Thomson Reuters Innovation Network

Building a social network for innovation

HYPOTHESIS

The Thomson Corporation (now Thomson Reuters) reached out to Digital Scientists to create an innovation network – and to help connect thought leadership and fresh ideas from across their multiple companies and business divisions. As a multi-billion dollar, globally-lauded information corporation, Thomson saw the great potential in bringing their innovation leadership together from each of the business segments in Financial, Healthcare, Legal, Scientific, and Accounting. 

    SERVICES UTILIZED
  • digital strategy
  • business strategy
  • social network design
  • event planning
  • UX design
  • web development

EXPERIMENT

We worked with the Thomson Company to create both an innovation-focused social network – and helped the company host a series of innovation-focused events in New York. The "Inovation Summits" had an impressive guestlist -- inviting their top minds and industry leaders to network and discuss ideas & opportunities. Our team handled event logistics, from start to finish – including the coordination of the event speakers and guests, event venue scheduling and setup, presentation materials, and event videography.

Guests included:

  • Don Norman, usability expert, author, and Director of The Design Lab at University of California
  • Guy Kawasaki, technology evangelist, author, and Silicon Valley VC
  • Barry Wacksman, R/GA Global Chief Strategy Officer
  • Chris Brogan, social media marketing consultant, speaker and author
  • Geoff Hyatt, entrepreneur, founder of Contact Networks (acquired by Thompson Reuters)
  • Don Tapscott, speaker, business strategist, and author
  • Daniel Palestrant, Founder & CEO of Cambridge-based Sermo, Inc. (medical design)
  • Hunt Slonem, New York City painter, visual artist

As a supporting layer, the innovation-focused social network helped members stay connected after each of the events, and served new ideas for discussion at the next event. At the time of its release, our team was early to the social networking trend -- so for purposes of flexibility, we created a custom Drupal frontend atop the KickApps social platform. For the initial content to start the network, our team sourced innovation content from across the web -- TEDtalks, Digg, YouTube, Flickr, Wikipedia, and several blogs.

Innovation Speakers

The Thomson team enjoyed thoughtful discussions from premier speakers, including:
Don Norman, Co-founder of the Neilsen Norman Group,
Guy Kawasaki, silicon valley entrepreneur and technology evangelist, and others.
TECHNOLOGIES
KickApps Social Platform
KickApps Social Platform

KickApps Social Network Platform
As social networks were just gaining in popularity, KickApps emerged as a leading, customizable platform option.

Drupal

Drupal
Frontend for social network widgets managed using Drupal and Joomla.

HTML5 and CSS3

HTML5 / CSS3

Our frontend team pushed the limits of customization on the KickApps platform, yielding a rich design with the latest content and video plugins.

Brightcove embedded video
Brightcove embedded video

Brightcove Embedded Video

Video content shot at the Innovation Summits was produced for the web, and hosted on the network. Brightcove preceeded YouTube and Vimeo for the hosting of commercial video, making it an obvious choice.

MailChimp
MailChimp

MailChimp
As part of the Innovation Summit Series, we sent periodic event reminder emails, and post-event summaries.

Innovation Event Series

Given Thomson's presence in the NorthEastern US, we opted to host the event series in NYC:
Attendees enjoyed the creative backdrop of Aglow art sudios and local artist Hunt Slonem's studio,
while staying at the SoHo Grand Hotel and Hotel Gansevoort.

ANALYSIS

Each of the Thomson Innovation Summits had a specific focus and objective. The most recent Summit's objective was to consider the potential of professional social networks and how they might provide a new platform for leveraging the company's deep vertical knowledge of its customers.

External and internal speakers and presenters were brought together for a two-day summit in the heart of Manhattan, planned down to the minute and executed to perfection by Digital Scientists. Keynote speaker Guy Kawasaki provided inspiration for innovative thinking, drawing on his experiences in introducing the first Macintosh computer, starting various personal computer companies and providing venture capital to entrepreneurs with big ideas and big potential. A panel explored the social networking phenomenon, featuring Geoffrey Hyatt, founder of Contact Networks, the Enterprise Relationship Management business acquired by Thomson in January 2008; Daniel Palestrant, founder of the online physician networking service Sermo; and Chris Brogan, who uses social media and technology to build digital relationships for businesses.

After the events, we polled participants and found that they greatly appreciated the opportunity to attend the event, and connect face-to-face with the leadership of the Thomson Company. We're honored to have helped to bring this amazing team closer.

"Digital Scientists helmed a series of events that were educational, inspirational, and quite fun to attend... The panel of experts and thought-leaders [they] brought in far exceeded our expectations."

Arezu Ingle - Reuters

Arezu Ingle – SVP of Change Management & Operations, Reuters

BY THE NUMBERS

2

events

Between late 2007 and mid-2008, we had launched the social network and hosted 2 premier innovation events

30+

innovators

Bringing together 20 members of the Thomson leadership team and 10+ established innovators from diverse fields.

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