Breaking out of silos to fuel fresh ideas
‘History reveals that ground-breaking innovations often emerge from intellectual leaps transcending scientific or technological borders’ says Marcus Stow, Nurse, and Advisor and Non-Executive Director to the Future of Surgery Innovation Hub, when reflecting on the role of the Festival of Innovation at Future Surgery this year. And that is precisely what the festival aims to do, bringing together speakers from a diverse range of backgrounds – but none of them surgery.
Taking place across both days of Future Surgery (14-15 November, ExCeL London), the Festival of Innovation is the brainchild of the Future of Surgery Innovation Hub, based at the Royal College of Surgeons of England. As Ryan Kerstein, Consultant Plastic Surgeon, and Director for the Future of Surgery Innovation Hub, elaborates, ‘our goal during these sessions is to ignite inspiration among healthcare professionals in the audience. We want to break down the traditional silos and showcase the incredible innovations happening in various industries and countries. Our aim is for these revelations to fuel fresh ideas on patient care and our healthcare practices.’
‘Numerous world-changing advances owe their existence to random chance, art, flora, fauna, or fiction and were first used in engineering, trade, motor sports, aviation or even space’ adds Stow, ‘our speakers will explore their own domains, offering fresh and insightful perspectives on Surgical Innovation.’
Oscar Morgan, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Bo Mobility, told Future Surgery that he is always impressed by the natural curiosity that he encounters in the surgical community, despite operating in the most challenging environment imaginable for new innovation. ‘I’m delighted to have the opportunity to share some of what I’ve seen in the world of advanced engineering’, he added.
Morgan will draw on his automotive design experience with the Williams Race Team, along with his more recent work to improve the safety and desirability of e-bikes and scooters, to discuss the relationship between feedback loops and innovation, and how to accelerate that process.
Taking the bold question ‘can innovation save healthcare?’ as her starting point, former director of operations and CEO in NHS hospitals and Founder of Digital Care, Tara Donnelly, will outline how new clinical models supported by innovative technology can help save healthcare, and how the future hospital will look very different as a result. Donnelly will also explore how a home-based focus with digital support is transforming care pathways and the implications of this for surgery.
‘The power of digital homecare to really transform flow excites me,’ said Donnelly, ‘imagine an elective programme that could deliver the same number of operations, reliably, in January as September. Surgeons being able to do the work they love regardless of the season, while those most vulnerable to the harms a hospital stay can bring are looked after safely at home. This is what the future hospital could deliver, if we are bold and make the most of the opportunities these new care models supported by digital can bring.’
Imposter syndrome and fear of making mistakes can often be barriers to innovation even getting started. Sarah Furness, former combat helicopter pilot and squadron leader, will take this theme as the basis of her talk, and explain how everyone can develop the willingness to lean into discomfort to learn new things.
Building on this, Daniel Wain, Six ‘I’s® Certified Practitioner, says he has long believed that everyone has a role to play in innovation, ‘not just lone geniuses, inspired thinkers or ‘creatives’’. He believes that ‘successful new ideas depend far less on individual lightbulb moments than clarity of purpose, a step-by-step process and, above all, collaboration and teamwork.’ With this in mind, Wain will use his talk to outline the fundamental principles that drive successful innovation, along with the tangible tools and tried and tested approach which enables individuals and teams to become truly innovative.
Thoughtfully translating approaches from other industries into healthcare is the theme of Ian Rhodes’ session at the Festival of Innovation. Rhodes, Investor Director, will interrogate the question of whether scarce surgical resources are being allocated in the most efficient and effective way. Drawing on his career, one which has always focused on moving technologies across industries – not least the F1 to healthcare axis during his time as CEO at McLaren, Rhodes will explore digital technologies and how the way in which we capture and use data is such a powerful opportunity today.
Innovating in space may sound worlds away from the challenging surgical environment highlighted by Oscar Morgan, however David Stupples, Professor of Electronic and Radio Engineering at City, University of London, will demonstrate the opposite. As he told us ‘Space Engineering has always been at the forefront of technological development and thus has relied upon innovation to achieve rapid advances to support science in space. This science embraces the physical sciences but also includes support for the medical research, climate sciences and social levelling across our planet.’
Stupples will take us on a tour through historic innovation to new and emerging innovations, including miniaturised satellites, smart spacecraft propulsion and deep space exploration. He will conclude by reviewing innovations that have led to breakthroughs in human health on Earth.
Finally, Bettina von Stamm, Founder and Director of the Innovation Leadership Forum, argues that any innovation that does not have sustainability considerations at the core is irresponsible. A visionary in the field of innovation for nearly 30 years, von Stamm will be sharing this insight with the Festival of Innovation audience and encouraging them to consider why innovating for sustainability is no longer enough.
The Festival of Innovation promises to be a hugely inspiring element of Future Surgery this year, and we invite attendees to bring their natural curiosity, lean into any discomfort they may have in viewing themselves as innovators, and draw inspiration from this stellar line up of some of the best minds in innovation.
The Festival of Innovation runs across both days of this year’s Future Surgery event on 14-15 November at the ExCeL London. You can find the latest line up here, with the final speakers still to be announced.
Agnes Jacobs, Deputy Head of Content - Healthcare, CloserStill Media