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Leaders in Sustainability Graduate Student Omar Asensio led an innovation workshop for the American Chemical Society

The title of the session was “Fostering Innovation: Styles and Process” and was part of the ACS Leadership Development System. Asensio discussed innovation processes at the individual and organizational level. In the audience were chemists and chemical engineers from industry, government, and academia.

Workshop participants were asked to come up with an innovation challenge which they worked on throughout the session. Participants were split up into four teams by their innovation style (visionaries, refiners, experimenters, philosophers) after completing a psychological questionnaire based. The teams worked on a real innovation challenge using a systematic, four-step process: (i) Benchmarking (ii) Generating Ideas (iii) Evaluating and Prioritizing Ideas (iv) Leading Implementation. At the end the teams reported to the entire audience on their prioritized strategy for implementation.

Asensio is a doctoral student and National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship fellow at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. He works in the areas of environmental economics, management and policy.