Emer will speak about co-creation and engaging end users during her presentation at the PICNIC Innovation Mash Up.

Meet...Emer Beamer, Co-founder of Butterfly Works...

If you have to pick only one trait or characteristic that distinguishes innovative companies, what would it be?

Inquisitiveness! Because if you are curious and open and ask questions, you can learn and respond accordingly, whereas if you think you already know the answer(s) you will miss the boat. Keep questioning!

What companies do you most admire and why? 

Ben & Jerry's Ice cream; because they combine a great product with social values in a fun way.

What's the biggest mistake companies are making which is preventing them from innovating effectively?

Thinking that each new round of innovation is THE one, as opposed to a phase which will also pass. Examples of this mistake include mobile and social which are now all the hype, whilst they are in fact only a step towards where we are going.

What is the favourite innovation project that you have worked on? Why does is stand out? 

Currently my favorite is the Great Idea project in Afghanistan on distance learning. It is a collaboration of schools, non-profits, a telco and us from Butterfly Works. We work closely together (through 6 months live meetings and skype conferences), implementing a solution for the lack of teachers in Afghanistan at secondary school level through video telecasting and a mobile helpline.

The project kicked off with a week long co-creation workshop in Kabul. Here is the group of teachers, students, non-profits workers and ministry reps. Together, we chose and worked out the best solutions from the various perspectives, and perhaps more importantly, got the buy-in of all parties to deliver the solution together. 

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