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Innovation Transformation: Pete Dulcamara, Chief Scientist & Technical VP, Kimberly-Clark

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"More and more, corporations have the money and the established channels but lack the speed or innovation agenda, in contrast, startups are highly funded now. They are able to disrupt the status quo because consumers may like direct access and decide to. This tension creates innovative solutions and new business models."

With the world and industries rapidly evolving, FEI has asked its esteemed speaking faculty what they see in their crystal ball, how they see the world transforming, and where they think innovation trends are heading and where the opportunities lie.

The next featured thought leader in our Innovation Transformation series is Pete Dulcamara, Chief Scientist & Technical Vice President Kimberly-Clark.

What do you think is the future of the innovation industry?

As Jack Welch said, “When the rate of change outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near”… to which I would add, “and the rate of change will never be this slow again!” The future of innovation requires us to move “from insight to foresight,” “from ‘need to know’ to ‘need to share,’” and to master “speed over perfection.”

What do you think is the next big think for innovators?

It is what I call “Humanity-Centric Innovation,” which is solving the biggest problems for humanity in an economically viable way by leveraging exponential technologies, 21st century business models, and empathetic understanding of human needs.

What are the opportunities that you’re seeing?

At K-C, we have a rich history of turning consumer insights into essentials for a better life, driving us to invent five of our eight major consumer product categories. Our innovations include facial tissue, paper towels, toilet paper on a roll, feminine pads and disposable training pants. For almost 150 years we have alleviated embarrassment and given our consumers better control over their life. What made us successful in the 20th century will not sustain us in the 21st century. Our business model today is largely products that generate revenue from the sale of atoms; that is, from selling more physical goods to more people more often for more money.

In this century, we see the rise of business models that have moved from selling atoms to generating revenue from bits/bytes, genes, and neurons. Today, the convergence of materials science (atoms), information technology (bits/bytes), biotechnology (genes), and neuroscience (neurons) drives consumer demand, business growth, and market capitalization. At K-C, we are embracing the exponential technologies of nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, genomic sequencing, advanced robotics, blockchain, and beyond to transform our growth, survive the radical innovation that is headed our way and deliver on our promise to lead the world in essentials for a better life.

What do you think is the future of the innovation industry?

Innovation seems to define itself differently depending on the times e.g. For cars it is steam to internal combustion to electric. The future of innovation is for innovation to design because innovation creates the future. Predicting the source of the prediction is ironic. When it’s about corporate innovation versus startup funded innovation there lies the distance. More and more, corporations have the money and the established channels but lack the speed or innovation agenda, in contrast, startups are highly funded now. They are able to disrupt the status quo because consumers may like direct access and decide to. This tension creates innovative solutions and new business models.

Download the full whitepaper to read more about the future of innovation.

 

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