So last year, looking at the announced conference chairmen, I asked on Twitter:
The face of "Disruptive Innovation"? Big Pharma white males in suits? #dpharm #hmmm pic.twitter.com/c1DZOTPVCH
— Paul Ivsin (@ivsin) September 16, 2013
I wasn't really expecting an answer, and I certainly didn't get one. The conference bills itself as a "TED-style event". The hallmark of the TED style, of course, is a spotlighted guru on stage and an audience whose role is strictly limited to nodding and clapping. Impertinent questions don't really fit that model.
But anyway. With this year's chairs announced, I was still curious to see how the face of disruption had changed in the past 12 months:
|Dpharm: the 2014 Edition|
Three returning chairs, two departing, and one new. Has the face of Dpharm been disrupted? To go back to my original question:
- Big Pharma: last year, 1 out of the 5 co-chairs was a token non-pharma addition. He's gone, and this year features a pure 100% Big Pharma composition.
- White males: Last year's 5/5 white males is down to 3/4. with one non-white and one female (who coincidentally happen to be the same person) addition.
- In suits: Here, finally, we see some radical disruption: the staid, black and white, suited head shots have been replaced by colorful, half-body action photos that practically scream, "Look, I am giving a presentation!"
We can look back with pride. 2014: the year we disrupted the necktie.
The conference says "radical thinkers are especially welcomed" and considers itself comprised of "out of the box thinkers". Looking at this year's lineup, I'll humbly suggest that if we want radical, out of the box thinking, we need to - at least occasionally - stop rummaging through the same Big Pharma Box.