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Innovation is about harnessing change, testing boundaries, and deciding to lead instead of follow. True, the process is rarely simple (let alone straightforward), but those who take the risk get a chance to write their futures.

There’s no “right” path to innovation. As our experiences at KPMG’s Ignition Center reveal time and time again, the journey for one organization can vary wildly from the next. For some, the objective may be to redefine the way they work. For others, it might be designing a next-gen customer experience. Common to all innovation stories is a willingness to wield cutting-edge technologies and methodologies. “For companies that want to compete in today’s digitally evolving markets, the ability to innovate is essential. These digital frontiers will reshape how businesses scale growth and explore the “art of the possible,” says Matt Everson, Director of Innovation at KPMG’s Ignition Center. And there is no shortage of
“cutting-edge” to go around. Today, we’re working with clients across Canada to take advantage of everything from virtual reality (VR) to artificial intelligence, Web3 to industry 4.0, and beyond. We’re partnering with organizations to reimagine hybrid offices, refresh digital channels, and reconnect with customers in creative and exciting ways.

Still, it’s not about chasing the shiniest new toy. True innovation starts with identifying an organization’s specific goals, honing a vision, and then adopting the tools and skills to achieve its ambitions. It’s about asking “What is our big, bold idea?” first and blazing a trail from there.

The Future doesn’t have to be fiction
It’s one thing to wax on about what it means to innovate. It’s another to walk the talk. Consider our first steps into the “Metaverse,” for example. Today, we’re exploring the role our firm plays within this emerging network of virtual worlds and how we can use this space to host engaging and impactful digital experiences. At the same time, we’re delving into ways that VR and augmented reality (AR) technologies can help the Ignition Center deliver value from a digital studio to meet anyone, anytime and anywhere.

We’re also going crypto. In early 2022, KPMG added Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) to our corporate treasury allocations. In our bid to gain experience in the crypto space while aligning with the firm’s
environmental, social, and governance (ESG) commitments, we purchased credits to offset the footprint of carbon mining and maintain a net-zero carbon transaction.

We have also waded into the waters of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). In February of this year, KPMG purchased a piece of NFT digital art from the World of Women (WoW) NFT to support the organization’s commitment to Inclusion, Diversity & Equity (ID&E).

“NFTs unlock a new channel for organizations to engage with their customers, while also underpinning innovation through the secure digitization of assets,” said Benjie Thomas, Managing Partner, Advisory Services, KPMG in Canada. “This acquisition reflects our belief not only in the continued growth of NFTs, but in the value of WoW and its mission. Having now gone through the process, we are well-positioned to guide our clients around building a corporate NFT strategy, including acquiring and safeguarding NFTs.”

Artificial intelligence is also on our radars. Above, we’ve included a link that will connect you with a proof of concept for an AI assistant developed for KPMG’s Ignition Center to upgrade our client experience.

These are just a few ways we’re pursuing innovation, both for the benefit of our firm and our clients. Doing and thinking differently is a tough skill to hone. It takes a mix of daring, persistence, creativity, and a degree of luck, but the rewards can transform both innovators and the people they serve. Are you ready to begin your innovation journey?

Contact our Ignition Center team in Toronto for a session that explores the future of your industry and how to scale your business growth through innovation.

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