Speakers featured in the 2017 Innovation Event, from left, are Sanjay Shah, CEO and Chief Architect, Vistex, Inc.; Adam Russo, LCSW, Chairman & CEO, Edgewood Clinical Services; Connie L. Lindsey, Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Global Diversity and Inclusion for Northern Trust; Jodi Bondi Norgaard, Speaker, Consultant, Founder, Go! Go! Sports Girls, JB Norgaard Enterprises, Inc.; Mark Magnesen, CEO, Matt’s Cookies, Formerly President of Kraft Heinz Company Meat Division; Ryan Kunkel, CO-CEO, Red Frog Events. 


More than 125 business professionals and Chicagoland leaders assembled recently at Hotel Arista in Naperville to learn about reframing and rethinking what it means to fail and how it can fuel innovation.

When Failure Fuels Innovation, the sixth annual Innovation Event presented by DuPage Children’s Museum (DCM), included a keynote speaker with panel discussion and networking time.

Pre-event discussion on Newsviews

Prior to the event, Innovation Event 2017 Media Partner, Judy Hsu, ABC7 news anchor, conducted an in-depth discussion with high-level executives during her weekly Newsviews Show, which aired Sept. 17, 2017. Her interviewees were Jodi Bondi Norgaard, Speaker, Consultant, Founder Go! Go! Sports Girls, JB Norgaard Enterprises, Inc.; Connie L. Lindsey, Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Global Diversity & Inclusion, Northern Trust, Chicago; and Sanjay Shah, CEO and Chief Architect, Vistex, Inc. These corporate leaders shared their wealth of information about how corporations embrace a Failing Forward culture and how this leads to innovation and success.

Norgaard, Lindsey and Shah also served on the panel during the event on Sept. 27 at Hotel Arista.

Thought-provoking questions open event

On the event night, Ann Wallin, business affiliation and DCM Board Director and Chair for the 2017 Innovation Event, opened the program with thought-provoking questions.

Do we create workplace environments where failure is viewed as part of the learning process to achieve success? Or do we expect perfection at all times?

What are the implications of our perspectives on failures vs. successes on our future leaders and in today’s work space? Research tells us that the fear of failure is a learned response that can be instilled in a child early in life.

What are we doing as business leaders, parents, and educators to address this important topic?

Northern Trust’s Connie L. Lindsey serves as keynote speaker

Event attendees then joined keynote speaker Connie L. Lindsey along with five panelists for an evening of inspiring and stimulating discussion centered around ways to leverage risk taking and how it can inform our perspectives on failure. One point that everyone agreed on was that the notion of perfection limits possibilities and stifles creativity.

“I was honored to serve as keynote speaker and moderate the panel of thought leaders at DuPage Children’s Museum Innovation Event, as we discussed the ways failure can fuel innovation. Northern Trust has been a supporter of the Museum for several years,” said Connie Lindsey. “We value the work of the Museum and the many ways they help children learn and develop.”

Lindsey is currently responsible for the design and implementation of the Corporate Social Responsibility and Global Diversity and Inclusion Strategy for Northern Trust. She held previous leadership roles with Northern Trust in Wealth Management, Corporate and Institutional Services, and Enterprise Enablement. Lindsey is the immediate past National Board President of Girl Scouts of the USA, the highest-ranking volunteer of this 2.7 million-member organization.

Executive cutting-edge leaders pictured above participated in the event’s panel discussion, organizers said.

Look for annual event to return in 2018

DCM is involved in hosting this annual Innovation Event because the fear of failure is a learned response and can be instilled in a child early in life. DCM is intentional about creating an environment where there is no one way to do things, trial and error is encouraged, and “failure” is not punitive. Every day DCM plays an integral part in building the nation’s future innovative workforce by engaging and inspiring children through S.T.E.A.M. experiences built around problem-solving and persistence at an early age.

The event was generously sponsored by Chicago Innovation Awards, Dover Foundation, Edgewood Clinical Services, Exelon, Gycor International LTD, Hotel Arista, Northern Trust, Red Frog Events, and YWCA Metropolitan Chicago.

DuPage Children’s Museum

Look for the big red door to enter the DuPage Children’s Museum, 301 N. Washington St. (PN File Photo)

The Museum helps develop curiosity, creativity, thinking, and problem solving in young children through its mission: “DuPage Children’s Museum ignites the potential of all children to learn through hands-on exploration by integrating art, math, and science.” Interactive exhibits and programs make learning fun for children and adults playing together. DCM serves over 300,000 visitors annually representing all 50 states and 575 zip codes in Illinois. DCM’s reach and support represent well beyond the Chicagoland area. The Museum’s impact extends across cultural, financial, and educational boundaries. It touches the lives of children from all regions, providing the building blocks for success in school and life.

The Museum is located at 301 N. Washington Street in Naperville, www.dupagechildrens.org or call (630) 637-8000.

Story and photo submitted by Dee Dee McDevitt for the DuPage Children’s Museum.