‘Building a smarter planet?’ considers the future challenges and opportunities for innovation. As well as creating new sources of wealth from ideas, innovation is essential to cope with climate change, provide better water and food, improve health and education, and produce energy sustainably. The keys to future innovativeness will lie in an organization's ability to foster creativity and to make decisions and choices on the basis of being well prepared, informed and connected. Using IBM and its Smart Planet strategy, aspects of a contemporary networked innovator are shown. Smarter institutions — governments, universities, and businesses — and high levels of inter-governmental coordination, knowledge exchange, and collaboration are needed to face contemporary challenges.