LeAnna J. Carey, a digital engagement strategist focusing on business innovation, and co-author of the newly launched eBook, The Power of Co-Creation in Healthcare Innovation, has observed firsthand the power of social media in driving innovation. After leading the digital strategy of a year-long innovation project, called modelH, a collaborative initiative that highlighted co-creation within the healthcare industry, Carey is convinced that the key to driving innovation is providing the tools where communities can visualize and extend ideas and insights through social media. Carey states that, “social media is the cross pollination tool that brings academic, providers, and business stakeholders together. For example, healthcare social media has between 300-400 million pages that are ranked on Google; if you type in healthcare social media consultant, there are 46 million pages; given those numbers, why is healthcare still slow to innovate?” Until recently, we have been unable to manage ideas, much less use social media as a collaborative tool; now we have the means to drive innovation efforts and idea exchange. Collaboration is more likely to take place when the right tools are in place, particularly with virtual communities becoming the new reality. “Within the last year I have a seen significant rise in interest from the C-Suite to learn more about social business as a strategy for growth, rather than just as a marketing channel.” It is Carey’s intent to continue educating the healthcare sector on how social media is a necessary component to innovation and transformation. Carey was recently the recipient of the 2014 HBA innovation award, and is a board member for Healthcare Business Women’s Association. She has served as the Global Chair for the Digital Elite for HBA, and the host of two highly recognized internet radio shows, Women Who Innovate, and Innovation Talk by TheHealthMaven.

Renee Hopkins describes herself as “born curious” and has spent her entire life sharing new ideas with others, starting at the age of 6 when she taught her little sister how to read. Renee is the Community Engagement Manager at the Business Innovation Factory (BIF), a nonprofit that helps leaders design and test new business models in the real world. BIF projects focus on healthcare, education, and government, because we believe that business model innovation is on the critical path to transforming these most important social systems. BIF also hosts a TED-like Collaborative Innovation Summit each September. Renee also writes extensively about innovation and creativity and is also a founder and principal of the Twitter-based Innochat, called by Forbes magazine one of three most “mind-opening Twitter chats on business.” Renee was founding editor of Texas Enterprise at the McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin. She was also editor of the newsletter Strategy & Innovation and the InnoBlog at Innosight, a Boston-based management consultancy focused on innovation, and editor-in-chief of the group blog Collaborative Innovation. Way back when, Renee created one of the first innovation-focused blogs,IdeaFlow, and even before that (before the Internet!), Renee was a print journalist who served as managing editor of D magazine, a news editor at The Tennessean in Nashville, and an editor and reporter who worked in both features and business news at The Dallas Morning News.

Wanda is a proven catalyst for innovative leadership with over 10 years in executive management in non-profit and educational sectors. Her experience in education has included classroom teacher, campus leader and curriculum specialist and she currently serves as a principal at Amana Academy, the Coca-Cola Foundation’s Georgia Charter School of the Year for 2011. Wanda’s interests include educational reform, innovation, change, and social justice. She has served on several boards for non-profits including an initiative that launched Care Points in Africa for AIDS orphans. Wanda recently founded Think Innovate Educate, LLC where she writes for the blog,Think.Innovate.Educate.

Cathryn Hrudicka, Founder, CEO and Chief Imagination Officer of Creative Sage™, has been working in the creativity and innovation field for most of her life. She has consistently proven her leadership and innovation capabilities during her career of over thirty years by serving as a consultant, executive coach, trainer and facilitator, and previously, in senior staff and board positions for corporations, nonprofit organizations and trade associations. Ms. Hrudicka brings dynamic energy and breakthrough methods to conceptualizing, designing and managing creativity and innovation programs, drawing from her deep expertise in multiple disciplines and processes. In addition to her own methods, she uses approaches from the arts, design thinking, lateral thinking, DeBono Six Hats, Disney Imagineering, business model development, games, neuroscience and other sources. She is extremely resourceful in locating and putting together topnotch innovation teams and resources, a capability for which she received acclaim in the corporate world initially in the early 2000s, when she worked with Artmosphere, Inc., a former venture-funded start-up focused on an experiential family entertainment and retail center, and corporate creativity and innovation training. She was the consulting project manager and a co-designer / co-developer of the corporate creativity and innovation program. She also consulted in business development, marketing and public relations outreach for corporate events. For the corporate creativity and innovation program, she researched, managed and implemented the training curriculum, along with helping to select and manage Advisory and working Boards, following her extensive interviews with top-ranked authors, consultants and thought leaders in business creativity and innovation. Cathryn reported directly to the CEO and advised him, as well as coordinating with other department managers (such as the marketing director).

She then managed beta-testing of the program and analyzed the results, recommending next steps in the program’s process and launch. Regarded as a thought leader in creativity, innovation, leadership, and social business, Cathryn is a contributing author to the following books: A Guide to Open Innovation and Crowd Sourcing: Advice from Leading Experts, edited by Paul Sloane, with a foreword by Henry Chesbrough (Kogan Page, 2011); and two of the books in the Age of Conversation series, Age of Conversation 2: Why Don’t They Get It? (2008); and Age of Conversation 3: It’s Time to Get Busy (2010), both edited by Drew McLellan and Gavin Heaton. Additionally, she has written feature articles, cover stories, columns and other pieces for noted publications and blogs in the entertainment, arts, technology and health care industries. She has also been interviewed and featured in a number of articles, blog posts, podcasts, and books, including Twitterville, a landmark social business book written by Shel Israel (Portfolio, 2009). She is working on drafts for eleven novels, has published a poetry chapbook, and has managed an extensive parallel career as a multidisciplinary artist, composer and sound designer. Earlier in her career, she was also recognized for her work and a creativity theory she developed in the Creative Arts Therapy field. For three years in a row, Cathryn has been chosen for Innovation Excellence’s Innovation Top 50 Twitter List, and for the Twitter Top 100 Women List. In 2009, due to her strategic leadership of a ground-breaking healthcare social media and communications program, one of her clients, Eden Medical Center/Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley (a Sutter Health affiliate), won the 2009 SNCR (Society for New Communications Research) Award for Excellence and Innovation in External Communications and Communities in the Nonprofit Division, along with her company, Creative Sage™/Cathryn Hrudicka & Associates, and project partner G2 Communications, Inc. Cathryn participated with LeAnna Carey in a year-long healthcare innovation project, called modelH, a collaborative initiative that highlighted co-creation within the healthcare industry. The project included production of the recently launched eBook, The Power of Co-Creation in Healthcare Innovation. She has been a frequent participant in several notable online forums and chats, including the Twitter-based Innochat, called by Forbes magazine one of three most “mind-opening Twitter chats on business.

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