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"Innovation expert" headlining 2012 Eyes on the Future summit

Wednesday is the fifth annual Eyes on the Future Economic Summit at Saint John Fisher College.

The free event is expected to draw over a thousand people.

Members of the Rochester area business community will be in for a new format at this year’s event.

Instead of a panel discussion, organizers are going with a keynote from Tom Kelley - an innovation expert at IDEO, a global design consultancy.

“We’ve listened to people tell us that what they really wanted to hear is really concrete suggestions,” says Mark Peterson, CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise, the summit’s main sponsor. “[Attendees want] things they can take back to their office after the morning session and begin to implement to make their companies - and they themselves - more innovative.”

The summit will be heavy on “innovation” - something Peterson calls key to building a knowledge-based economy.

“And it’s important to really understand what innovation means,” Peterson says. “Every one of us can be innovators each and every day in our own lives - and in our business lives.”

Networking starts at 7 a.m. with the keynote speaker taking the stage at 8:30.

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