation both in the parts of the system and in the ways that they interact. Systemic innovation is considered to be the most appropriate form of innovation for addressing complex wicked problems such as climate change and the impact of Covid-19.

Workflow Podcast

The WorkFlow podcast is hosted by Steve Glaveski with a mission to help you unlock your potential to do more great work in far less time, whether you're working as part of a team or flying solo, and to set you up for a richer life.

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To help you avoid stepping into these all too common pitfalls, we’ve reflected on our five years as an organization working on corporate innovation programs across the globe, and have prepared 100 DOs and DON’Ts.

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Unlock new opportunities and markets by taking your brand into the brave new world.

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Shay Namdarian

Shay is GM of Customer Strategy at Collective Campus, helping companies adopt the mindset, methods and tools to successfully explore new business models and disruptive innovation in an era of rapid change and growing uncertainty. He has over 8 years of experience working alongside organisations to implement design thinking and enhance customer experience. He has gained his experience across several consulting firms including Ernst & Young, Capgemini and Accenture. More recently, Shay has delivered design thinking training to employees (ranging from Analysts to Leadership) across traditional industries such Legal Services and Public Sector. Shay is also the co-founder of Barnaby, a men’s fashion socks brand providing customers with high quality and affordable men’s statement socks. After launching at the end of 2013, the brand is now stocked over 20 stores while building a strong social media presence and the brand has had placements in key publications including GQ, Startup Daily and The Daily Telegraph.

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