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Radical Innovation Expands in 2019

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Written by Amy

Radical Innovation, which challenges designers, architects, hoteliers and students to pioneer compelling ideas in travel and hospitality, is now accepting entries to its annual competition. New in 2019, the competition will distinguish between built and unbuilt projects, in addition to honoring a select individual who challenges the hospitality community through the art of invention with the Innovator Award. All innovators are encouraged to submit their concepts through through April 3.

Radical Innovation also celebrates the appointment of Patricia Martin to the role of managing director. Martin brings two decades of experience working in conference management roles, most recently at hospitality investment conferences held in Asia, Europe and the U.S.

In her new role, Pat will grow the international visibility of the competition and bring even greater opportunities for our Radical community to meet and ultimately develop connections and projects, long-term.

“Radical Innovation discovers and spotlights creative geniuses with the drive to create entirely new segments of the hospitality industry,” explains John Hardy, Founder of Radical Innovation and CEO of The John Hardy Group. “We connect them with experienced business leaders that have the connections and resources to bring those ideas to life, all while supporting their effort through year-round marketing and PR verticals. We’re thrilled to have Pat onboard”

A panel of jurors leading the fields of hospitality, design, and investment evaluate all entries based on their originality, creativity, design, and potential impact on the industry. Feasibility is key. While Radical Innovation seeks brave ideas, the program requires achievable visions with a clear, compelling brief accompanied by a high-level presentation that illustrates how the concept could be achieved in the next 3-5 years with design renderings and video pitch.

Since its founding in 2006, Radical Innovation has awarded nearly $200,000 to its international network of creative talents who to push the boundaries of travel and hospitality.

The 2018 winner, Autonomous Travel Suite by Steve Lee of Aprilli Design Studio, demonstrated this by citing the technological advances necessary for his idea to operate, detailing anticipated costs and logistics in addition to a clear timeline and the design process. Since the award ceremony, Lee has been approached by major corporations around the world to jumpstart his self-driving hotel concept.

Submission fee of an unbuilt concept is $350, while the fee for a built, Project of the Year, is $550. Student submission fees will remain complimentary. Finalists will then be flown to New York City to compete in a live event held in fall 2019, where they will present their ideas. Audience members vote to determine the grand-prize winner, who takes home a $10,000 prize. The runner-up receives a $5,000 prize. The specific location of this event will be announced later in 2019.

The student winner, who is determined prior to the event by the jury, will earn a $1,500 prize and be invited to apply for a graduate assistantship in the Masters of Architecture program at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. The total two-year value is estimated at over $50,000. The awarding of funds will be based on certain prerequisites that must be carried out by the potential recipient. Radical Innovation has sent two students to this graduate program with one, Yasmine Soliman graduating in Spring of 2019.

The Radical Innovation Award is organized by leading development services firm The John Hardy Group with support from founding sponsor Global Allies and media partner Dezeen.


  • Through a blind judging process, the jury will review all submissions entered online at
  • All concepts will be judged on originality, creativity, design, feasibility, and quality of presentation.
  • Finalists will be shortlisted and the jury will mentor the concepts of their choosing.
  • Finalists will be flown to New York to present their ideas live at the Radical Innovation event in fall 2019, in front of a room of top hospitality, design and business leaders.

Radical Innovation Jury:

  • John Hardy, President/CEO, The John Hardy Group
  • Michael Medzigian, Chairman & Managing Partner, Watermark Capital Partners, LLC
  • Jena Thornton, LEED AP, Managing Director, Magnetic ERV
  • Simon Turner, Managing Director, Alpha Lodging Partners, LLC
  • James Woods, Head of WeLive, WeWork
  • Wing T. Chao, Founder, Wing T. Chao Global Advisors
  • Claude Amar, Managing Director, The John Hardy Group International

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