June Field Study in Washington, D.C.

Join us as we bring our action-packed Field Study learning expedition to Washington, D.C., with visits to Capital One’s innovation lab, Marriott’s “Underground” innovation lab, Lockheed Martin‘s Global Vision Center, the AARP’s new innovation center known as “The Hatchery,” the 1776 global incubator, and other sites and locations.

As usual, Innovation Leader will take you inside these and other innovation labs and R&D centers — and give you a chance to learn from other senior executives about how they’re moving the needle in their organizations. We’ll host small, confidential, off-the-record “Whiteboard Sessions,” led by your peers at Dunkin’ Donuts, Bayer, ExxonMobil, and other corporations. Plus, a Q&A with Marriott’s CEO, Arne M. Sorenson.

There will be plenty of time for informal conversations — and no boring PowerPoints (they’re banned), keynotes, or consultants to harass you. Space is limited to 50 corporate innovation professionals! Reserve your spot today »

This event has already taken place. For upcoming Innovation Leader gatherings, please see our Events page.

Site Visits

The Lockheed Martin Global Vision Center
We’ll visit the innovation lab of the $47.2 billion security and aerospace company Lockheed Martin, which is known as “The Global Vision Center.” Like our recent visit to the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta, our visit to Lockheed Martin’s state-of-the-art collaboration and innovation facility will include interactive demos, tours, and unique technology experiences you won’t want to miss.

Capital One Innovation Lab
Join us for a tour of Capital One Labs, the experimental product, and technology incubator inside the Fortune 500 diversified bank. With teams in SF, NYC, and DC, Labs is a cross-functional group of product managers, designers, data scientists, developers, and other innovators who are partnering within Capital One to tackle the company’s challenges. Last year, we covered Capital One’s Plano, Texas-based innovation lab, called “The Garage,” which is part of the company’s global lab strategy. Join us and learn more!

Marriott’s “Underground” Innovation Lab
We’ll also visit Marriott’s headquarters, which will include a visit to their “Underground” innovation lab. As we covered in 2015, the Underground is a rapid-prototyping facility for the $14 billion global lodging company, and our tour will include an interactive exercise, where we’ll become part of the design and testing process for new concepts (featuring a live bartender!). We’ll also explore how Marriott trains on Design Thinking, and will get the opportunity to chat with Marriott’s CEO, Arne M. Sorenson.

AARP’s “Hatchery”
Don’t laugh. The AARP innovation strategy, now led by Andy Miller — who we covered when he ran innovation for Constant Contact — is extraordinarily progressive and forward thinking, as is their physical space (Innovation Leader founder Scott Kirsner called it, “more Google than Google”). Our visit to the innovation lab, known as “The Hatchery,” will include a tour, and an opportunity to explore innovative approaches, and (importantly) crash in their swanky sleep pods.

1776 Global Incubator
Chances are you’ve heard “1776” referenced at other Innovation Leader Field Studies and events. This global tech incubator — headquartered in Washington, D.C., but rapidly expanding globally — has hosted luminaries and dignitaries including President Barack Obama, and focuses on disrupting heavily regulated industries, from financial services to energy and education. We’ll tour 1776, learn about their “Startup Federation,” and enjoy some startup “speed dating” at their Crystal City location.

More Locations Coming!
And that’s not all … additional locations in Washington, D.C., are being added to this Field Study, so hop onboard before we sell out (each Field Study is limited to 50 innovation executives, and they all sell out; our April Field Study in Atlanta sold out more than a month before the event).

Interactive Whiteboard Sessions

The Field Study eschews keynotes, PowerPoints, or speakers. Rather, our sessions are small, off-the-record conversations that enable participants to share and compare their approaches. Among the interactive “whiteboard sessions” you’ll actively participate in:
Building Supportive Innovation Capabilities from Scratch

As Innovation Leader has covered extensively, building an organizational capability to support innovation is extraordinarily complex, especially in global organizations. This session, led by ExxonMobil’s #Innovation Manager Russel Householder, will explore how to clarify innovation roles, develop a collaborative approach, and capture (and act on!) insights to drive innovation and support business units. This interactive discussion will look to capture a list of your “best practices” and “pitfalls to avoid” when building systems and processes to support innovation. The objective is to create a list that can be shared with the larger Field Study group and the rest of Innovation Leader’s 20,000 members.

Innovation Competitions: Best Practices

Compare your approach to BNY Mellon
As companies move along the maturity curve of their innovation programs, their internal competitions and “Shark Tanks” become more sophisticated, more pervasive, more data driven, and more impactful. This Whiteboard Session, run by BNY Mellon’s Head of Global Innovation for the Americas, Adetola Abiade, will look to share lessons and best practices. Adetola — whose BNYM Shark Tank is in Year Four and has yielded several product launches — will share experiences from her “A.C.E.” competition (“Accelerate, Collaborate and Execute”), and will solicit ideas, successes, pitfalls to avoid, and more. Please come prepared to share your experiences or challenges, in the hopes that this Whiteboard Session can generate a list of “best practices” that can be shared with the entire Field Study and Innovation Leader’s 20,000 readers.

Communicating Innovations: Challenges, Tactics & Ideas

Compare your approach to Bayer
As Innovation Leader members have cited for years, communication is one of the most pervasive and troubling challenges for innovation teams. Communicating value and progress to executives, business unit leaders, employees, and external shareholders is absolutely critical, but is easier said than done. What are successful tactics (or common pitfalls) for keeping the company informed, involved and engaged? This Whiteboard Session, led by Bayer innovator Mark Daddi, will aim to generate a list of both recommendations and dangers that can be shared with Field Study attendees and Innovation Leader’s 20,000 members. Come with your examples and experiences; samples of others companies’ internal communications will be shared during the session.

Unlocking Transformational Innovation

Compare your approach to Dunkin Donuts
According to Innovation Leader’s 2015 Annual Benchmarking Report, 53.5 percent of respondents said they pursue a “hybrid” approach to innovation, or one that includes both incremental and transformational innovation. But finding the balance is challenging, and “few innovation groups said they had the necessary autonomy, distance, resources, or CEO support to develop breakthrough ideas and bring them to market.” This Whiteboard Session, led by Dunkin Brands’ VP Brand & Culinary Innovation Dan Wheeler, will explore how companies are unlocking transformational innovation, especially when incremental or internal innovation is the norm. This Whiteboard Session will look to create a list of tactics to consider or pitfalls to avoid, so please come prepared to discuss and share your own company’s challenges, issues, concerns, lessons and pitfalls.

How the U.S. Marines Deploy Cutting-Edge Innovations

The U.S. Marines, with roots dating to 1775, are introducing new concepts, missions, skill sets and technologies to provide for the next generation of national defense. Innovations like 3D printing, drone delivery, and AI have the potential to transform military logistics, supply-chain flexibility, sustainability and more. Learn more about the U.S. Marines’ approach to deploying cutting-edge technologies in the real world, from Marine Corps Captain Christopher Wood. This Whiteboard Session will look to explore the challenges and lessons encountered when pursuing innovations in large, hierarchical, and tradition-rich organizations (sound familiar?!), so bring your own experiences, lessons, challenges and ideas to the table.

Smithsonian Scholar on AI, VR, and Disruptive Innovations

The head of the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, Arthur Daemmrich, will explore whether we’re entering a “fourth industrial revolution.” Does the convergence of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, 3D printing, and other new technologies imply a significant change to employment, consumption, and innovation systems? Daemmrich — a leading scholar in science and technology studies — will share his perspective from historical study, and lead a conversation with the group on the factors that enable sustained versus disruptive innovation.

Tactics for Eliminating Bottlenecks to Transformation

Do you know which of your innovation activities are creating “passionate” employees and leaders? What about your biggest bottlenecks to transformation? In this session, the Moves the Needle team will help you identify which activities enable leaders and employees go from “aware” to “passionate” about your innovation initiatives. They’ll also help you understand how to apply a framework that identifies bottlenecks, so you can devise experiments to unlock growth. During this interactive workshop they’ll also help you apply a framework that identifies bottlenecks, so you can devise experiments to unlock growth for your own innovation programs.

Practicing Lean Startup / MVP in a Corporate Setting

Innovations often get stuck in middle of the funnel. On the front end, everyone has ideas. And it’s easy enough to launch new innovation projects. But incubating those projects until they demonstrate scalable value on the back end? That’s really hard. Join us for this session as we discuss how to best adapt Lean Startup practices such as Rapid Prototyping and Minimum Viable Product for corporate innovation success.

What are the different models for innovation labs?

Help us create the next edition of the “Innovation Illustrated” series, hosted by Innovation Leader founder Scott Kirsner, and XPLANE founder Dave Gray. The next illustration in the series will focus on innovation labs, and this whiteboard session aims to illustrate the different archetypes companies are using, from “showcase” and “outpost” labs, to skunkworks and co-creation labs. The illustrations will explain how each lab archetype works, the initiatives pursued, the connections to the core business, and more. Dave will sketch your suggestions in real-time, so come prepared to share some of the models your company has seen or even tried.

Coopetition and Frenemies: Methods for System Innovation

Explore methods and tactics for collaboration and mutual gain when your innovation strategy intersects with competitive actors, regulatory pressures, and crosses boundaries, borders or stovepipes. Accelerate innovation at your intersections.

Check back for updates!

Why attend an IL gathering?


This agenda is tentative and subject to change. Please check back frequently for updates.

Wednesday, June 14th
7:45 a.m. Arrive at AARP’s Innovation Lab, “The Hatchery”
575 7th St NW - Terrell Place South, 5th Floor
8:00 a.m. Breakfast, introductions and morning activity at AARP
9:00 a.m. Conversation with Arthur Daemmrich, Smithsonian Institute, on AI, VR, and Disruptive Innovations
9:30 a.m. Conversation with Andy Miller, SVP Innovation and Product Development at AARP
10:00 a.m. Learn about whiteboard sessions, break
10:15 a.m. Whiteboard Sessions:

  • Corporate Innovation Competitions with BNY Mellon
  • Communicating Innovations: Challenges, Tactics & Lessons with Bayer HealthCare
  • Interactive design thinking exercise with Moves The Needle
  • Methods for System Innovation with MITRE
11:30 a.m. Depart by bus for 1776 Startup Incubator
2231 Crystal Dr, Arlington, VA
12:00 p.m. Welcome and chat with 1776 President & Chief Innovation Officer Peter Cherukuri on best practices for working with startups
12:45 p.m. Pitches from 1776 startups
1:00 p.m. Lunch with 1776 startups
2:15 p.m. Walk to Lockheed Martin Global Innovation Center
2121 Crystal Dr #100, Arlington, VA
3:15 p.m. Welcome and Conversation with Lockheed’s VP of Technology and Innovation Robie Samanta Roy
4:00 p.m. Tours:
  • Potomac Demo Center
  • Legacy Area/100 Moments
  • Space Experience Center
  • Human-Machine Interface
5:30 p.m. Cocktail Party Reception
7:30 p.m. Depart by bus for Kimpton Hotel Monaco
700 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004
Thursday, June 15th
7:45 a.m. Meet at Kimpton Hotel Monaco
Bus leaves promptly at 8:00 a.m., please don't be late!
700 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004
8:30 a.m. Breakfast and Day Two welcome at Capital One Labs
3030 Clarendon Blvd, 8th floor, Arlington, VA
9:30 a.m. Welcome & intro from Head of the Lab and Tech Fellows Program Firoze Lafeer and Chief of Staff Jenn Scheurich
10:15 a.m. Tour of Capital One Labs
10:45 a.m. Learn about whiteboard sessions, break
11:00 a.m. Whiteboard Sessions:

  • Building Supportive Innovation Capabilities from Scratch with ExxonMobil
  • Unlocking Transformational Innovation with Dunkin' Brands
  • How the U.S. Marines Deploy Cutting-Edge Innovations
  • Practicing Lean Startup / MVP in a corporate setting with Imaginatik
12:15 p.m. Lunch, and co-design session
Help us create the next edition of the "Innovation Illustrated” series, hosted by XPLANE founder Dave Gray and Innovation Leader founder Scott Kirsner. The next illustration in the series will focus on innovation labs, and this lunch session aims to illustrate the different archetypes companies are using, from “showcase” and “outpost” labs, to skunkworks and co-creation labs. Dave will sketch your suggestions in real-time, so come prepared to share some of the models your company has seen or even tried.
1:15 p.m. Depart by bus for Marriott "Underground"
10400 Fernwood Rd, Bethesda, MD
2:15 p.m. Welcome + Q&A with Chief Customer Experience Officer Adam Malamut
2:30 p.m. Demos:

  • CX Innovation – Rapid Prototyping
  • Food & Beverage – Cocktail Prototyping
  • Underground and Sample Room Tour
  • Learning & Development – Innovation Kit Starter
4:45 p.m. Q&A with Marriott's CEO, Arne M. Sorenson
5:15 p.m. Wrap up with Scott Kirsner and Ellen Juskewitch
5:30 p.m. Cocktail reception at Marriott “Underground”
6:30 p.m. Two separate buses depart for DCA Airport and Kimpton Hotel

Register to Attend

Our Washington, D.C. Field Study has concluded.

Be sure to join us at our next event, the 2017 Teach-In, in Cambridge, Mass. in October.

Hotel & Travel Information

Arrival — If you are flying in to the Field Study, we recommend arriving on Tuesday, June 13, as the program will begin early morning on Wednesday, June 14.

Hotels — As most corporations have loyalty and reward programs for specific hotel chains, we have not reserved a room block for the Field Study. Here is our list of recommended hotels, based on the locations of our Field Study sessions and site visits:

Questions — If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Ellen Juskewitch at ellen@innovationleader.com.


Space is limited to 50 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.

Field Guides

Many thanks to our Field Guides for their support and expertise in developing this Field Study:

Imaginatik: "World's first" full-service innovation firm, supporting global organizations seeking to grow and deliver results.

Moves the Needle: MTN ignites entrepreneurial action within large organizations by educating, enabling and empowering employees to be closer to the customer, move faster, and act bolder. They've helped Fortune 500 clients discover successful new product opportunities, innovate upon existing products and processes, driving massive business impact.

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