International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

20. Disruptive Innovation: Train Wrecks on the Right Track

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Presenter: Mr. Edward G. Happ, Global CIO, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)22 Disruptive Innovation Train Wrecks on the Right Track capture 1

Thursday, 30 April 2015, 16:10-16:40

The late American humorist, Will Rogers, once quipped that “Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”  And yet large parts of our Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) infrastructure is based on last century models—even if only 15 years ago.  A recent study by the International Civil Society concluded that “The role CSOs will play in tomorrow’s world may very much depend on their ability to anticipate and effectively navigate disruptions.”

Disruptive change is about scale, speed and surprise; the point being that it is hard to plan for, but imperative to be flexible and agile for.  Yet for some of our organizations the large ‘lights-on’ infrastructure has become the tail that wags the dog.  Add to that the trends in large systems and it is evident large CSOs are pursuing a corporate IT path that they cannot afford or sustain.  Will we be able to move fast enough to avoid the train-wreck?

This session looked at how organizations can adopt and leverage disruptive changes while managing the enterprise during this transformation.

Mr. Edward G. Happ, Global CIO, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

20_Edward Happ_IMG_0025 copyEdward G. Happ is the Global CIO of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, based in Geneva, Switzerland, and co-founder and former Chairman of NetHope, a U.S. based consortium of 41 leading international relief, development and conservation nonprofits focused on information and communications technology (ICT) and collaboration.

He is the former Chief Information Officer at Save the Children, in Westport, Connecticut.  During his first year at Save the Children, in March 2001, he presented a paper to Cisco on “Wiring the Virtual Village,” which became the basis for NetHope. Before joining Save the Children, he was a senior partner and founder of HP Management Decisions Ltd.,  a management consultancy, and has held a variety of corporate management positions, to the Senior Vice President and General Manager level, with Wall Street data providers, service and software product companies.

His 35 years of professional experience include all facets of managing information services and high technology businesses, including general management with P&L responsibility, operations, product management, sales, marketing, customer service, human resources management, technical consulting, manufacturing, and both software and hardware development.

He began his career as an Assistant VP, Equity Research at the First Boston Corporation.  Mr. Happ is a graduate of Drew University where he also did graduate work.  He is also the founder and editor of The Fairfield Review, Connecticut’s first on-line literary magazine.  Further information on Mr. Happ may be found on his web page at:  www.eghapp.com.

Link to related material:

International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

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