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RCA talks

IN SESSION: Unleashing Innovation

20 July 2021 | 4pm – 5pm

This event was streamed live via zoom

Innovation has often been treated as a luxury, something you fund in the good times.

As we settle into the ‘new normal’ in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s become a necessity for organisations big and small. This talk brings together Nick, Emma, Inara and Judah to share with you what it takes to create and deliver an innovation strategy, build the capacity inside your organisation as well as how to unleash the creativity and innovations of your customers, business partners and supply chain alike.

Speaker Bios

Nick de Leon
Knowledge Exchange & Partnerships Lead at the Royal College of Art

Nick is Executive Education and Knowledge Exchange Lead in the School of Design, where he leads the development of the School's research and knowledge exchange relations. Nick received his PhD from Imperial College Business School, where his research addressed the impact of information and communication technologies on the social and economic vitality of cities. Nick has an engineering degree from Imperial College and a Master’s degree in Industrial Design from the Royal College of Art. He began his career as an industrial designer at IBM, moving from designing products then services, through to developing entire new businesses in his role as Business Development Director for IBM’s Global Services division in Europe. He led the NESTA-funded joint venture between the RCA and Imperial College London, Design London, as director from 2007 to 2011.

Judah Armani
Founder, InHouse Records

Judah’s award winning practice enjoys an internationally recognised track record of creating positive impact in society since 2009. He leads co-creative teams from across the problem space in fostering projects of change. He spent the last ten years creating initiatives of social change in the area of homelessness, he is currently exploring the criminal justice system. InHouse Records is the latest of these initiatives, an award winning record label operating in and out of prison, providing safer communities, less victims of crime and reducing re-offending. He is an associate lecturer at the RCA, a researcher at the Design Against Crime unit at Central Saint Martins and a Visiting Fellow at Rhode Island School of Design. His work has been published in national journals and his designs have been celebrated in national and international press. He is committed to social innovation by improving lives together through creativity.

Emma Frost
Director of Innovation, Sustainability & Community, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Emma Frost is highly experienced in delivering strategic integrated urban regeneration programmes. She has been working on the London Olympic and Paralympic Legacy since 2006 and oversees all aspects of Innovation, sustainability, community and business development across Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Specialising in community development, innovation and masterplanning as well as business strategy and start-ups, with experience across public, private and third sectors. Emma is passionate about developing and supporting inclusive innovation - drawing on her sustainability and community skills as well as extensive urban and economic development experience. She is also chair of the UK Innovation Districts Group, co-founder of Echo Trustee of East Village Trust and of the One Percent Scheme.

Inara Khan
Head of Delivery (Innovation), NHSX

Inara joined the team in November 2021 as Head of Delivery, building on her experience in strategy and transformation. She has previously led teams working on the faster diagnosis of cancer and the development of whole genome sequencing. She started her NHS career in NHS England's Strategy Team working on digital transformation programmes and strategic proposals, prior to this she worked in local government and as a BBC journalist. Inara is a trustee of a health charity in Islington, and a trustee of two nurseries having previously been a secondary school governor. She has a keen interest in politics and food!

To find more about how to turn compelling concepts into exciting new business ventures with robust and investable business plans, capable of delivering sustainable growth, book your place on the new online short course Unleashing Innovation 4–27 October 2021.