• Jens Rassloff, Leadership |

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited […]." – (What Life Means to Einstein", The Saturday Evening Post, 26. October 1929)

Albert Einstein

It was during my college years that I first came across this quote by Einstein and it has stuck with me ever since. Likely because during my childhood my education was very much focused on the transfer of knowledge, imagination and creativity.

After a 25-year career in IT and consulting, I know now more than ever that what Einstein said is true: Imagination and creativity are key drivers for innovation and change. They are both essential for seeing, recognizing and harnessing an opportunity – be it for clients, colleagues, or the community at large.
 

Together. For better.

Over the years, I have also learned that real innovation does not happen in a vacuum nor is it restricted to laboratories or research centers. Rather, new ideas and innovative approaches emerge every day from all sorts of different people, regardless of their role, position or industry. And often, innovation requires connections across an entire network – between clients, tech firms, start-ups, governments, not-for-profit organizations, and the community.

That’s why KPMG has an integrated approach to innovation across our ecosystems with dedicated programs, processes and investments to promote and empower our people. KPMG is committed to creating a supportive, nurturing and inclusive environment where creative ideas flourish, and entrepreneurial spirit is encouraged and rewarded:

  • We work closely with our key technology alliances to innovate, co-invest and seize opportunities with a digital approach to help to create direct impacts for clients and communities.
  • We work with Incubators and Accelerators, such as MassChallenge, to enhance corporate innovation opportunities for promising start-ups while continuing to accelerate real change for clients.
  • We collaborate with not-for-profit organizations and academic institutions to foster innovation – often with a focus on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) topics. One recent example is our collaboration with United Cities – The Centre for Sustainable Cities and Communities, working together to bringing sustainable urban developments to cities around the world.
  • We foster creative and innovative activities by designing and delivering hackathons, innovation challenges and workshops hosted in our network of hubs, such as the KPMG Clubhouse in Singapore.
  • Globally, we continue to invest in state-of-the-art innovation facilities, such as our Ignition Centers, enabling the experimentation and exploration of the art of the possible with clients and stakeholders in an immersive and collaborative environment.
  • We are passionate about supporting initiatives and projects that challenge the status quo and actively address inclusion and diversity issues. One such example is the “Coalition of Innovation Leaders Against Racism” (CILAR), comprised of leaders from across the Innovation Economy, including start-ups, large multi-nationals and Government. Armughan Ahmad, President and Managing Partner, Digital for KPMG in Canada, helped establish CILAR to address issues of systemic racism in the Innovation Economy for the Black Community, Indigenous Peoples and People of Colour (BIPOC).
     

Leading with purpose

As a firm, we’re driven by our purpose — to inspire confidence and empower change. Reflecting on 2020 and as we look forward into 2021, our purpose has never been so important. We see it as our collective responsibility to help shape and lead on critical issues where our creativity and capabilities can make a difference.

Not every initiative we launch and execute is a big “game changer” – but they all play a critical role in making a difference for clients, our people, or the communities we live in.
 

Creativity and innovation for a better world

To celebrate the UN’s World Creativity and Innovation Day, we will be featuring a number of stories over the coming week, including:

  • Working with Microsoft and Blind Citizens Australia, we built an accessible Dynamics CRM system for blind and vision impaired people.
  • KPMG Origins – a unique blockchain track-and-trace solution built to empower the customer by providing full transparency to the supply chain.
  • Our collaboration with the not-for-profit, Melwood, to create a unique program to help to fill existing open job opportunities with skilled neurodiverse individuals .
  • Our ongoing relationship with Enactus, the world’s largest learning platform, represents one of the many ways in which we are supporting our communities and developing a strong pipeline for the next generation of business leaders. Recently, we used our Design Thinking for Business Model Innovation methodology to develop the ‘Escape your Brain’ course for Enactus.
  • Morehouse School of Medicine collaborated with KPMG and Salesforce to connect underserved communities with COVID-19 resources.

I am incredibly proud of the work my KPMG colleagues, together with our innovation ecosystem, have done to drive innovation and change for a better world.

Please stay tuned and follow us on LinkedIn for more stories and check out our ‘Innovation for a better world’ campaign.

#innovationforabetterworld