IBM Exec Says Our Future Depends on Unprecedented Levels of Human Capital Investment

Orlando, FL (May 24, 2016)—That today’s world is experiencing rapid, and accelerating, change is a frequently cited fact by innovation thought leaders and R&D executives. Where is all this change leading us? IBM Fellow and Chief Innovation Officer Bernie Meyerson said in his keynote address today at the Industrial Research Institute’s (IRI) 2016 Annual Meeting that our future may be unclear, but what is clear today is the need for a retooling of society’s skillsets to handle these rapid changes.

“We are seeing industry partnering with universities more closely due in large part to industry’s desire to have universities teach the skills they need, and also to get a leg up on recruiting,” said Tom Kavassalis, IRI Board Chairman and Vice President of Strategy and Alliances at the Xerox Innovation Group. “Human capital development of this kind is important to every industry. What is worth noting, however, is the prolific rise of informal, non-university-based educational outlets also sponsored and, in many cases, created by industry as a response to the need for more flexible training regimes to meet rapidly changing market conditions.”

In his keynote address, “Creating Corporate ‘DNA’ That Thrives on Innovation,” Meyerson remarked that innovation, and the ability to innovate at a sustained rate, has risen to the top of the list of imperatives for virtually all business leaders who now view innovation as a matter of survival. Meyerson’s work focuses primarily on the nature of innovation itself and how the development of innovation leadership is going to be essential in the future as the processes involved in successfully innovating are going to be more and more necessary to navigate the challenges ahead. A massive investment in human capital, therefore, will become more necessary than many other types of investments an organization can make.

About the Industrial Research Institute (IRI)

The Industrial Research Institute (IRI) is an organization of 200+ industrial and service companies having a common interest in the effective management of technological innovation. IRI member companies span diverse industries and represent a substantial portion of our nation’s gross domestic product. IRI is the only cross-industry organization creating innovation leadership solutions and best practices in innovation management developed through collaborative knowledge creation. For more information, call 703-647-2580 or visit