Independence Blue Cross
To do this, Connect the Dots and IBX invited innovation veterans and stakeholders across sectors and industries in the region to a collaborative dinner-workshop event. Thirty-plus representatives spanned ages, gender identities, nationalities, ethnicities, and levels of seniority. Organizations represented included higher education, startup incubators, private sector consultants, nonprofits, healthcare entities, and more: a group curated primarily through research, previous connections, and crowdsourced recommendations. The intent was to bring together a cross-section of the sector, recognizing that there were many more stakeholders to connect with moving forward. Seating was assigned across six tables to ensure diversity in thought, industry, and functional area of expertise.
Key to Connect the Dots approach was engaging attendees beforehand to gather initial insights and ideas to enable a collaborative rather than top-down approach. Interestingly, what came out was a strong need and interest in exploring ways for players in the ecosystem to collaborate more – which was seen as a key means to strengthening the sector as a whole. Connect the Dots then structured the conversation and event flow based on pre-event survey attendee input around what would make the dinner and dialogue most valuable.