Welcome! Login | Register

Subscribe Now: Free Daily EBlast


Saul Kaplan: Welcome To #BIF2015!

Thursday, August 13, 2015


Maybe I’m just getting old, but the self-imposed pressure to get better faster, and to rise to the occasion of the enormous social system challenges we all face, has never been more acute. I feel a heightened sense of urgency.

I don’t know about you, but #BIF2015 comes at the perfect time for me. I need the annual fix of connection and inspiration I get from hanging out at our BIF Collaborative Innovation Summit with you — the BIF community of like-minded innovation junkies from around the world. I’m betting you can use an inspiration fix too!

I never know what collisions, patterns, and stories will most move and inspire me in advance of each summit. I do know that each and every Summit has surprised me in unique ways. I look forward to the two days of the Summit every year. I’m grateful and blessed to spend them colliding with you. Bring on the random collisions of unusual suspects and let the inspiration begin!

I also know that after 10 years of hosting the Summit, it never gets old. It delivers every year. #BIF2015, our 11th summit, will deliver too. Not because this year’s storytellers are more inspiring than ever — although they are. Not because this year’s participants are more pre-wired for collaborative innovation than ever —although you are. Not because the market screams for transformation more than ever — although it does. Not because the BIF team has poured their hearts and souls into creating the perfect conditions for #BIF2015 — although they have. #BIF2015 will deliver because of you.

If we have learned anything from our first decade it’s that if we trust you, the BIF community, the BIF Summit will deliver. We don’t prescribe what should be important to you. We don’t tell you who to collide or connect with. We don’t tell you what to take away from the amazing stories or what patterns will emerge over the two days of the Summit.

Instead, you decide. You decide what’s important enough to share with other Summit participants. You decide what to share with your networks. You decide what insights to act upon. You decide, and we all learn together. You engage, and we all engage together. You’re inspired, and we all inspire each other. You act, and we all act together. You’re the magic of the BIF Summit. We trust you. Bring it!

Over the first decade of the BIF Summit, we have nailed self-organized networks. The BIF community knows that innovation is a team sport, and highly values connection and sharing. We skew social and have been active travelers on every new social media platform. We leave no connection opportunity unturned! We are direct and honest with each other, and we know that being interesting starts with being interested.

The BIF community also knows that if we wait for institutions and institutional leaders to transform our important social systems, we will wait a very long time. It is up to us to use our new self-organizing superpowers to catalyze the societal changes we want. Institutions will come along once they realize that resistance is futile!

My dream for our second decade at BIF is that we get much better at making our self-organized networks purposeful. We’ve got the connecting and sharing part down. Now it’s time to work on making our networks actionable, to get stuff done. Watch out when we get both the self-organized and purposeful parts right. There will be no stopping us!

Our BIF mantra is “Connect, Inspire, Transform”. It’s time to up the ante on Transform. Together we will catalyze something bigger than any of us separately. We can make reinvention safer and easier to manage. The connections we make and reinforce at the Summit provide the basis for us to collaborate and take action throughout the year, exploring and testing new business models and social systems. Together, we need to try more stuff.

I have high expectations — I know that you in the BIF community are ready, willing, and able. So buckle up, because our second decade promises to be an inspiring and productive ride. I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn from you, to be inspired by you, and to change the world together.

Welcome to #BIF2015.

P.S. If you made it to the end of this post I take it you’re interested in #BIF2015! I’m offering a full scholarship to the next ten people who can find their way to Providence Rhode Island on September 16-17, that haven’t attended a past BIF summit, and who email me at saul.kaplan5@gmail.com with a compelling pitch for why you absolutely have to be there and simply can’t afford to buy a ticket.

Saul Kaplan is the Founder and Chief Catalyst of the Business Innovation Factory (BIF). Saul shares innovation musings on his blog at It’s Saul Connected and on Twitter at @skap5.


Related Slideshow: RI Business Rankings in US

See how Rhode Island stacked up.

Prev Next


Rhode Island has 2015's eighth highest insurance premium penalties for high risk drivers, according to a WalletHub report. 

Rhode Island ranks fifth overall in the category of speeding over 20 mph annual premium increase at $482. While ranking third overall  in the category of 2 accidents annual premium increase at $2,721.

Rhode Island ranks ninth overall under the reckless driving annual premium increase at $749. 

Prev Next


Rhode Island has been ranked as the 8th most eco-friendly state in the country, according to a recent study by WalletHub.

Rhode Island ranks third in environmental quality and 16th in Eco-Friendly Behaviors Ran landing them in 8th overall.

RI is behind Washington and New Hampshire who are in the six and seven spots respectively, and in front of Connecticut and Hawaii who come in at the nine and ten spot. 

Prev Next


Rhode Island is 2015's 4th Worst State to be a taxpayer, according to a recent WalletHub report. 

Rhode Island ranks 48th of 51 with an average state and local tax price of $7,159 which is good for a 27% difference from the national average. 

The states that are directly behind Rhode Island are Wisconsin at $7,159, Nebraska at $7,298 and Illinois at $7,719 for a 37% difference from the national average.

Prev Next


Rhode Island has the highest vehicle property taxes in the country, paying an average of $1,133 according to a report from WalletHub.

Virginia and Kansas are the two states just ahead of Rhode Island in the 49 and 50 spots, paying $962 and $905 respectively. 

RI also ranks 42nd in average real estate tax, paying an average of $2,779, according to the WalletHub report.

Prev Next


WalletHub has ranked Rhode Island as the 7th worst state to be rich in in a recent in depth analysis of 2015's Best States to be Rich or Poor From a Tax Perspective

On a scale with 1 being the best, and 25 being average, Rhode Island ranks 37th in low income earners, 42 in middle income earners and 45th in high income earners. 

To see the full report, click here. 

Prev Next


Providence-metro ranks at the bottom for job creation in 2014  

Rhode Island has been ranked amongst the worst in job creation, according to a recent survey done by Gallup. 

Gallup gives the Prov-metro area an index score of 23, the lowest score is the New York- New Jersey area with 20. 

Salt Lake City, Utah and Austin-round Rock, Texas rank the highest with a score of 37. 

See the rest of the rankings here. 

Prev Next


The 2014 state rankings by Forbes has just been released and Rhode Island moved up two spots from #48 in 2013 to #46 in 2014.

What does Forbes say about RI's business environment"

After Michigan and Illinois, Rhode Island has experienced the third worst net migration out of its state in the country over the past five years. With a recent unemployment rate of 7.6%—lower than only Georgia and Mississippi—residents are leaving the state in search of jobs. Rhode Island has been stuck in the bottom five overall for six straight years. One plus: labor costs are 5% below the national average, which stands out in the expensive Northeast.

Prev Next

Tax Foundation

Findings from The State Business Tax Climate Index were released this morning by Tax Foundation which found Rhode Island to have the 45th best tax climate for businesses for 2015. The state's rank has not changed since last year after The Index analyzed 100 different tax variables in multiple categories. 

Read more about the report here

Prev Next


After conducting an online suvery consisting of 1,050 individuals from both parties across the nation, WalletHub ranked Rhode Island as having America's 33rd fairest tax system.

Click here to view the poll's entire findings

Prev Next


Providence is the second worst city in America for small business, according to a new survey conducted by Thumbtack.com and the Kauffman Foundation.

More than 12,000 small businesses in 82 cities across the country participate in the survey. Providence received an overall "F" grade for small business friendliness.

Full Survey Results Here.

Prev Next

The Economist

Small Business Friendliness Grade: F

The Economist grades states on an A+ to F grading scale for its small business climate.  Rhode Island is one of just 6 states to earn an "F" grade.

Overbearing bureaucracy and excessive licensing is stifling small business in America. 

Read More About The Economist Grade Here

Prev Next


CNBC ranks each state in cost of doing business, economy, technology and innovation.

Rhode Island's unemployment rate as of May 2014 was 8.2 percent. This is RI's lowest unemployment rate since August 2008.

Read More About CNBC Ranking Here

Prev Next


Forbes ranks each state in business costs, economic climate, and growth prospects. RI is third worst in 2013.

The most damning in the commentary:

After Michigan, Rhode Island has experienced the second worst net migration in the country over the past five years.

Read More About Forbes Ranking Here

Prev Next


#39 ChiefExecutive.net

ChiefExecutive.net ranks each state in taxations and regulations, workforce quality, and living environment.

The most damning in the commentary:

Sky-high unemployment rate bespeaks continuing terrible business climate.

Read More About ChiefExecutive.net Ranking Here

Prev Next

Tax Foundation

#46 Tax Foundation

Tax Foundation ranks each state in corporate tax rank, sales tax rank, and unemployment insurance tax rank.

Rhode Island and the other states in the bottom ten suffer from the same afflictions: complex, non-neutral taxes with comparatively high rates.

Read More About Tax Foundation Ranking Here

Prev Next

Wallet Hub

#24 Wallet Hub

Wallet Hub ranks each state in ROI rank, state tax rank, and overall government services.

Rhode Island ranked #50 for worst roads and bridges, but ranked #4 in safety.

Read More About Wallet Hub Ranking Here

Prev Next


#47 ALEC

ALEC ranks each state in economic performance and outlook.

Although Rhode Island ranked low in economic performance, a forward-looking forecast is based on the state’s standing in 15 important state policy variables. Some of these variables include top marginal personal income tax rate and sales tax burden.

Read More About ALEC Ranking Here

Prev Next

Kauffman Foundation

#50 Kauffman Foundation

Kauffman Foundation ranks each state in entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurial activity generally is highest in Western and Southern states
and lowest in Midwestern and Northeastern states.

Read More About Kauffman Ranking Here

Prev Next

Free Enterprise

#47 Free Enterprise

Free Enterprise ranks each state in performance, exports, innovation + entrepreneurship, business climate, talent pipeline, infrastructure.

Rhode Island has continued to feel the direct impact and ripples from the recent recession—it ranks 47th overall in economic performance. However, positive rankings of 15th in talent pipeline and 16th in innovation and entrepreneurship suggest the existence of a foundation on which to build the future.

Read More About Free Enterprise Ranking Here

Prev Next

The Pew Charitable Trusts

#40 The Pew Charitable Trusts

The Pew Charitable Trusts ranks each state in job growth and job creation.

Rhode Island added 6,223 jobs in 2014.

Read More About The Pew Charitable Trusts Ranking Here

Prev Next


10th Worst in Gallup's Annual Ranking of State Job Markets 2014

Rhode Island has been ranked 10th worst for job creation in Gallup's annual ranking of state job markets in 2014 with a job creation index number of 21

Rhode Island is one of two (Connecticut) states to rank in the bottom ten each year since 2008.

The 2014 State level findings have were drawn from 201,254 interviews with employed adults across the nation. 

See the full list of rankings here. 


Related Articles


Enjoy this post? Share it with others.



Stay Connected — Free
Daily Email