Who is the number 1 innovation person that you would like to meet and why?

I think the people that really epitomize innovation for us are the two farmers who were walking through the forest and who started the legend of stone soup. These two guys were walking along and all they had to eat was a rock and a pot. They were very hungry, and when they came upon a village, they put the rock in the pot, some water, and started cooking it. And everybody came up and said,

“What’s this amazing thing that you’re cooking?”

And these two guys said,

 “It’s stone soup”.

Everybody in the village wanted to taste it. And the two wonderers said,

 “You can have a taste but it would be really good if it had some parsley in it, and maybe some carrots in it”.

And so the villagers would add some little thing to it, and the farmers kept on and said,

 “It’d be wonderful if the soup would have a bit of pigeon in it”…

And eventually, there was a soup that everybody in the village could eat.

And I think that when we’re dealing with problems that are as big as the problems that UNICEF and UNDP are trying to solve, we need to have an approach that’s inclusive, open, and that creates a sum that’s much greater than any of its parts.

So I think that such type of creativity in solving problems, is very important, but also the openness to adapting, being flexible, and building on a set of principles that is truly inclusive and is user-driven is key.

So I’d love to meet those guys, to hang out with them and have some soup.

Do you want to taste the soup? Read the full interview and learn more about the other ingredients and Chris’ thoughts on innovation and share your ideas with us.

Read also other interviews:

An Interview in Sweden’s Leading Financial Magazine

Forbe’s Interview with Erica Kochi on UNICEF’s Tech Innovation

New Innovation Lab in Chile connects global problem solvers to Emergencies
The UN crowdsources innovations to improve refugee services