Taking place from 9-11 September 2019 at the excellent Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Florida, a host of North America’s most senior decision-makers and business leaders from across multiple industries will descend upon the beautiful The Ritz-Carlton, Naples in Florida for our fourth edition of the Digital Innovation Insight Summit, to discuss the most pressing challenges – and opportunities – in the fast-moving innovation sector.

Amongst other things, the summit will be discussing: How-to masterclass – Scaling innovation beyond the lab; Thought leadership – from legacy to leading edge: becoming innovation-ready; and Understanding the Augmented Reality ecosystem and how to deliver real value to your business through AR today and for the future.

From case studies that lift the lid on operations inside best-in-class organisations, to workshops and collaborative sessions that focus on real challenges and future technology innovations, to one-to-one meetings with industry peers offering practical advice tailored to your specific needs, the summit provides you with everything you need to implement your key projects more effectively.

Our Approach

Every GDS Summit has one stated aim: to help attending executives implement their key projects more effectively. We do this by developing an in-depth understanding of those executives' project needs, the business outcomes they want to achieve, and the challenges they face in terms of hitting those goals.

Who Attends

Our summits are designed for executives looking to take their business to the next level – from market-leading brands to disruptive new entrants. As such, we’ve worked with some of the world’s best-loved and most forward-thinking businesses.
Apply to attend

Past Attendees

At previous events we've helped executives from some the world's most significant firms - as well as the most forward-thinking - to address their project challenges.
Image of Mauricio Henao Giraldo
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Mauricio Henao Giraldo
Head of Digital IT Innovation Americas
Image of Dale Shim
Logo of Kaiser Permanente
Dale Shim
Health Innovation Managing Director
Kaiser Permanente
Image of Dariush Ajami
Dariush Ajami
Chief Innovation Officer
Image of Chris Enslin
Chris Enslin
Image of Jason Norris
Jason Norris
Sr. Director of Engineering and Innovation
Image of Udit Mehta
Udit Mehta
Chief Digital Growth Officer
Image of Pierre Theodore
Pierre Theodore
Vice-President Global External Innovation
Johnson & Johnson
Image of Camila Da Rosa Lopes
Camila Da Rosa Lopes
Director of Customer Engagement & Innovation
Image of Arpit Gupta
Arpit Gupta
SVP Product Innovation
Bank of America
Image of Robin Beers
Robin Beers
SVP Head of Customer Experience Insights
Wells Fargo
Image of Sol Rashidi
Sol Rashidi
Chief Data Officer
Sony Music
Image of Donald High
Donald High
Chief Innovation Officer
Ashley Furniture

6 Challenges in Digital

Our summit is focused on solving your strategic challenges
  • Integrating tech such as AR, AI, voice, IoT, robotics, blockchain and others into the innovation pipeline and understanding their practical implementation
  • Creating engaging interfaces, customer experiences and workflows and through improved UX design
  • Industrializing ideas and scaling innovation from the lab to the frontlines of the business
  • Understanding the ethics of data collection and usage, and using data effectively to develop new business models and revenue opportunities
  • Harnessing the knowledge and ideas of employees, customers, start-ups, academia and others
  • Upskilling the organization to build digital capabilities and develop a ‘design thinking’ mindset
Apply to attend

Summit Schedule

3 Days - 3 Summit Themes - 3 Workshops
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Monday September 9, 2019
1:00pm - 6:00pm

Grab your name badge, say hello, activate the onsite app and prepare to leave the office behind for two-and-a-half days of networking, learning and intelligence gathering.

Solution provider briefing
2:00pm - 2:30pm

Details To Follow.

Solution provider briefing
2:30pm - 2:45pm

What? When? How? Where? Join our Master of Ceremonies for a brief welcome and orientation session, where we’ll explain your itinerary for the next few days.

Panel Discussion
2:45pm - 3:30pm
Dealer’s Choice
headshot of Steven Keller
Steven Keller
Director, Digital Marketing + Digital Strategy - GE Healthcare
headshot of Phil Komarny
Phil Komarny
VP Innovation - Salesforce

Oceans of consumer data and insights are now at our fingertips. Personalisation is no longer an added benefit to products and services – it’s an expectation. Faced with so many avenues of innovation, how do you know which choice is best for your business?

3:30pm - 3:50pm
Who is your customer and what do they want?

In order to understand where you want to be, you must understand who you’re aiming at. In this interview, we speak to a company who has accurately gauged their target audience and succeeded at becoming a customer-centric business.

3:50pm - 5:00pm
Pulling back the curtain: understand your core business goals
headshot of Steven Keller
Steven Keller
Director, Digital Marketing + Digital Strategy - GE Healthcare

Since 2000, 50% of Fortune 500 companies have been wiped out. The pace of innovation is accelerating exponentially, and businesses are being forced to keep up or fall by the wayside. The need for innovation in business strategy cannot be ignored or underestimated.

1. What does a customer-centric business look like?

2. Do your KPIs identify opportunities for revenue diversification and market growth?

  • When taking on new projects, what’s the best indicator of success

3. Do you have an overarching business strategy to keep your teams focused?

4. What methods do you use to set your business goal?

  • Which emerging tech do you see helping to achieving your goal?
3:50pm - 5:00pm
Digital talent: The gift that keeps on giving
headshot of Phil Komarny
Phil Komarny
VP Innovation - Salesforce

Machine automation is on the rise. More than 40% of data science tasks will be automated by 2020. However, this may only be for routine tasks and processes. Why are in-house teams so important in the face of digital transformation?

1. How advanced is the culture of innovation in your business?

  • What are the soft skills necessary to help solve new challenges? How can you measure that?

2. When should you build a new tech system around your workforce and when should you develop the other way around?

3. Should you build in-house teams or use external services?

4. Are your staff getting the support needed to identify weaknesses in your business and come up with creative solutions?

  • What are some of the best practices you can use to improve skills across digital, data science, and technology?
  • What are the soft skills necessary for your teams to tackle new challenges in the business?
3:50pm - 5:00pm
If it ain’t broke, fix it anyway: Legacy Infrastructure

“Innovation” is the buzzword of 2019 and has the potential to make powerful companies obsolete. How can you create innovative agility while using legacy systems?

1. Can you combat legacy inertia and change your understanding of risk?

2. What are the techniques you can use to speed up the process of transforming your legacy technology?

  • Which functions in your current system can help your company become more agile?

3. Is it more important to build internal, backend systems that help your team or build customer-facing systems and products?

  • Does your workforce have a say in this?

4. The low-hanging fruit: where do you see the potential for fast and easy innovation

  • How can you improve the customer touchpoints without going through laborious legacy technology?
  • Where do you see the biggest opportunities and how can you amend these?
3:50pm - 5:00pm
Creating a flexible budget for Innovation

Netflix spent $1.3 billion on tech development in 2018. Amazon spent $23 billion. In order to get as much out of the process, should you dare to step out of your financial comfort zone?

1. How soon do you expect to see the intended results of a project?

  • Which tools can you use to track progress and course-correct accordingly?

2. Why do we focus on instant ROI rather than a lasting impact on the company and brand

3. How can you redistribute your budget to allow more room for innovation

  • Are the right departments getting a big enough slice of the pie?

4. How can you make your financial planning process more flexible

  • How should you judge budget allocation for risky innovation projects?
  • How can project partnerships minimise the financial risk on your business?
3:50pm - 5:00pm
How to store and analyse collected data

The way data is being collected isn’t connecting the multiple touchpoints in businesses today. Improving data analysis is the next step to clean, usable data. How can you squeeze the juice from the insight you have gathered to connect the customer touchpoints?

1. Can you map out and identify an individual customer using your collected data

  • Can everyone access customer data? Do all relevant departments know how to use the data?
  • Where is your data being stored? What’s the ideal containment? 

2. How well-defined is your data strategy?

  • Is your main issue with collecting, storing, managing or using the data? Can you focus your innovation efforts here?

3. Where can the use of machine automation help with cutting costs and improving task efficiency

4. Where should a human step in? Where is the need for human nuance and what would that machine-employee interaction look like?

Roundtable feedback
5:00pm - 5:30pm

Details To Follow.

Networking drinks
6:00pm - 7:00pm

Time to kick off your heels, loosen those ties and get to know your fellow summit attendees. Relax, drinks are on us.

Gala dinner
7:00pm - 10:00pm

Time for some fun; you’ve earned it. Join us for the night’s dinner and entertainment. Details to follow.

Gala dinner keynote, Q&A: Are you sitting comfortably? Don’t!
8:00pm - 8:30pm

With each year comes a wave of exciting new technology and processes that companies are eager to implement. Constant experimentation and analysis can help assess whether your company would benefit from each new trend. By not innovating, you’re stagnating.

  • How can you achieve rolling innovation with the increasing regulatory pressures?
  • What are the benefits of frequently testing new technologies as opposed to developing legacy systems?
  • How do you gauge which new tech has lasting practical applications or if it is a temporary trend?
Tuesday September 10, 2019
7:00am - 7:50am

The most important meal of the day. Get yourself set for a productive day by joining us for coffee, croissants and more.

Welcome remarks
7:50am - 8:00am

Details To Follow.

8:00am - 8:20am
Durability and innovation: striking a balance

Here is an example of a company who have built a strong foundation for innovation, ensuring there isn’t a need for digital transformation every few years but instead has a system that can handle rolling innovation.

8:20am - 8:50am
Title TBC

Details To Follow.

Panel Discussion
8:50am - 9:20am
Shift the mindset and culture
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Ryan Miller
Chief Digital Officer - First Investors Financial Services
headshot of Nisha Paliwal
Nisha Paliwal
CTO Small Business Bank - Capital One
headshot of Paul Strike
Paul Strike
VP Head of Design - Prudential Financial

Digital transformation is essential but not enough on its own: in order to truly establish your company as an innovator, mindsets must change too.

  • How do you qualify innovation? Which metrics determine the success of an innovative new project?
  • What role does failure play in experimentation and agile innovation?
  • When will we eventually see the end of corporate silos? How are they affecting the culture of your business?
Oxford Style Debate and Live Polling
9:20am - 10:00am
The Office of Innovation

More and more businesses are creating the role of Chief Innovation Officer, overseeing innovation efforts company-wide and identifying room for improvement. Yet due to the uncertainty of the job role, often its responsibilities are incorporated into the office of the CMO or CDO.

  • Is it more beneficial to have a dedicated role/team for innovation or to encourage innovation in all?
  • Would an innovation team recognise opportunities where others may not?
  • Do innovation hubs help with experimentation while keeping costs low? Would it be easier to keep track of innovation with a separate, dedicated budget?
Coffee & Networking Break
10:00am - 10:20am

Take advantage of time to network with fellow summit attendees and further discuss your business transformation projects.

Case Study
10:20am - 11:00am
Effective application of consumer data

Many companies have cracked the code on using customer data to improve the customer experience. This is an example of a success story, or a company who has begun to take great steps in the right direction.

11:00am - 11:40am
Title TBC

Details To Follow.

Panel Discussion
11:40am - 12:20pm
Insourcing and outsourcing

The question often arises: when should you use an in-house team to build a new system and when should you hire external experts? We listen to a range of companies who have struck a balance within their companies… and not necessarily in the same way. How can you identify the right situations for insourcing and outsourcing in your business?

12:20pm - 12:50pm
Unicorns and 800lb gorillas
headshot of Eduardo Erazo
Eduardo Erazo
Global Director of Data Innovation - Black & Veatch

The lion’s share of markets belongs to highly-successful start-ups and tech giants, however following in their footsteps isn’t always the best path to take. How can you compete without losing your company’s identity?

12:50pm - 1:50pm

Worked up an appetite? Recharge those batteries with our buffet-style lunch, and prepare to meet the afternoon head-on.

1:50pm - 2:40pm
Drill Down Roundtables

1. Pulling back the curtain: understand your core business goals

2. Digital talent: The gift that keeps on giving

3. If it ain’t broke, fix it anyway

4. Your mind on the budget and the budget on your mind

5. How to store and analyse collected data

2:40pm - 3:20pm
Title TBC

Details To Follow.

Case Study
3:20pm - 4:00pm
Teaching an old dog new tricks
headshot of Aaron Burns
Aaron Burns
Director of Digital + Loyalty - Reynolds American, Inc

Many businesses rooted in legacy technology are breaking the mould and challenging innovation in old industries. Here we listen to an example of a company straying from the well-trodden path and exploring exciting new avenues for innovation.

Panel Discussion
4:00pm - 4:40pm
Justifying the spend on AR/VR/MR
headshot of Sara Fleeman
Sara Fleeman
Director, Digital - United Way of Greater Atlanta
headshot of Naya Resnick
Naya Resnick
VP, Technology - 21st Century Fox
headshot of Sajjad Khan
Sajjad Khan
Director of Digital - 7-Eleven
headshot of Brennen Dicker
Brennen Dicker
Director of Digital, Creative Media Industries Institute - Georgia State University

The application of intelligent mixed-reality technology stretches far beyond Snapchat filters and immersive cinema. Many industries are recognising it as a practical tool to drive customer engagement. Yet how can you tell if it’s right for your business?

  • How can you assess the readiness of your company for mixed-reality technology?
  • Where will its implementation generate the biggest ROI?
  • How can AR/VR/MR aid long-term projects? Is it a fleeting trend or is it here to stay?
Coffee & Networking Break
4:40pm - 5:00pm

Take advantage of time to network with fellow summit attendees and further discuss your business transformation projects.

Oxford Style Debate and Live Polling
5:40pm - 6:10pm
Voice technology: ready or not, here it comes

Voice technology is described frequently as the breakthrough tech of 2019, with 39% of financial services marketers engaging with voice and 29% of retail and consumer goods marketers. However, even Amazon’s predictions for Alexa were not as successful as they’d hoped, which begs the question: is voice truly the biggest emerging technology of 2019?

  • What is the purpose of an “ambient assistant”?
  • Is it developed enough for the average consumer?
  • What are the practical uses for voice?
  • Is it dangerous to invest in such a new technology?
  • Voice vs text: which will be more widely used by the end of 2020?
5:40pm - 6:10pm
Innovators: Assemble
headshot of Andy Miller
Andy Miller
SVP Innovation and Product Development - AARP

With the rise in AI and machine learning, the hunt is on for the best digital talent to accurately operate complex tech. How can you be sure you’re attracting and retaining the best and brightest agile thinkers?

  • When should you upskill the current workforce and when should you hire new talent?
  • In which ways can you present your company as a desirable destination for the digital-savvy thinker?
  • Does your product need transforming or does your workforce need training?
  • How can you use the collective expertise of your employees to discover new revenue opportunities?
Attendee downtime
6:00pm - 7:00pm

Time for a well-deserved break in your busy schedules.

Drinks, gala dinner, silent auction, quiz/trivia
7:00pm - 10:00pm

Time for some fun; you’ve earned it. Join us for our second night’s dinner and entertainment. Details to follow.

Wednesday September 11, 2019
7:30 am - 8:20 am

The most important meal of the day. Get yourself set for a productive day by joining us for coffee, croissants and more.

Welcome remarks
8:20 am - 8:30 am

Details To Follow.

8:30 am - 8:50 am
Digital experience in the real world

Digital innovation is invading business strategies in all industries. More companies recognise the need to infuse digital elements into their real-world experiences. How can you achieve this if your business isn’t digitally native?

8:50 am - 9:20 am
Title TBC

Details To Follow.

9:20 am - 10:00 am
Drill Down Roundtables

1. Pulling back the curtain: understand your core business goals

2. Digital talent: The gift that keeps on giving

3. If it ain’t broke, fix it anyway

4. Your mind on the budget and the budget on your mind

5. How to store and analyse collected data

Coffee & Networking Break
10:00 am - 10:30 am

Take advantage of time to network with fellow summit attendees and further discuss your business transformation projects.

Case Study
10:30 am - 11:10 am
Survivorship Bias: the grass isn’t always greener

It’s easy to look at market leaders and assume failure had little-to-no part in their achievement. However, we are rarely presented the opportunity to peek behind the curtain. Leading industries innovate using the “fail fast, learn faster” mentality.

– How can you objectively compare your business to competitors’ without falling for survivorship bias?

– Why is failure necessary to achieve the success of innovative market leaders?

– What would success look like in your business? Should you follow in others’ footsteps or forge your own path?

11:10 am - 11:50 am
Title TBC

Details To Follow.

Panel Discussion
11:50 am - 12:30 pm
Closing panel & wrap up: A new perspective

What are the key points to take away from the summit? How can you implement the decisions you’ve made back into your business? What is the next step and how will things change from now on?

Buffet lunch
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Worked up an appetite? Recharge those batteries with our buffet-style lunch for your journey home.

Summit Location

The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, Florida

Our events take place at some of the most prestigious venues in the world. Five-star accommodation, dining and amenities make attending one of our summits both business and pleasure. Being productive has never been so much fun.

Latest Case Study

Senior executives love our summits because of the unparalleled opportunity to meet people with ideas on how to move their key projects forward. But don’t just take our word for it…

To discuss how GDS Summits can help you solve your project challenges contact us on: 0117 921 4000 or email sayhello@gdsgroup.com.

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