Stimulating innovation to drive growth

What skill is most in demand in a world of constant change? Innovation: to stay ahead of disruption – or to be the disruptor; to fuel entrepreneurship; to design global-scale responses to widespread challenges; to take advantage of the opportunities arising from the explosion of technology and data. Although innovation is at the top of nearly every organization’s agenda, many don’t innovate effectively and at scale. Some make only safe bets, running the risk of being outpaced by their competitors. Others find it difficult to manage change, so ideas that challenge convention never come to fruition – or arrive too late.

The people of PwC have the skills to help leaders create paths toward innovation management, playing to their core values and strategic goals, spotting threats, and uncovering opportunities. With the right type of innovation, business leaders can cultivate mindsets that embolden foundational change, enabling them to build their businesses and advance disruptive technologies that can transform industries and improve lives. For example, the firm developed a platform called DeNovo to help financial services clients see where financial technology innovation is impacting their business. DeNovo cuts through the noise to explain which startups, technologies, trends, and new market entrants are relevant to a business and why.

93% of executives indicate that organic growth through innovation will drive the greater proportion of their revenue growth.1

61% of US CEOs believe new market entrants will disrupt their industries during the next few years.2

The MIND Research Institute is one of the innovative, pioneering education programs we’re proud to collaborate with through the PwC Charitable Foundation.

Generation Startup

Small businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy, and it doesn’t get any smaller than a typical startup. Against trying odds and big-time risks, a fresh generation of entrepreneurs, with a diversity of culture, experiences, and ideas, is proving that they have what it takes to innovate their way through a challenging economy. A new documentary, funded in part by the PwC Charitable Foundation, focuses on the trials, tribulations – and, sometimes, failures – of six young entrepreneurs who are looking for innovative solutions to address business and social challenges.

Innovative and resilient cities

Today’s world-class cities are the primary drivers of global social and economic growth, making it more important than ever to understand how they operate and what makes the great ones run smoothly. According to a wide range of data, the most successful 21st century cities share a suite of common characteristics: innovation and intellectual capital, technology readiness, sound transportation and infrastructure, healthcare, safety and security, and environmental sustainability. But most of all, the heart of a strong city revolves around its people and the city’s ability to balance social, environmental, and financial needs and opportunities. For seven consecutive years, PwC has produced our annual Cities of Opportunity report to communicate lessons learned from cities that are innovating for the future.

Innovation leaders who follow a guided path see 2 to 3 times higher growth outlooks.3

Turning sprawl into economic success

Denver International Airport is the largest airport in North America, bigger, even, than the city of San Francisco. At 53 square miles, the airport has the opportunity to double its runways and facilities to serve 100 million passengers a year. It also owns 9,000 acres not needed for aviation purposes that can be developed for commercial use – making it one of the most compelling real estate opportunities in the world. This effort, referred to as DEN Real Estate, can generate non-aviation revenue, reduce airline operating costs, increase regional economic benefits, and attract new passengers, all of which should result in more flights to more cities.

The Airport turned to PwC to develop a plan for a new kind of “city” built on and around the airport property – one that would provide a hub for commercial and urban development and position the greater Denver area as an incubator for technology and innovation.

The goals for this new “aerotropolis” are scaled not in years but in decades. Airport administrators and city officials were looking for a long-term strategy that could be built up over the next 20 to 30 years, depending on the needs of the local economy. With a new commuter rail system already in place, downtown dwellers will be able to access the corridor of opportunities between the city center and the airport without adding traffic burdens.

At a time when urbanization continues to rise, local Denver officials recognized a pressing need for the public and private sectors to come together and plan for investments in connected, and more sustainable, infrastructure. In other words, they aspire to build a viable new community where people want to live and work as a destination unto itself – in a rather unexpected place.

Creating a roadmap for Los Angeles

As one of the world’s preeminent economic and cultural hubs, Los Angeles sought to continue its success by defining a vision for its future that ensured clean air, improved mobility, and a sustainable water supply for its residents. While the city had already been making efforts on a number of fronts, a single, unifying plan was needed to combine the resources and attention of all city stakeholders. In response, the mayor and his chief sustainability officer enlisted PwC’s help to craft an innovative plan equally focused on three areas – environment, economy, and equality – detailing near-term targets for 2017, long-term targets, and strategic/priority initiatives that included enhancing food networks, transportation systems, and resilience and moved beyond more traditional city systems planning.

PwC worked on every step of the process, from topic selection to analysis, goal-setting to buy-in, drafting to launch. In the first year of implementation of the plan – known as the “pLAn” – Los Angeles reduced its water use by 19% and became the first major US city to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.4

Read about our other imperatives

Organizations need a comprehensive business and technology strategy that moves at the speed of the digital age and embraces disruption.

Enormous amounts of data are at organizations’ fingertips. We help clients discover the value of their data and create trust in it.

For PwC, building trust in society and solving important problems is at the heart of who we are.

Cultivating employees with a skillset that is truly adapted to the 21st century is a crucial driver of success.