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Innovation 2016 - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Roundtable on Institutional Innovation?
The Aspen Institute Roundtable on Institutional Innovation, formerly named the Roundtable on Talent Development, is a private seminar of top level executives and thought leaders. The concept behind this roundtable comes from the work of John Hagel and John Seely Brown, co-chairs of the Deloitte Center for the Edge. Its purpose is to engage high level executives, mostly from large organizations, to address (and where appropriate reframe) approaches to institutional performance through innovation. The aim for this series is to develop those and other insights into plans for action.

What is the purpose of this website?
This site displays the report resulting from the 2016 Roundtable on Institutional Innovation.  The series of chapters, written by rapporteur Richard Adler, captures the insights of the participants during the conference.

In a world of rapid fluctuations, disruptive innovations and exponential growth, organizations are finding that their business operating models are in need of significant revision.  This report examines new ways of thinking about organizational performance and conceptualizes what it takes for an organization to shift from pursing efficiency to embracing continuous learning and constant change. This site acts as a dynamic space for viewers to explore the Roundtable content and engage on the topic.

What is the Communications and Society Program?
The Communications and Society Program is an active venue for framing policies and developing recommendations in the information and communications fields.  As one of over thirty policy programs at the Aspen Institute, the Program provides a multi-disciplinary space where veteran and emerging decision-makers can develop new approaches and suggestions for communications policy.  The Program enables global leaders and experts to explore new concepts, exchange insights, develop meaningful networks, and find personal growth, all for the betterment of society. 

The Program’s projects range across many areas of information, communications and media policy.  Activities focus on issues of open and innovative governance, public diplomacy, institutional innovation, broadband and spectrum management, as well as the future of content, issues of race and diversity, and the free flow of digital goods, services and ideas across borders.

Who leads the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program?
Charles M. Firestone is executive director of the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program. Since his appointment in December 1989, the Program has focused on the implications of communications and information technologies for leadership, the impact of new technologies on democratic and social institutions, and the development of new communications policy models and options for the public interest. He was also the Institute's executive vice president for policy programs and international activities from 1997-2000.

Prior to his positions with the Aspen Institute, Mr. Firestone was director of the Communications Law Program at the University of California at Los Angeles and an adjunct professor of law at the UCLA Law School. He was also the first president of the Los Angeles Board of Telecommunications Commissioners, which advises the Mayor and City Council on all regulatory matters relating to the cable and telecommunications fields.

Mr. Firestone's career includes positions as an attorney at the Federal Communications Commission, as director of litigation for a Washington DC public interest law firm, and as a communications and entertainment attorney in Los Angeles. He has argued several landmark communications cases before the United States Supreme Court and other federal appellate courts. Mr. Firestone is the editor or co-author of seven books, including Digital Broadcasting and the Public Interest (The Aspen Institute, 1998) and Television and Elections (The Aspen Institute, 1992), and has written numerous articles on communications law and policy.

He holds degrees from Amherst College and Duke University Law School and resides with his wife, sculptor Pattie Porter Firestone, in Santa Barbara, California.

Who sponsors the Roundtable on Institutional Innovation?
We would like to thank our senior sponsor, Deloitte Center for the Edge, John Hagel and John Seely Brown for their partnership and contribution to this Roundtable.

Who moderates the Roundtable on Institutional Innovation?
Charlie Firestone, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program, moderates the Conference and all other roundtables produced by the Communications and Society Program.

Who are the participants at the Roundtable on Institutional Innovation?
Over the years, notable participants have included John Seely Brown, John Hagel, Robin Chase and David Stern among others.

Can I attend the Roundtable on Institutional Innovation?
Participants at the conference are a carefully selected group of senior executives from various fields including technology, business, health and government. Participation at the Roundtable on Institutional Innovation is by invitation only. 

Where does the Roundtable on Institutional Innovation take place?
The Roundtable on Institutional Innovation takes place at the Aspen Meadows Conference Center in Aspen, Colorado.