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Speaker will encourage 'revolt against routine' at iXchange

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An unconventional leader in innovation will be the guest speaker at this year's idea exchange hosted by Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Dustin Garis will bring his approach to brand building, new business ventures and corporate entrepreneurship as the keynote presenter for the Ben Franklin iXchange at 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 9, at the Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh University, Bethlehem.

The iXchange is an annual business networking opportunity that last year attracted more than 450 technology entrepreneurs, business people, economic developers, venture capitalists and other professionals, the organization said.

To select speakers, the organization views video footage, researches and relies on feedback from surveys, said Laura Eppler, director of marketing for Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

“Basically, we look at what kinds of trends are out there, what people are interested in and we choose someone,” she said.

The theme of “disruptive innovation” emerged as the key concept upon which Garis will focus.

“The whole concept is that creative innovation will occur when you break out of your routines,” Eppler said. “We live very repetitive lives; almost 90 percent of our activity is the same day-to-day.

“Autopilot doesn’t inspire innovative thinking. In his iXchange keynote ‘disruptive innovation,’ Dustin Garis will encourage us to break the routine and think more creatively.”

Garis will present approaches for reinventing the way team members view consumers, the market and their role as innovators.

The organization said he integrated these practices into his responsibilities as a leader of global marketing innovation for P&G FutureWorks. He also was a leader for the P&G FutureWorks emerging markets division in Singapore, where his team managed a billion-dollar portfolio of new business models and early stage technologies across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The iXchange will include two executive networking sessions and the presentation of Ben Franklin’s annual Innovation Awards. The awards recognize outstanding individual and company accomplishments in business and technology.

Early registration is $75. The fee is $95 after April 30.

Information can be found at http://ennect.com/e2801.

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Brian Pedersen

Brian Pedersen

Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at brianp@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4108. Follow him on Twitter @BrianLehigh and read his blog, “Can You Dig It,” at http://www.lvb.com/section/can-you-dig-it.

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