New Program Connects Leaders and Innovators at 35,000 Feet

By: | April 5th, 2014

Delta Innovation

Delta Innovation (Image Courtesy

First there was first class, then second class. Now a major multinational airline has created “Innovation Class.” Chance encounters with people in unexpected situations, often referred to as coincidence, fate or “fortuitous happenstances,” sometimes lead to great things as nearly everyone can attest: new friendships, new insights, a new way of thinking and living. But the process can be helped along by smart use of technology.

Delta Airlines has announced a new partnership with LinkedIn called “Innovation Class” to play “matchmaker” with the world’s jet setting business leaders who often find themselves on long flights, sometimes up to 18 hours. The idea is to bring people together who may be from different fields but are interested in meeting a fellow leader with whom they can share ideas.

Business people can apply for the program by visiting Delta and filling out a short online application. The first scheduled meeting took place earlier this month when James Pattern, CEO of Pattern Studio was paired with hi tech guru Eric Migicovsky, CEO of  Pebble Technology, in a flight from Salt Lake City to Vancouver for a TED2014 event which ran from March 17-21. See meeting excerpts and outcomes from Innovation Class’s maiden voyage in the video below.

The next pairing will take place on May 5 between Sean Brock, an Outstanding Chef finalist in the James Beard Awards, and as yet unnamed flying partner.

Delta Airlines itself flies a half million people a day and 164 million customers a year around the globe, a significant number of who are leaders in their fields. Delta announced its new program at the Ted 2014 conference and encouraged attendees to learn about and apply for the  Innovation Class program.

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David Russell Schilling

David enjoys writing about high technology and its potential to make life better for all who inhabit planet earth.

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