Boston Field Study

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Leading Your Industry Into the Future

What to expect

Our Boston Field Study will hone in on the commitments, investments, and partnerships required to be a true industry leader in a time of change. How do you tune into shifting customer desires and satisfy new demands? How do you get real alignment and collaboration happening between innovation and R&D groups and the rest of the company? How can you become a first-mover rather than a last-follower? We'll visit companies in Boston that have established positions of true industry leadership, and hear from corporate speakers who have concrete approaches to share on how you get there.

Arriving early? Join us at an optional pre-event visit to Cantina, one of our estemeed event sponsors. Sign-up during registration or email for help. Pre-registration required to attend.

Featured Site Visits

Field Study participants will visit the headquarters and innovation labs of some of Boston's most innovative companies, including:



Wayfair’s global headquarters in Boston’s Back Bay is home to thousands of entrepreneurial innovators who are transforming the way people shop for their homes every step of the way – from product discovery to final delivery. During our visit, we’ll learn how Wayfair leadership has built a culture of experimentation, collaboration and smart risk-taking that empowers the team to push the boundaries of what’s possible in the home space.


Well-B, Powered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Blue Cross has a rich history of innovation; however, the challenges in health care today are so complex that no one person or organization can solve them alone. Field Study participants will visit Well-B, Blue Cross's new innovation center, where guests will collaborate and learn from one another, share ideas, and create new solutions to improve health and health care in our communities.

Suffolk Construction

Suffolk Construction

Suffolk Construction is a national building contractor with $3 billion in annual revenue, with a vision is to “transform the construction experience by building smart.” During your visit to Suffolk’s Headquarters, you will have a chance to visit our Smart Lab to interact with some of the latest tools and technologies in the industry.



PTC is driving industrial digital transformation and innovation by turning possibility into reality. Their industry-leading solutions enable companies to capitalize on the promise of technology today. During your visit to PTC you'll hear from President & CEO, Jim Heppelmann and get to experience their brand new space overlooking the Seaport District.



LearnLaunch is an education innovation hub which connects and supports innovators to expand access to high-quality education for all learners. You'll get the chance to hear from some start-ups in the LearnLaunch Accelerator and how they are working to shape the EdTech sector.

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Speaker Highlights

Niraj Shah
CEO and Co-Founder
Rich Gotham
Rich Gotham
Team President
Boston Celtics
Jessica Anselmi
Director, Innovation & Category Growth
Erin Narloch
Senior Archive Manager
Jim Heppelmann
President and CEO
Ally Schneider
Ecosystem & Partnerships Manager, Innovation Lab
David Crean
Innovation Leader
Well-B, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Nondini Naqui
Insurance Marketing Executive
John Hancock
Jennifer Rousseau
Director of Strategic Planning for New Ventures
Altus Ventures

Agenda Highlights

Building and Leveraging a Partner Ecosystem

Ally Schneider

Storytelling in a Swipe Right Society

Erin Narloch

Building a Successful Corporate Ventures Program

Hyuk-Jeen Suh
Samsung Ventures

How to Build a Nimble Innovation Process

Jessica Anselmi

Role of Innovation in Creating Competitive Advantage

Srinivas Palepu
The TJX Companies

How Can Other Parts of the Company Innovate

Nondini Naqui
John Hancock

Great content and a thoughtful community of learners. I will take home a list of strategies to apply to my innovation role.

– Stacey Butler, Director of Innovation, Reliant Energy

Hotel and travel information

Hotel: As most corporations have loyalty and reward programs for specific hotel chains, we have not reserved a room block for this event.

Our recommended hotels are listed below:

Arrival: If you are flying in for the Boston Field Study, we recommend arriving early afternoon on September 18th, as we have an optional pre-event visit to Cantina available. The program will begin early on the 19th.

Departure: The program will end in the early evening on Friday, September 20th.

Questions: If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact Elana Wilner at

Event FAQs

Who comes to this event?

Space is limited to 60 corporate innovation, strategy and R&D professionals. That’s everyone from Chief Innovation Officers and VPs of Innovation, to Directors of Innovation and R&D Managers. If you’re responsible for new products or services inside your company, you’re probably the right fit.

Will vendors be there pitching me?

No. This is a pitch-free zone. Aside from our Innovation Leader partners, we do not admit consultants, advisors, software firms, or others who might try to pitch you something. This is a safe environment.

How will I get from location to location? Will I need a car?

No need for a car! We take care of all travel between site visits, and we’ll always make sure you have a way to get back to a central hotel at the end of each day.

Will you bore me with PowerPoints?

No. This is a presentation-free zone. No PowerPoints or presentations of any kind.

How will I get to the airport at the end of the event?

We will supply transportation to the airport at the end of the event, typically by charter bus. If you leave before the end of the event, however, we can help get you an Uber or an old-school cab.

Can I get gluten-free or special meals?

Yes! Never hesitate to reach out to event team with your dietary requirements, The sooner the better though ... the deadline is two weeks before the event so we can arrange with our caterer(s).

Will you recommend hotels nearby?

The Boston Marriott Copley Place will be our central meeting point over the course of the two-day Field Study, but there are plenty of other nice hotels nearby. Recommended hotels are listed here.

Is there a dress code?

Business casual, with the emphasis on casual.

Will the media be there?

No. All our sessions are confidential and off-the-record.

Will I have to sign NDAs?

Maybe. Depending on the venues, some of the locations we visit may require that you sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement. We’re blessed that our members open up their headquarters and innovation labs to our members. But, some have regulatory and compliance obligations, or strategic concerns, that require all visitors to sign NDAs. Thank you in advance for honoring the requests of our hosts.

Can I get a refund?

Event ticket purchases are final. However, you may substitute or transfer your registration to a colleague no later than 10 days before the start of an event. After this deadline, you will not be able to transfer your registration or receive a refund. Please request your transfer by emailing

What is Innovation Leader?

If you’re working to make change happen inside a large organization, Innovation Leader was created especially for you.

We create downloadable templates and tools; report on what the world’s best companies are doing; and convene your peers to share best practices, in conference calls, webcasts, and at live events. Everything we do is geared to helping you deliver impact in your organization, whether you work in strategy, R&D, new ventures, design, technology, or innovation.

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