When you join one of the Center’s Innovation Networks, you are joining a unique and powerful peer-to-peer industry network that offers many benefits.
Innovation Networks create solutions that one company is unable to develop independently. Through collaboration, we bring economies of scale and solve for full utilization.
The Innovation Network creates shared tools and resources to which all participants have access.
Developing solutions alongside producers and suppliers helps us quickly resolve concerns around viability, cost, and risk mitigation. We build buy-in of key stakeholder groups as we design, test, and scale solutions.
Direct education and engagement with supplier stakeholder groups by the Innovation Network staff team to help them understand the rationale behind transition and provide customized support and information to help them transition.
Participants get unparalleled insight into market opportunities and policy shifts that allow them to assess their strategic interests and decisions relative to emerging opportunities and threats in the broader farm and food system landscape. The information that is gained in the Innovation Network is often shared in confidence with the Group and not available publicly.
Participants often share and “test out” strategic decisions with other participants who help them identify potential partners and suppliers, identify potential risks, refine their communications strategy, and develop more resilient strategies overall.
Each Innovation Network meeting includes 4-6 sessions from experts and researchers who educate the group on complex and emerging issues that impact their strategic choices. As one participant put it, “What I learned in a day and a half would have taken me a year to research on my own.”
Participants often develop models as result of the work of the group that define attributes of sustainability in their system.
The retreat setting with other thought leaders allows participants to get out of the hectic pace of everyday to bring back new ideas to their companies to advance their work. As one person put it, “In this setting of ideas and thought-leaders, I get a chance to put together strategic ideas for my company – time for whole new leaps in thinking that sometimes the urgency of the daily pressures doesn’t allow.”
The Innovation Network’s staff team supports the initiatives of the Innovation Network so the participants use their time strategically and efficiently.
Several members of the Innovation Network have told us that they bring the methods we use in the Innovation Network back into their companies to foster better collaboration and innovation internally.
Advice & Support
We actively connect participants so they can help one another through tough transition challenges, from supply constraints to brand communications strategies to internal education and alignment.
We leverage the experience of a diverse group of stakeholders to quickly understand and analyze dynamics across the whole value chain and rapidly develop and test solutions “in the room.”
Participants form new business partnerships and ventures out of insight gained in the Innovation Network.
Participants form deep relationships with potential suppliers, customers, and partners in the group. You will develop high-trust relationships with key leaders across the value chain that will pay dividends for years.
Brands in the group often have the unique opportunity to tell the story of companies collaborating to support the growth of an industry that truly supports sustainability. This type of collaboration is unprecedented in many industries and a powerful story for media, consumers, and other stakeholders.