Desi Matel-Anderson on the Theory of Innovation

headshot-desiree-matelIn anticipation of the inaugural Thin Air Innovation Festival, we sat down with several of our panelists and speakers, all thought leaders in their field, to get their views on innovation.

Here we catch-up with Desi Matel-Anderson, the Chief Wrangler of the Field Innovation Team and CEO of the Global Disaster Innovation Group, LLC. She works with a team of individuals and organizations to provide creative solutions and emergency management during disasters like the Boston Marathon Bombings and other humanitarian crises. Currently, her team is working in Beirut, Lebanon while virtually supporting the aid of the Turkish and Syrian refugees. Desi is the first and former Chief Innovation Advisor at FEMA and Think Tank Strategic Vision Coordinator where she led a team in the response and recovery efforts for the survivors of Hurricane Sandy.

How do you define Innovation?

I define innovation as working beyond the borders, in austere conditions and without the commonly used tools to make an idea come to life.

How are you inspired by Innovation?

Inspired by going beyond what appears possible and realizing there are no limits.

How do you inspire Innovation in others?

Empower them to create cutting-edge disaster solutions through a three step design process.

What’s the most innovative project you’ve been involved in?

Luckily, I have so many I am not sure I can pinpoint just one innovative project that disaster survivors have developed…whether it was flying drones in a mudslide, 3D printing topography maps to expedite search and rescue operations or running a robo petting zoo in a border crisis….many more.

What is the future of Innovation?

The future is unlimited and follows the curvature of the earth…we think that we can see the horizon, but as we get closer we realize how expansive and un-ending it is.

Join Desi, and other leaders in innovation at the Thin Air Innovation Festival in Park City, Utah, April 6-8. For tickets and more information, please visit thinairparkcity.com

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