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Generative AI meets collective intelligence at KPMG

How KPMG firms are activating a global community of innovators and co-developing generative AI solutions that have the potential to transform innovation management.

innovators invited
countries represented
ideas submitted
business cases developed
Paul Henninger, Head of Global Lighthouse, KPMG
 "KPMG recognizes the paramount importance of innovation, the transformative power of generative AI, and the significance of collaboration and co-innovation. It is on this foundation that KPMG firms launched the challenge with a common goal of transforming how companies innovate." 

Paul Henninger, Head of Global Lighthouse, KPMG International

KPMG Generative AI Innovation Challenge powered by ITONICS

Harnessing GenAI's potential 

Generative AI (GenAI) has emerged as one of the most transformational technologies of our time, with potential across industries and society. Indeed, 74% of executives surveyed believe that in the next year and a half, GenAI will have a bigger impact on their business than any other emerging technology, according to KPMG’s 2023 Generative AI Survey.

Harnessing some of GenAI’s potential and shaping it into concrete, actionable ideas is what KPMG set out to do with its Global Generative AI Innovation Challenge. Co-sponsored by ITONICS, this innovation challenge aimed to leverage the collective intelligence of KPMG’s diverse community of thinkers. Internal and external stakeholders, including employees, clients, alliance partners such as Microsoft, and suppliers such as ITONICS, were all invited to submit ideas for how GenAI solutions can drive the future of innovation.

KPMG Illuminate platform powered by ITONICS

KPMG Illuminate

KPMG is a global organization of independent professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. Recognizing the need to facilitate collaboration and knowledge sharing within their network and with the aim of ensuring good ideas aren’t overlooked or underprioritized, KPMG teamed up with ITONICS to launch KPMG Illuminate in 2022.

KPMG Illuminate is a global innovation management platform designed to scale co-innovation amongst KPMG firms, subject matter professionals, business leaders, and innovators around the globe. The platform aims to:

  • Build transparency and trust through a global innovation portfolio
  • Centralize market insights and signals to uncover new opportunities
  • Roll out global and local ideation campaigns to tens of thousands of internal and external stakeholders
  • Systematically incubate and accelerate ideas from submission to implementation

Objectives of running a global innovation challenge

 "Having already established KPMG Illuminate as the KPMG global innovation platform, we were able to develop and launch this event to over 30 member firm clients across more than 100 countries and jurisdictions, while also making the experience collaborative and engaging for participants." 

Nadine Fahim, Global Innovation & Emerging Technology Leader, KPMG International

Nadine Fahim, Director, KPMG


A collaborative platform for ideas and co-innovation

With KPMG Illuminate, KPMG professionals were able to design and launch their innovation challenge and invite submissions from over ten thousand global participants. Through the collaborative evaluation, enrichment, and validation of ideas in the platform, KPMG unlocked new value from co-developed, actionable concepts.

Innovation and idea management process KPMG

1. Challenge scoping

Beginning with a clear challenge question addressing how GenAI can support the innovation lifecycle, KPMG turned to none other than KPMG’s own GenAI tech solution to bring the challenge to life quickly and easily. The GenAI solution helped draft a compelling challenge description introducing the scope, purpose, and objectives of the challenge. It also generated several initial seed ideas.

2. Idea submission

Open innovation and knowledge exchange are at the center of KPMG's innovation challenges. The KPMG Illuminate platform enables the challenge to be easily accessible to both internal and external participants. With customized idea submission templates for improved engagement and consistency, the challenge invited engagement from over 10,000 participants and produced over 100 ideas in just a few days.

3. Collaborative evaluation

KPMG identified AI and innovation management subject matter professionals to serve as evaluators from across their respective stakeholder communities. Using KPMG Illuminate, these evaluators entered ratings for each idea's technical feasibility, uniqueness, creativity, and scalability. For comparison, other internal and external GenAI solutions also generated ratings, and ultimately five ideas were selected as semi-finalists.

4. Business case

KPMG professionals developed a business case template for the semi-finalists to complete and present to a panel of three judges. Following each pitch, the judges entered their ratings for the business case on KPMG Illuminate. The ability to instantly visualize and compare ratings allowed KPMG to identify the top-rated business cases to move forward with investment and prototyping.

Next-gen(AI) innovation

The three winning ideas were selected for their potential to address real pain points in the innovation lifecycle and transform how companies develop new products and services.


  • Global scalability: The KPMG innovation challenge was extended to more than 10,000 innovators within KPMG’s global community, inviting a greater depth and diversity of ideas.
  • Improved engagement: By clearly communicating what to expect, acknowledging submissions, and announcing winners, KPMG improved engagement and motivation amongst participants.
  • Increased productivity: The ability to launch the challenge and engage the right target audience sped up idea generation, with over 100 ideas submitted in just two days.
  • Leadership commitment: With a transparent and systematic evaluation process in place, decision-makers were quicker and more confident in selecting and investing in ideas.
  • Nurturing relationships: In the true spirit of co-innovation, the challenge has strengthened collaboration and sparked new opportunities within KPMG’s global community.
  • Transformation: Through an iterative process of evaluation and enrichment, the challenge resulted in three winning ideas that will be developed to transform innovation management.
"We must remember that generative AI and human creativity are not at odds with one another but rather complementary capabilities—even necessities—for innovation and progress. And that’s what this innovation challenge with KPMG and ITONICS is all about: activating the power of collective intelligence and channeling the potential of generative AI to shape the future of innovation."

Dr. Christian Mühlroth, Chief Executive Officer, ITONICS

Christian Mühlroth ITONICS CEO

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About KPMG

KPMG is a global organization of independent professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. KPMG is the brand under which the member firms of KPMG International Limited (“KPMG International”) operate and provide professional services. “KPMG” is used to refer to individual member firms within the KPMG organization or to one or more member firms collectively.

KPMG firms operate in 143 countries and territories with more than 265,000 partners and employees working in member firms around the world. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. Each KPMG member firm is responsible for its own obligations and liabilities.

KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee. KPMG International Limited and its related entities do not provide services to clients. For more detail about our structure, please visit

KPMG Lighthouse, which sponsors the KPMG Illuminate platform, is the company’s Center of Excellence for data-driven technology. As a collective of architects, engineers, developers, data scientists, and modelers, KPMG Lighthouse delivers an array of advanced technology capabilities that drive optimization and sustained growth for organizations.

To learn more about KPMG and how it drives co-innovation using the KPMG Illuminate platform, check out KPMG’s challenge webpage and blog post or reach out to Click here to learn more about KPMG Global Technology Consulting services.

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