IRVING, Texas, May 16, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- YPO, the world's premier network of chief executives and business leaders, concluded YPO Innovation Week with a day-long program starting at the home of the 20th century's innovation lab, the Thomas Edison National Historical Park, and ending with the ringing of the closing bell at Nasdaq. 

Following a series of more than 30 member-led events that took place around the world for one week in May, all focusing on the latest business innovation trends, the final day recognized world-class innovators that have developed pioneering solutions with a presentation of the inaugural Thomas Alva Edison Innovation Award.

"Since its founding in 1950, thousands of the world's leading business innovators and entrepreneurs have become members of YPO, making it the most innovative global community in existence today," said Kevin Fallon, CEO of Pivotal Innovation, Inc. and chairman of YPO Innovation Week. "Throughout this week, we heard from disruptive innovators at the forefront of digital economy as well as established CEOs driving lean companies towards sustainable growth. We have learned that innovation comes in many forms across the world but invariably starts with an understanding of the changing business climate and questioning boundaries."

At the awards ceremony at the Edison Innovation Foundation, YPO member Michael Lewis, founder of RealD, was announced as the overall YPO winner of the Thomas Alva Edison Innovation Award, voted by members of YPO. This award celebrates an individual who embodies the Edison philosophy of iterative experimentation and learning to inspire the development of new products and services. Edison's electric light bulb and nickel-iron electric storage battery are classic examples of how his persistence and careful analysis through thousands of experiments resulted in breakthrough products and new markets.

Fueled by his passion for movies and technology, Lewis founded RealD, perfecting the visual experience on every screen and every device around the world. The road to success was paved with multiple experiments using existing technology, expanding its capability and perfecting the result. From its initial launch in 2005 in 100 theatres showing one Disney film, it has grown to be utilized in more than 28,000 theatres in 72 countries. Additionally, RealD is used in other applications outside of cinema, including laptops, tablets, mobile devices and automotive. In 2015, the global box office was USD38 billion, of which USD7.7 billion is attributed to 3D. RealD has 50 percent of that global market. More than 250 major motion pictures have been released in Real D, and the top 10 highest grossing films of all time have been released in RealD.

"Innovation and creativity are the very heart of the Thomas Edison legacy and very much aligned with the spirit of YPO Innovation Week, which featured integrated and team-based learning from around the world," said John Keegan, president and chairman of The Edison Innovation Foundation, who presented the award.

YPO Innovation Week began in Sydney, Australia, with a special welcome message from Malcolm Turnbull, Australia's prime minister, followed by events in innovation hotspots around the world, including in Toronto, Tokyo, Madrid, London and Silicon Valley. In addition to attending in-person events, members and their companies were able to participate virtually across many platforms, including live streaming, global conference calls, "idea jams" as well live two-way video broadcast discussions with YPO member innovators like Rich Riley, Shazam CEO and YPO member.

Following the Thomas Edison award ceremony, Lewis and other YPO members participated in the closing bell at the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square. Sir Richard Branson joined the final event, via interactive two-way video broadcast, in celebration of the successful conclusion of YPO Innovation Week.



YPO is the premier chief executive leadership organization in the world, representing a global community of leaders committed to the shared mission of becoming "Better Leaders Through Lifelong Learning and Idea Exchange." YPO today provides more than 24,000 members in more than 130 countries with access to extraordinary educational resources, alliances with leading institutions, and specialized networks designed to support their business, community and personal leadership. Altogether, YPO member-run companies employ more than 15 million people around the world and generate USD6 trillion in annual revenues. For more information, visit

Linda Fisk
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