Best Workplaces for Innovators


Last year, Fast Company launched a brand new list — Best Workplaces for Innovators — to identify company cultures that empower employees at all levels to improve processes, create new products, or invent new ways of doing business. Fifty companies from around the world — including multi-national conglomerates with tens of thousands of employees as well as a small non-profit with only a few dozen employees — were honored in our September issue for cultivating internal innovation.

This year, Best Workplaces for Innovators will also include an Innovation Team of the Year award, honoring teams whose creativity and passion have driven a major breakthrough for an applying company.

To compile the list, Fast Company collaborates with Accenture to evaluate the role innovation plays in company culture and operations.

The entry period for the 2020 Best Workplaces for Innovators applications is now closed. Please click here to sign up for future award notifications.

Why Apply

Every submission for the 2020 Best Workplaces for Innovators 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 list will appear in the September 2020 issue of Fast Company magazine and on The Innovation Team of the Year will be selected by the Fast Company editorial team and profiled in the September 2020 issue as well as on, along with a list of up to 10 finalists.

Who Should Apply

Companies and nonprofits of all sizes, in all industries and from all nations, will be carefully considered.

Organizations must demonstrate a serious and established commitment (e.g., internal incubators, skunk works, hackathons, ongoing education) to building a culture of innovation that yields tangible results (patents, patent applications, new products to market, new systems that enhance operations).

For full application details, see the FAQs. Click here to download the sample application.

Past Judges

Laszlo Bock, cofounder and CEO of Humu; Susan Chambers, former executive vice president and chief human resources officer at Walmart; Saikat Chaudhuri, executive director of Mack Institute for Innovation Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; Paul Daugherty, chief technology and innovation officer at Accenture; Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company; Jeff Sanders, vice chairman and co-managing partner of, global CEO and board practice at Heidrick & Struggles; Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code; and Bill Taylor, cofounder of Fast Company.