Center for Innovation and Change Leadership (CICL)

The Center for Innovation and Change Leadership at Suffolk University helps people and organizations embrace change through collaboration. We invite you to learn more about our work here.

"Innovation and change are, together, a powerful engine propelling any organization to move forward. Business Schools often play a leadership role in preparing future innovation and change agents, as well as in acting as a think tank and an action generator.

"The Sawyer Business School’s CICL concentrates on four important dimensions of change, unifying various resources and assets at the School to help participants enhance their skillsets, sharpen their ideas, and implement action plans to create lasting impacts. Our formula is given as “Innovation + Change + Collaboration = Impact."

—Amy Zeng, PhD, Dean, Sawyer Business School

CICL Purpose and Mission

The Center for Innovation and Change Leadership (CICL) is a hub that supports people and organizations to embrace change across four key areas:

  1. Technological and digital change
  2. Global business change
  3. People and social change
  4. Environmental and climate change

We strive to be a “think-and-do” tank that fosters interdisciplinary research, educational initiatives, and community engagement. We view innovation, collaboration, and leadership as driving forces for positive change in the business and public world.

Past Events

The award is just one of several CICL initiatives to integrate best practices of innovation and collaboration within the research, teaching, and service missions of CICL and Suffolk University’s Sawyer Business School.

2015 Winner: Nypro

8 people taking a picture of them holding awards, GLIC Award 

Watch the interview with Nypro CEO Courtney Ryan, recipient of the 2015 GLIC Award.

2013 Winner: World Wide Web Consortium

W3C COO Ralph Swick interview, people having a meeting and with pc on the table 

Watch interview with W3C COO Ralph Swick

The competition is the world's first crowd-driven awards program and is co-produced with Imaginatik.


To qualify, winning innovations:

  1. must have been launched within the last 2 years
  2. must have been created by people working on at least a half-time basis for an organization(s) with 200 or more employees
  3. must be submitted by a team of at least 2 people (lone individuals cannot enter – focus is on collaborative innovation)
  4. must be able to speak publicly about the innovation (submissions are non-confidential)

Contest Format and Timelines

First Round: February – March

  • Six weeks for open submissions through an online platform
  • Two weeks for crowd voting
  • Finalists chosen in each award category

Second Round: April

  • All finalists must submit additional information
  • Two weeks for final-round crowd voting
  • Two weeks of Selection Committee final judging

Awards Ceremony – May (Boston, MA)

  • Winners announced in each category
  • Prizes conferred at innovators conference
  • Private dinner for winners and judges
  • Final dates / details TBD

Our partners:

  • Eastern Bank
  • Brown Brothers Harriman
  • EMD Serono
  • GET Advisory Services, LLC
  • Vertex Pharmaceuticals

The meeting, called “Innovative Collaboration for a Complex World: Reaching Across institutional Divides,” discussed how today’s businesses, NGOs, and government agencies form partnerships to reach new markets, develop corporate social responsibility initiatives, provide public services, and develop innovative solutions.

While collaboration offers many benefits, there are also unique challenges to consider. In many cases, institutions from the developed world interact with low-income communities in developing countries. In these communities, a complex and unstable blend of institutions—local, national, and supranational—coexist side by side.

How do you manage and communicate with diverse teams? How should organizations approach and structure their partnerships? How do specific innovations stemming from cross-sector social interactions tackle complex problems?

These are just some of the questions that were addressed at the symposium, which was organized by Sawyer Business School Associate Professor Carlos Rufin and EMLYON Business School Associate Professor Miguel Rivera-Santos, with the support of an Organizing Committee formed by recognized experts on cross-sector partnerships: Professor James Austin of Harvard Business School, Professor Andrew Crane of York University, Professor May Seitanidi of the University of Kent, Professor Rob van Tulder of Erasmus University, and Professor Sandra Waddock of Boston College.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Professor Sandra Waddock of the Carroll School of Management at Boston College received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in the field of cross-sector interactions. Professor Waddock has published 10 books and more than 100 papers on topics related to corporate responsibility, multi-sector collaboration, and management education. The award was sponsored by the Partnerships Resource Centre at the Rotterdam School of Management.

Business Analytics

With an emphasis on networking and collaboration, our business analytics offering has a multidisciplinary and multi-method approach.

Faculty from different departments, perspectives, and backgrounds follow this general analytical approach:

  • Business Problem/Question Framing
  • Analytics Problem Framing
  • Data
  • Methodology/Approach Selection
  • Model Building and Evaluation
  • Deployment
  • Life Cycle Management
  • Continuous Improvement

Our topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Engaging customer participation and extracting customer insights in mobile marketing and social media
  • Customer value co-creation in product and service innovations
  • Using Big Data and marketing analytics to drive innovation successes and global competitiveness
  • Market dynamism and firms' adaptive capabilities
  • Intra- and inter-organizational integration for creating and delivering customer value
  • Embedded reminder systems for improved population health
  • Community health indicators to prevent and reverse obesity

We welcome projects from analysts, managers, consultants, and researchers who wish to understand, describe, analyze, predict, and transform their data into greater business value. 

e-Health Innovation Project

Vision and Mission

This is a project for innovation and applied research in the design, implementation, management and use of health information technology (HIT). HIT includes, but is not limited to the following: health records, telehealth, and consumer health informatics.

The e-Health Innovation Project supports innovation, learning and applied research in the design, implementation, management and use of health information technology (HIT). Project members collaborate with HIT professionals from healthcare delivery and other sectors on research and on educational activities such as public forums on current issues in e-health innovation.

We foster creative collaborations with healthcare providers, businesses, nonprofit organizations, government and others in academia. Our goal is meaningful use of HIT by health professionals and consumers in support of sustainable quality, improved access, and enhanced opportunities for consumer engagement in healthcare. This use can best emerge from health professionals and consumers acting as co-creators and collaborative users of health information.

Current Focus

We are engaging with diverse stakeholders involved with innovation in consumer health information. As we move forward, the following aspects of consumer health information technology will be on our agenda: privacy, quality, accessibility, portability, ownership, trust, and usability by both consumer and clinician.

Since 2011, we have been collaborating with Adrian Zai, MD, PhD, and other researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital to model data from information technology that optimizes cancer screening in men and women. We have good preliminary results, and are looking to extend the methodology to diabetes management and other health areas.

Innovation Leadership Series

Today, we are surrounded by innovations: new products, new services, and new technologies are now the norm, not the exception. Yet the “big issues” of innovation which weigh on our future – powering economic growth, creating responsive governments, building healthy industries – are hard to grasp, and even harder to tackle.

The Innovation Leadership Series is intended as a forum for dialogue on these “big issues” of innovation. Through seminars and panel discussions, in a format open to the general public, the Innovation Leadership Series brings together leaders from business, government, and academia to share their approaches, their frustrations, and their hopes for tackling today’s most pressing innovation issues.

For more information please contact Richard Lockhart.


The Center offers:

  • Access to the latest knowledge in the fields of innovation and change
  • Customized research, as well as educational and consultancy services focused on the unique requirements of your organization
  • Opportunities for cross-sector learning with senior industrial professionals in non-competing companies
  • Opportunities to work with distinguished leading academics and practitioners in a collaborative environment on projects that generate useful knowledge for all participants

Explore Our Offerings

Our programs foster innovative thinking

Global Leadership in Innovation & Collaboration Award

See how this award program celebrates and encourages collaborative innovation.