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Say Hi to Chris, C Space’s New Head of Open Innovation in EMEA

Multiple nationalities and multiple disciplines. C Space hires for diversity to make sure our clients get robust, original thinking. We also have people with backgrounds you might expect, like researchers, academics, scientists. Our recent addition, Chris Turner, however, joins us from the worlds of entrepreneurship and innovation.

Chris is here to lead and grow our open innovation (OI) offer, which leverages the knowledge of experts to deliver breakthrough thinking, and complements our consumer community business.

In his own words, Chris’s vision is to “bring OI to life by cultivating collaborative communities of experts, both online and offline,” and he believes C Space is uniquely positioned to do just that.

Chris will also drive the commercial strategy for SHAPE, which you might already have heard about, our online platform that enables agencies across the Omnicom network to collaborate at scale rapidly to overcome the biggest client challenges.

What’s really exciting is where Chris is helping us take OI from here: “We have an opportunity to bring the principles of OI out in a fully formed way, because of C Space’s expertise. Building communities, cracking value exchanges and cultivating networks – those are the kinds of skills that can bring OI to life in a way that no one has quite been able to do before.”

During his time in innovation-led, entrepreneurial businesses, including running consumer trends consultancy TrendWatching and then innovation magazine Springwise Intelligence, he began toying with the idea that to get the best work, you need to look outside of the four walls of your company. So, he set up global networks of thousands of people to crowdsource ideas for identifying trends or the best examples of innovation for their content.

Being surrounded by stories of innovation, entrepreneurship and social impact rubbed off on him and Chris has spent the last couple of years either living in or travelling to East Africa helping the Nike Foundation roll out its “brand-led development.” This meant developing sustainable business models for localised products and building business accelerators in innovation hubs across the region.

After a few years with one foot in the private sector and the other in the NGO world, he’s back to join the faster-paced work of running business. Working somewhere that has a social impact is still important. He likes a place with solid principles and a great culture – and, of course, that’s why he’s joined us.

And, like us, Chris appreciates the people and culture that he has found at C Space, and especially in the new and exciting side of OI.

“The great thing about being abroad working in development was the diversity of experience, knowledge and skills you ended up working with, and one of the most exciting things about being here is that we have such a diversity of backgrounds, with fresh ideas coming from different angles.”

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