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Tech Up for Women & IFA Berlin Panel: Samsung & Google on Advancing Innovation


IFA Berlin, a leading global trade show for consumer and home electronics, and Tech Up For Women, a group created for the advancement of women in technology, have joined forces to host a live event series. The “International Tech Up Talks” series provides a platform for high-profile female leaders in the tech industry to reflect on their careers, offer advice, and inspire the next generation of female innovators. To kick off the series, they convened Samsung Electronics America’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing & Communications, Michelle Crossan-Matos, and Google’s Managing Director of Apps, Imma Calvo, to discuss strategies for advancing innovation.

Moderated by cofinitive’s Faye Holland, Michelle and Imma delved into what innovation means to them. While most organizations understand the importance of innovation, the pandemic significantly accelerated the pace at which brands were bringing new ideas to market to help consumers both survive and thrive during this period. Recently, consumer confidence has rebounded sharply in the U.S. and with that renewed sense optimism, the approach to innovation has shifted from crisis-mode to lasting, meaningful change.

Michelle and Imma offered the following lessons learned during the session:

Innovation doesn’t just happen — it’s designed by humans for humans. And diversity is a critical ingredient. The innovation process is a multidimensional one and we must learn to approach it empathetically and surrounded by colleagues of diverse backgrounds with varied point of views so we can all bring something uniquely remarkable to the table,” said Michelle.

Embrace disruption, even if it means becoming industry-agnostic to create a differentiated experience. The industry you operate in or founded your business on doesn’t matter as much as who your consumer is and what you can offer them. For example, gaming adapted and moved into social and social moved into e-commerce,” said Imma.

Leverage innovation to not just fulfill consumers’ current or predict future unmet needs, but to also build a brighter tomorrow – one that is more inclusive and sustainable. Social responsibility, accessibility, and sustainability aren’t just buzz words. At Samsung, we’ve accelerated the design and development of green technology and launched initiatives like our Galaxy Upcycling program and our Eco-Packaging solution – all to create a positive long-term impact on our planet. We’re also revolutionizing access to technology for ALL through a wide range of accessibility features and functionalities,” said Michelle.

Be fearless about failure! Fear of failure actually inhibits innovation by suppressing new ideas. Being fearless means being someone who makes mistakes but rather than dwell on those mistakes, view them as learning experiences that give you the opportunity to iterate and evolve,” said Michelle. Elaborating on this point, Imma noted, “Try to find a company that creates a space for you to fearlessly exercise your innovation muscles. And once you’re there and you become a leader, don’t forget to create an inclusive, failure-safe place for the new industry entrants.”

For the full session, please visit:

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