Research from beauty industry insiders, studying at FIT, considers The Future of Innovation

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

New research from beauty insiders at FIT on The Future of Innovation
Students at New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology presented global field research this month that considers how innovation culture will function going forward and how brands can set their teams up to succeed.

The students are up and coming beauty industry executives already working (often in management) with top cosmetics and personal care companies including L’Oréal, Estée Lauder, Coty, Givaudan, Unilever, LVMH, and Charlotte Tilbury.

Their work encompassed 10 industries globally and distinguishes between internal or corporate innovation and external innovation, which is more about the culture of innovation at large.

The forecast

FIT, in a press release about the presented research, highlights six predictions for the future of innovation.

Careers will no longer be dependent on corporations. “The 'New American Truth' will replace the American Dream….[and,]individuals will become their own self-made brands.”

Gen Zers will be starting businesses by the time they finish college. And, “the speed at which trust is earned and exhibited will play a critical role”​ in how they meet their personal and professional objectives.  

Schooling itself will evolve: “Education will become modular and tied to professional skill development.”

Everyone’s ideas count. “The democratization of innovation will continue to influence business.” ​And, online commercial and media platforms will be key tools for innovators.

“A trust economy and trust culture will replace our current sharing economy, which has virtually eliminated the need to own even the most basic possessions.”

Tech-enabled freelance work will be the norm: “by 2020, 40 percent of the workforce will consist of 'omni employees,' who work on a freelance basis, most likely in an app-driven environment.”

The advice

The university summarizes the team’s recommendations too. Collaborative partnerships are imperative. And crowdsourcing will become ‘squadsourcing’ as brands refine the base of consumers, influencers, and stakeholders worth listening to. The squad will comprise “valued external partners to source a solution.”

‘A new corporate innovation model’ is in order. “This new model shifts focus from employee output to external partner input and delivers an incremental 18 percent ROI over seven years, based on three key components,” ​according to FIT.

Those components are a skills-based fluid organization, experiential design strategy involving internal and external partners, and a strong corporate culture of trust.


Here are the (mostly beauty industry) professionals who conducted, synthesized, and presented the research:

Jessica Abrams, Carmela Deang, Danielle Fanslau, Hilary Feldman, Meredith Gray, Nicole Handy, Sorah Kim, Jackie Lazor, Therese Lizardo, Andrea Muguerza, Dolores Assalini, Jennyfer Corrazari, Eleanor Harvey, Megan Manco, Tori McGee, James Purcell, Kristi Silko, Andrea Steele, Alejandra Thompson, and Samantha Yungst.

To learn more, find The Future of Innovation whitepapers online here​.

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