|8 March 2017|

Europe

International Women’s Day is a perfect opportunity to champion female innovators everywhere. It is also a time to highlight the huge amount of work which needs to be done to secure equal opportunities for women.

The training, events and consultancy arm of Innovators Magazine, The Innovation Academy champions equality. As Elena Bou, Innovation Director, InnoEnergy, wrote in an article on this website this morning: “One of the key aspects for creating disruptive innovation is the creativity potential. This potential is positively correlated with the level of diversity. Diversity is proven to create the so-called creative abrasion that is the source of innovative ideas.”

Co-founded by Susan Robertson, The Innovation Academy – launched late last year – has attracted a string of leading female influencers to speak and share their knowledge of the innovation economy.

Dr Susie Mitchell, Director of Glasgow City of Science and Innovation, and Dr Siobhán Jordan, Director of Interface, were the headline speakers at its launch in Glasgow. Dr Jordan subsequently praised the Academy for “adopting a different approach in inspiring innovation”.

Since then the inspirational Gillian O’Neil, Founder & CEO at 29studios – the Academy’s digital partners – has been a keynote, while saxophonist and entrepreneur Sue McKenzie has joined the team as a consultant.

The Academy fuses creativity and technology in its programmes – and advocates for the adoption of circular principles – as it strives to help companies and individuals innovate and excel in an environment of perpetual change.

Speaking at the European Innovation Summit in 2016, organised by Knowledge4Innovation (K4I), Susan Robertson talked about the principles underpinning the Academy and Innovators Magazine. This year the Academy will host a reception at the European Innovation Summit – on St Andrew’s Day – where it will talk about the progress it has made promoting diversity during its first year. The Academy will also seek to forge new partnerships with stakeholders in a bid to find the quickest routes to levelling the playing field for women across Europe.

Innovators Magazine and The Innovation Academy support K4I’s Pact for Innovation – signed by Susan on behalf of both in Brussels last year – as it supports cross-sectoral collaboration, the lifeblood of innovation. Importantly it offers an opportunity for people from all backgrounds to come together and progress the innovation economy.