We’re thrilled to launch the Shoptalk Heretics Program, which recognizes individuals from established retailers, brands and other select organizations, who champion disruptive innovation, ranging from groundbreaking partnerships and technologies to new consumer propositions. These individuals boldly go against the status quo to get through processes to innovate.

Disruptive macro trends like connected consumers and open platforms are redefining the fundamentals of consumer behavior, preferences and expectations—including how people discover, shop and buy. In this rapidly changing world, it’s critically important that established organizations that provide any product or service at scale evolve to meet the new needs of their customers.

Yet, it’s no secret that the establishment is slow to embrace change, and is mired in monolithic systems and processes designed for operational efficiency rather than innovation. The depth and breadth of change, however, will inevitably have a direct impact on key success metrics that include sales, profitability and market capitalization. As a result, most large organizations realize they must innovate to stay competitive—they just cannot sit it out. Typically, a select few individuals—regardless of their seniority—take their organizations in this direction and to the next level. They champion game changing innovations, frequently in an uphill battle against the well-established status quo, overcoming entrenched thinking and practices.

This was the experience of Payfone—who conceptualized the Heretics Program and brought the concept to Shoptalk to implement for the commerce ecosystem. The Payfone team identified that within entrenched organizations, there is at least one person who holds an opinion at odds with what’s generally accepted. These individuals are nonconformists, rebels and agents of change. They see the world differently and work to make their vision a reality. Payfone identified that it’s these heretics in many of their client organizations that have the foresight and courage to serve as trailblazers.

As part of 2017’s Shoptalk, we’re recognizing these individuals at the forefront of change. Those selected will receive recognition pre-event and onsite at Shoptalk as well as other benefits, such as complimentary tickets to attend Shoptalk.

To nominate yourself or someone else for the Shoptalk Heretics Program, please visit: http://shoptalk.com/heretics-program