The Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), in association with the Disruptor Foundation and Harvard Business School Professor Clay Christensen, father of Disruptive Innovation Theory, announced it would honor innovators pioneers and game-changers across various disciplines and domains at the fourth annual Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards, hosted by NYU Stern School of Business, on April 26. The 12th edition of TFF will run April 17 to 28.
The awards ceremony – co-hosted by journalist and public health advocate Perri Peltz, and TFF co-founder and Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards Chief Curator Craig Hatkoff, and supported by Accenture and The Economist – showcases applications of and advancements in disruptive innovation theory that have spread far beyond the original technological and industrial realms. While it is applied to vexing societal problems such as healthcare, education, philanthropy, politics, religion and spirituality, the theory has profound implications in the fields of media, arts and entertainment.
Choreographer Twyla Tharp will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her approach to choreography, with which she has created her own language and pushed the boundaries of our notions of movement and dance for the past 50 years.
“In our fourth installment we are exploring the ever-increasing gap between the rate of technological change and the bumpier, slower-moving cultural adoption and diffusion,” said Craig Hatkoff. “The dynamics of products and service innovations that are used simply as day-to-day utilities seem to be fundamentally different than products and services that touch stakeholders’ identities and other cultural considerations. We continue to push ourselves further out of our comfort zones which is necessary for serious societal change by highlighting exciting new applications and thinking”
After publishing his best-selling book The Innovators Dilemma in 1997, Christensen moved to center stage as one of the world’s leading experts on innovation; the seminal book presented his startling theory of disruptive innovation, which explains how simpler, cheaper technologies, products, and services can decimate industry leaders. This radical innovation theory has ruled Silicon Valley for more than 15 years.
“I am always exhilarated by the innovations of our honorees that push us towards new frontiers in how we think about disruptive innovation in society’s most important domains. Successful innovation in these areas seems to involve formidable cultural considerations and societal architecture rather than technological change unto itself. We must learn to crawl into the life of what makes people tick,” said Christensen. “The Awards provide a front row seat to witness some of the most exciting and provocative observations of technological progress and the cultural and societal inertia that unexpectedly diminish disruptive innovation theory’s predictive potency. We are always seeking to develop profound theory to better explain these observed anomalies.”
Honorees receive Disruptor Awards known as Maslow’s Silver Hammer, in honor of psychologist Abe Maslow who created the famous hierarchy of human needs. One of Maslow’s most recognizable quotes – “When your only tool is a hammer, every problem starts looking like a nail” – embodies the spirit of the Awards and represents the need for new approaches to old problems.
A luncheon will follow the Awards, with breakout sessions to follow until 3 p.m.
The 2013 Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award honorees are as follows:
Lifetime Achievement Award – Twyla Tharp, Choreographer, Author and Founder of Twyla Tharp Dance – Since graduating from Barnard College in 1963, Ms. Tharp has choreographed more than one hundred sixty works: one hundred twenty-nine dances, twelve television specials, five Hollywood movies, four full-length ballets, four Broadway shows and two figure skating routines. She has also written three books. She received one Tony Award, two Emmy Awards, nineteen honorary doctorates, the Vietnam Veterans of America President’s Award, the 2004 National Medal of the Arts, the 2008 Jerome Robbins Prize, and a 2008 Kennedy Center Honor. Her many grants include the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In addition to choreographing for her own company Twyla Tharp Dance, she has created dances for companies worldwide, where her works continue to be performed. Today, Ms. Tharp continues to create.
Manchester Prize for Urban Innovation – City of Manchester, Sir Howard Bernstein, Chief Executive – The City of Manchester, once known as Cottonopolis, has always been in the forefront of movements and revolutions. What sets it apart from other historically significant cities is how it has continually reinvented itself to remain on the cutting edge. From the Industrial Revolution to today’s 21st Century City of Innovation, it is a metropolis with a disruptive legacy. Manchester served as the locus for Karl Marx and Frederich Engels as they researched and wrote their seminal work. It serves as the home of the most famous intra-city rivalry between Manchester United and Manchester City football teams, one of the most viewed broadcasts on the planet with over 500 million viewers. Manchester’s DNA of revolution is carefully watched across the globe as it innovates its way into the future.
THINX: An unusual collaboration between Rhada and Miki Agrawal of Slice and Super Sprowtz and Kym and Alexis McClay of Naven – These two sets of identical twins/serial entrepreneurs tried to solve a very personal local problem and stumbled into what might become a global solution for millions of women who miss school or work during their “week of shame” because they don’t have access to sanitary napkins. THINX is a new type of women’s underwear that addresses this critical need. Their buy one, fund seven model is making it possible for women in the developing world to make and distribute reusable pads.
Jack Andraka – The death of a beloved uncle led Jack Andraka, who was 13 at the time, to develop a new and more accurate test for detecting pancreatic cancer, as portrayed in the GE FOCUS FORWARD film You Don’t Know Jack. Jack’s method is 26,000 times cheaper, 168 times faster and over 400 times more sensitive than previous methods, making it a truly disruptive innovation. Jack was a speaker at TED in 2013.
I F*cking Love Science/Science is Awesome Creator, Elise Andrew – Henry IV Prize, presented by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center – Elise Andrew is being honored for pushing social boundaries to reach a wider audience. Her wildly successful yet slightly irreverent title, I F*cking Love Science has attracted a new audience of over 5 million young science lovers; her less irreverent mirror Facebook page, entitled Science is Awesome has attracted 200,000 users. The use of culturally irreverent memes is attracting global attention to how to best reach younger audiences.
Glenn Beck, Founder and Owner, The Blaze – Charles Darwin Prize, presented by The Economist – Radio and television impresario Glenn Beck has led a fascinating yet controversial career. What is not controversial is the highly disruptive innovation he has launched with The Blaze, a new and all-encompassing media source focusing on the internet and television, that may disrupt the traditional media business model. With majority ownership and accountable to his viewers and himself The Blaze is being closely watched by the media industry for its groundbreaking innovation.
Nicolas Berggruen, Think Long Committee for California, The Berggruen Institute on Governance and Author: Intelligent Governance for the 21st Century: A Middle Way Between West and East – Nicolas Berggruen is the Chairman of Berggruen Holdings, a private company, which is the direct investment vehicle of The Nicolas Berggruen Charitable Foundation. He is also the Chairman of the Berggruen Institute on Governance, which encourages the study and design of systems of good governance. Mr. Berggruen is a founder of NBI’s 21st Century Council and a member of the Think Long Committee for California. Berggruen’s “values” (as opposed to “value”) investing strategy includes rice farms in Cambodia, windmill farms in Turkey, and ethanol plant in Oregon and the redevelopment of poor inner cities.
Garrett Camp, Founding CEO, StumbleUpon & Co-Founder, Uber – Garrett Camp has unlocked the discovery potential of the web with his innovative discovery engine StumbleUpon. Delivering over 1 billion personalized recommendations per month, StumbleUpon is the largest web application of its kind. Garrett also co-founded Uber in 2009 to improve the efficiency of on-demand car service. Travelers can now access Uber’s user-friendly interface in 16 cities across North America and Europe.
GE FOCUS FORWARD, Beth Comstock, Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President of GE and Morgan Spurlock, Co-Founder of cinelan – GE and cinelan have collaborated to create short films by renowned documentary filmmakers that highlight innovative people who are reshaping the world through act or invention. Focus Forward’s “little stories with big ideas,” have established a new platform for storytelling with a global reach.
Forbes Magazine – Schumpeter Prize, presented by The Economist – Forbes Magazine has reinvented themselves and disrupted the traditional journalistic business model, embracing all digital publishing platforms, demonstrating the potential for print in a mobile world. Utilizing freelance journalists and compensating them according to traffic, they have enriched the quality and scope of their content, increasing site traffic and significantly reducing overhead costs. Since Feb 2011, traffic has increased from 15 million unique visitors to 45 million in January 2013.
Ken Goldberg and Ayorkor Korsah, Co-Founders, The African Robotics Network (AFRON) $10 Robot Challenge – By inviting innovators from all over the world to participate in their $10 Robot Challenge, AFRON has promoted robotics-related education, research and industry in Africa. Since it launched May 2012, AFRON has 300 members from 25 countries including Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Algeria, South Africa, Egypt, Tanzania, Cameroon, and Ethiopia, as well as affiliated members from the US, Switzerland, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, and Argentina.
Henry Jackson Initiative – The Henry Jackson Initiative (HJI) is a bi-partisan, transatlantic movement of business leaders, senior policy makers and academics focused on promoting a more Inclusive Capitalism. The HJI calls for international collaboration from businesses and other organizations to encourage the widest possible adoption of programs that improve capitalism as a driver of wellbeing for society.
Norma Kamali, Designer and Wellness Advocate – Norma Kamali is known for her innovative style and inventive approach to fashion. Her directional, timeless concepts such as the sleeping bag coat, the high-heeled sneaker, clothing made from actual parachutes, influential swimwear, sweatshirt clothing as the forerunner of casual clothing and a collection of packable, wearable and multi-style clothing have made her a pioneer in the fashion industry. She has designed many iconic pieces including Farah Fawcett’s red bathing suit, which was recently inducted into the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Her interest in public schools has been a key part of her community activities for the last 18 years. KamaliKulture is a platform for her empowerment initiative for women, and an important part of her long term goals as a fashion designer.
Kenzo Digital, Director/Artist – Kenzo’s interactive approach to film making, showcased in his 2012 World Humanitarian Day video: I Was Here, featuring Beyonce, has redefined the film experience. It is at once disruptive and inclusive, bringing the audience into the UN General assembly and making international humanitarian issues local to a single global humanity. His remarkable project “City of God’s Son,” is an audio driven cinematic experience made with a microphone instead of a camera featuring the voices of Jay-Z, Nas, Notorious B.I.G. and Samuel L. Jackson. It is an epic, a musical, a soundscape, a movie for the blind, an art installation, and a coming of age story.
Deborah Kenny, Chief Executive Officer, Harlem Village Academies – Deborah Kenny is an educator that believes all the talk about testing, longer days, teacher unions, etc. is polarizing and misses the true key to education reform, which is changing the culture of schools. Her philosophy has been proven with stunning results. The charter schools in her Harlem Village Academies have outperformed schools in some of the richest neighborhoods in New York.
Beau Lotto, Founder, Lottolab Studio – Beau Lotto is being honored for his work combining art, science and education in promoting the awareness of the roles of context and perception. Beau’s approach has the potential to create uncertainty and humility in a world of perceived absolutes, leading to opportunities for more open dialogues.
STEM to STEAM, John Maeda, President, Rhode Island School of Design – RISD’s initiative, a movement to add art and design to the national education and research agenda, fosters the true innovation that comes with combining the mind of a scientist or technologist with that of an artist or designer. RISD offers endless examples of how art and design education teaches the flexible thinking, risk-taking and creative problem solving needed to solve today’s most complex and pressing challenges.
Urban Dictionary, Creator, Aaron Peckham – Aaron Peckham developed a web-based dictionary of slang words and phrases that has democratized the evolution of language. By legitimizing and archiving ‘street’ language with his collaborative forum, Peckham has challenged the authority of traditional dictionaries as the gate-keepers of authentic language.
Psy, South Korean Artist/Global Phenomenon – With the first YouTube video to reach 1 billion views, South Korean pop artist Psy has become an ambassador for his country and a leading crossover artist, launching K-pop onto the international stage. His hit song ‘Gangnam Style’ is more than a catchy tune and dance sequence, it is a cultural phenomenon. It was ranked in the Yale Book of Quotations Top 10 Quotes of the Year.
Jose Vargas, Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist and Founder, Define American – Jose was catapulted into the center of the national immigration discussion after revealing his undocumented status in a widely-shared 4,000 word personal essay in the New York Times Magazine in June 2011. Jose has since founded Define American, a nonprofit, nonpartisan campaign dedicated to elevating the conversation around immigration, and has traveled around the United States engaging both documented and undocumented Americans in an honest dialogue on the issue. In June 2012, he wrote a follow-up story and appeared on the cover of TIME Magazine, along with 36 other undocumented young people. Through “coming out” so publicly and inspiring and facilitating others to do so as well through the use of digital and social media platforms, Jose has spearheaded the disruption of the narrative around immigration and who is telling whose story.
A limited number of tickets will be made available on April 9th.
Visit www.tribecadisruptiveinnovationawards.com for more information.
Join the conversation on Twitter at #TFFDISRUPT.
About the Disruptor Foundation
The Disruptor Foundation is an independent 501(C)3 non-profit private foundation co-founded by Craig Hatkoff and Professor Clayton Christensen, who also serves as Senior Advisor. The Foundation’s mission is to raise public, social, academic, educational and philanthropic awareness of existing, as well as future developments in, Disruptive Innovation Theory, originated by Professor Christensen. It will seek to broaden the theory and applications of disruptive as well as other forms of innovations into non-traditional domains and areas. The Foundation will organize, plan and sponsor conferences, events, seminars, awards, prizes, publications, digital and electronic resources for analysis, study, research and application using Disruptive Innovation to effect societal change. The Foundation will encourage cross-disciplinary interaction and serve as a convener of traditional and non-traditional thinkers, entrepreneurs, educators, funders and innovation activists.
About the Tribeca Film Festival
The Tribeca Film Festival helps filmmakers reach the broadest possible audience, enabling the international film community and general public to experience the power of cinema and promote New York City as a major filmmaking center. It is well known for being a diverse international film festival that supports emerging and established directors.
Founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 following the attacks on the World Trade Center, to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of the lower Manhattan district through an annual celebration of film, music and culture, the Festival brings the industry and community together around storytelling.
The Tribeca Film Festival has screened more than 1,400 films from more than 80 countries since its first edition in 2002. Since inception, it has attracted an international audience of more than 4.0 million attendees and has generated an estimated $750 million in economic activity for New York City.
About the 2013 Festival Sponsors
As Founding Sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival, American Express is committed to supporting the Festival and the art of filmmaking, bringing business and energy to New York City and offering Cardmembers and festivalgoers the opportunity to enjoy the best of storytelling through film.
The Tribeca Film Festival is pleased to announce the return of its Signature Sponsors: Accenture, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Bloomberg, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin, Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), Brookfield, Cadillac, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, ESPN, GE FOCUS FORWARD (in partnership with cinelan), Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Heineken USA, JetBlue, Magnum® Ice Cream, NBC 4 New York, NCM Media Networks, The New York Times, and OppenheimerFunds. The Festival is also honored to welcome the following new Signature Sponsors: AT&T, IWC Schaffhausen, PepsiCo, and Sony Electronics.
–Shoot Publicity Wire