Interviews with IdeaConnection's Top Facilitators


The Power of Group Brainstorming

The Power of Group Brainstorming

Interview with IdeaConnection facilitator Len Ferman

By Paul Arnold
Len Ferman loves the innovation process. Prior to becoming an independent brainstorming facilitator with his own consultancy, Ferman Innovation he spent more than two decades in the corporate world managing idea generation and idea evaluation for Fortune 100 companies, including AT&T and Bank of America.

If You Like Intensity this is a Great Place to Be

If You Like Intensity this is a Great Place to Be

Interview with IdeaConnection facilitator Susan Velasquez

By Paul Arnold
Susan Velasquez loves reading about new ideas and when she came across IdeaConnection on the internet, decided to sign up to the newsletter. On seeing an ad for facilitators she sent in her resume and was promptly snapped up.

My Philosophy is to Empower the Team

My Philosophy is to Empower the Team

Interview with IdeaConnection facilitator Lisa Singh

By Paul Arnold
Lisa Singh is one of IdeaConnection's most experienced facilitators. She brings an incredible wealth of skills, talents, vision and energy to challenge teams, and with them has chalked up numerous successes over the years.

Working with Intelligent and Creative People is Uplifting

Working with Intelligent and Creative People is Uplifting

Interview with IdeaConnection facilitator Debbie Narver

By Paul Arnold
Debbie Narver is ideally suited to help IdeaConnection’s problem solving teams tackle difficult challenges, and has enjoyed success with challenges for the public good and private enterprises.

Science in a Vacuum Serves No One

Science in a Vacuum Serves No One

Interview with IdeaConnection problem solver and facilitator Tony Contento

By Paul Arnold
Tony Contento was one of a small band of IdeaConnection problems solvers who worked on a series of humanitarian challenges to alleviate problems caused by arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh.

Helping Brilliant Brains Fire on all Cylinders

Helping Brilliant Brains Fire on all Cylinders

Interview with IdeaConnection facilitator Bobbi Symes

By Paul Arnold
Bobbi Symes is a highly skilled research manager who works for Simon Fraser University in Canada. Her job involves leading, coordinating and facilitating face-to-face and virtual communities in an academic setting.

A Catch-up with a Prolific Problem Solver

A Catch-up with a Prolific Problem Solver

Interview with IdeaConnection problem solver and facilitator Charles John Bhaskar

By Paul Arnold
Charles John Bhaskar is Managing Director of GeoMarine Biotechnologies (P) Ltd, a biotechnology research company. He is also a prolific problem solver and facilitator with IdeaConnection. Charles has participated in no fewer than 30 challenges, and enjoys a high success rate.

Working on Challenges is an Opportunity to Give Back

Working on Challenges is an Opportunity to Give Back

Interview with IdeaConnection problem solver and facilitator Tasha Lewis

By Paul Arnold
Tasha Lewis is a multitalented writer, motivational speaker, and innovation consultant. As president of International Connections Consulting she helps clients successfully navigate the business jungle.

Working with People who Think Outside the Box

Working with People who Think Outside the Box

Interview with IdeaConnection Facilitator Sue Adams


Prior to taking up a role in business development with IdeaConnection, Sue Adams was a Facilitator on a large number of challenges. With a business background that stretches from banking to public administration she was ideally suited for the rigours of guiding teams of innovative individuals and enjoyed an impressive track record of success.

Believing I have the Dream Team

Believing I have the Dream Team

Interview with IdeaConnection facilitator Pat Naylor


Pat Naylor has been a facilitator for about ten years. She runs a company called Future Plan Consulting with her husband that provides facilitation and training for a wide range of businesses, and public and private corporations. One of their biggest clients was the UK government’s Department of Business Innovation and Skills.

Idea Rally®: A Wiki-like Discussion

Idea Rally®: A Wiki-like Discussion

Interview with IdeaConnection Facilitator Teresa Michelsen

By Jane Mundy
Teresa Michelsen didn't expect a lot when she signed up to facilitate an Idea Rally® with IdeaConnection, which made the outcome a pleasant surprise, to say the least. "Idea Rally® is probably the most inclusive discussion I have ever participated in, which is why it was so exciting," says Michelsen.

The Journey from Wacky to Winning

The Journey from Wacky to Winning

Interview with IdeaConnection Facilitator David Gleiser

By Jane Mundy
Trust is a pre-requisite on the journey from wacky ideas to a prize-winning solution. "You've got to be able to trust each other and trust the system in which you are working," says David Gleiser, one of IdeaConnection's facilitators.

Beyond the Box

Beyond the Box

Interview with IdeaConnection Facilitator Peter Lloyd

By Jane Mundy
It took some convincing before Peter Lloyd accepted his first challenge as one of IdeaConnection's facilitators. At first, the idea of working on contingency didn't appeal to him but Scott Wurtele, IdeaConnection's founder, convinced Lloyd to give try it. And he liked it; so much so that he just completed his fifth challenge.

What it Takes to Facilitate

What it Takes to Facilitate

Interview with an IdeaConnection Facilitator Lisa Singh

By Jane Mundy
After signing up as an IdeaConnection facilitator, it took Lisa Singh, from Dayton, Ohio, several months to accept two challenges. "Working on a challenge sounded too good to be true, it sounded too easy – even though it meant working on contingency," says Singh, "but after my first successful challenge I was hooked! I could hardly wait until the next challenge."

Supporting the Group Leads to Increased Communication and Creativity

Supporting the Group Leads to Increased Communication and Creativity

Interview with IdeaConnection Facilitator Rowan Oloman


Rowan Oloman was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, and has a master’s degree in environmental resource management from the University of New South Wales, Australia. In the fall of 2010 she’s embarking on an MBA in sustainable business at Bainbridge Graduate Institute.

Tapping into Global Expertise 24/7

Tapping into Global Expertise 24/7

Interview with IdeaConnection Facilitator Sandy Ping


Sandy Ping has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in innovation, which started with Procter and Gamble in 1980. He worked his way up through the company and became a senior engineer in the innovation section.

People Lift Each Other Beyond Their Conventional Game

People Lift Each Other Beyond Their Conventional Game

Interview with an IdeaConnection Facilitator


Peter McCoppin is an internationally renowned conductor, broadcaster and a gifted communicator. As an executive coach, his leadership, team-building and communication skills are the foundation of the training programs he has developed for corporate and government executives.

The Opportunity to Work with Bright Minds

The Opportunity to Work with Bright Minds

Interview with an IdeaConnection Facilitator


Jason Reed was born and educated in the UK. Following university he worked as a systems developer for Littlewoods Home Shopping and then ran his own IT solutions company for 10 years. Currently he's a consultant and a coach focusing on online collaboration. So he is a ideally suited to be a facilitator.

Challenges as Brain Teasers

Challenges as Brain Teasers

Interview with an IdeaConnection Facilitator


Rick Jezzi, a chemical engineer, has acted as a facilitator on a number of open innovation challenges posted by IdeaConnection. He is currently on his forth challenge, having made three previous submissions. One has already received a cash reward while the other two are still pending.

Facilitator says it's about Team Synergy

Facilitator says it's about Team Synergy

Interview with IdeaConnection Facilitator David Gleiser


Born and raised in Colombia, David Gleiser, a team facilitator, studied psychology at university and became a professional psychologist. He also achieved a master's degree in economics and worked on a PhD in experimental psychology which he didn't finish.


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