Best Workplaces for Innovators



Final Extended Deadline: March 26 ($695)
Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators celebrates company cultures that empower employees at all levels to improve processes, create new products, or invent new ways of doing business. Last year, in our second annual list, 100 companies from around the world—including multinational conglomerates with tens of thousands of employees as well as a small nonprofit organization with only a few dozen employees—were honored for cultivating internal innovation in our September issue.

This year, in addition to the overall list, Best Workplaces for Innovators will introduce category-specific lists for companies to be considered by their region, size, and status (nonprofits judged separately). We’ll also recognize teams and individual leaders who inspire excellence in innovation at their workplaces.

Accenture provides research to help Fast Company editors evaluate the role innovation plays in company culture and operations.

For full application details, see the FAQs.

Why Apply

Every submission for the 2021 Best Workplaces for Innovators list will be individually evaluated by Fast Company’s editorial staff. Finalists will be reviewed by a research team at Accenture as well as a group of judges consisting of Fast Company’s editor-in-chief, Accenture’s chief technology and innovation officer, renowned business leaders, and notable innovators.

Companies chosen for the Best Workplaces for Innovators, and the new category lists, will appear in the September 2021 issue of Fast Company magazine and on


Final Extended Deadline: March 26 ($695)


For the first time ever, we’re introducing categories offering additional chances for recognition. While every application submitted will be considered for the annual Best Workplaces for Innovators list, you may also chose to apply to any of these new categories, increasing your odds of being recognized by Fast Company. Multiple honorees will be named in each category.

Best Workplaces for Innovators United States Workplaces based in the United States that have fostered a culture for innovators to thrive
Best Workplaces for Innovators International Workplaces based outside of the United States that have fostered a culture for innovators to thrive
Innovative Team of the Year Teams that have gone above and beyond, driving important innovations in their workplace
Innovative Leader of the Year Individuals at any level, from CEO to department head, who have enhanced the innovation culture of their workplace
Company-Size Categories Be recognized in a special list that compares companies with similar employee counts: Small (fewer than 100 employees), Midsize (100–999 employees), Enterprise (1,000+ employees)
Nonprofit Companies Nonprofit and not-for-profit organizations with an outstanding culture of innovation

Past Judges

Ana Bakshi, director, Oxford Foundry; Laszlo Bock, cofounder and CEO, Humu; Susan Chambers, president, Chambers Consulting and former chief human resources officer, Walmart; Saikat Chaudhuri, executive director, Mack Institute for Innovation Management, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; Ken Chenault, chairman and managing director, General Catalyst; Paul Daugherty, group chief executive of technology and CTO, Accenture; Frances Frei, professor, Harvard Business School; Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief, Fast Company; Jana Rich, founder, Rich Talent Group; Jeff Sanders, vice chairman and co-managing partner, global CEO and board practice, Heidrick & Struggles; Reshma Saujani, founder, Girls Who Code; Bill Taylor, cofounder, Fast Company.


Final Extended Deadline: March 26 ($695)