What does innovation mean to you? For many, it’s about the latest tech marvel or the next big thing in the market. But as I sat down with Tyrome ‘Ty’ Smith, Director of Strategic Partnership at Common Mission Project, our conversation gave the term a whole new meaning.

Our discussion revolved around the unseen channels of innovative ideas – beyond Silicon Valley and tech giants, deep into governmental organizations, think tanks, and more. We pondered upon a simple yet profound question: where do these seeds of revolutionary ideas truly germinate?

Ty highlighted an area that’s often overlooked: Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). While institutions like Stanford and MIT often grab the limelight, it’s these lesser-known educational bastions where a significant chunk of innovative minds are nurtured. And this revelation isn’t just about recognizing talent but also about acknowledging the challenges they face.

Consider this: North Carolina A&T State University faced underfunding to the staggering tune of $3.7 billion from 1987-2020. A figure that not only reflects financial disparity but also raises questions on potential innovations lost in this financial void.

Our conversation often circled back to a memorable movie scene from ‘Moneyball’. In a pivotal moment, the main character highlights the futility of trying to compete with the affluent while being resource-strapped. The message? Redefine the game. Just as in baseball, the landscape of innovation needs a fresh perspective – one that isn’t confined by financial boundaries or traditional norms.

So, as you think about innovation, I challenge you to shift your perspective. Embrace innovation not just as a groundbreaking product but as a revolutionary way of thinking. Dive into our full conversation and let’s reshape the innovation narrative together.

Name: Tyrome ‘Ty’ Smith
Title:  Director of Strategic Partnership
Company: Common Mission Project

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Tyrome ‘Ty’ Smith, has over 25 years consulting and leading executives and their teams by helping them understand human and organizational dynamics. Currently, he is the Director of Strategic Partnership for the Common Mission Project, whose mission is to create an international network of entrepreneurs driven to solve the critical challenges of our time. In that role he is responsible for creating an ecosystem of public, private and government partners.