Fast Company


FOR THE SECOND YEAR, FAST COMPANY is recognizing organizations that have created cultures enabling employees at all levels—not just top executives, computer scientists, or researchers—to innovate. We’ve expanded the list from 50 to 100 companies, schools, and nonprofits of all sizes, from SōRSE Technology, a 30-person startup, to Siemens, a 173-year-old conglomerate employing nearly 400,000 people worldwide. We’re also introducing a whole new category to this year’s list, having invited companies to nominate internal groups for recognition as Innovative Team of the Year.

These companies share a commitment to unlocking the potential of creative individuals and diverse teams. Black & Decker’s “Innovation Everywhere” program nurtured an executive assistant’s idea for eliminating $1 million in spending on records maintenance, while software company SAS pairs employees with nonprofits to jointly solve social challenges. “There’s never been a greater need for innovation than in the face of today’s mounting challenges,” says Paul Daugherty, group chief executive of technology and CTO at Accenture, one of our expert judges. (Accenture served as Fast Company’s research partner for the list.) As much of the world recovers from health, economic, and social crises, there seems no better time to recognize workplaces that spend on technology and R&D and invest in their people.

01 ALSAC/St.Jude


Since its founding, in 1957, by entertainer Danny Thomas, the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC) has raised money to fund St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, helping to drive the survival rate of childhood cancer patients from 20% to 80%. A few years ago, a young developer at ALSAC named Zach Whitten suggested tapping into the gaming industry to raise money. Backed by ALSAC president and CEO Richard Shadyac, Whitten created a fundraiser that brought in $500,000 its first year. Since 2014, the annual Play Live program has raised more than $26 million by inviting competitive gamers from around

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