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Innovation — what does it mean? How do you inspire it? And which innovations are poised to make the biggest impact? We spoke to some of today's most important industry leaders and asked them to share the innovations they're most excited about.

Susan Lyne / Chairman, Gilt Groupe

"The approval of the first cancer vaccine. Finally, last year, after endless trials and dashed hopes, a vaccine for advanced prostate cancer demonstrated a significant survival benefit and won FDA approval, opening the way for similar vaccines being tested for many other cancers."

Benjamin Palmer / CEO, Barbarian Group

"I’m most excited about the innovation of Phones That Don’t Suck. It’s 2011 and we are finally in the age of being able to buy just about any good phone and it WORKS and you don’t hate it and miss your computer."

Doreen Lorenzo / President, frog

"Inventions that help improve the human condition represent true innovation that has large scale, long-lasting impact. When creative people focus on solving basic yet urgent humanitarian problems, they come up with exciting, elegant and efficient solutions to help people achieve healthier lives."

Rishad Tobaccowala / Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, VivaKi

"The most exciting innovation of all is the External Connection Engine, which is how we define ‘the internet.’ There will be greater innovation, change and wealth created all over the world via the External Connection Engine than even the Internal Combustion Engine."

Scott Belsky / CEO, Behance

"I’m excited about the algorithms and communities that will allow us to tap into the ‘Credible Mass.’ The insights of how many people like something aren’t enough. The credible mass will help us curate with a greater sense of credibility by tapping the insight of experts."

Pascal Bazin / Group CEO, Avis Europe

"Innovation means the ability to grow as a company and adapt to change. We are investing heavily in our online and social media presence. As consumers become more mobile in terms of outlook and geography, we are exploring new solutions to meet these changing needs."

Andrew Zolty / Co-Founder and Creative Director, Breakfast

"Open source hardware is still at the top of my list. It’s awesome to watch this community grow as more people learn and contribute their custom electronics creations. It’s amazing to see how far it’s come, and we’re psyched to be knee deep in it with them all."

Val Soranno Keating / CEO, Barclaycard

"Great innovation makes my customers’ lives easier, inspires and motivates my colleagues, drives the bottom line and differentiates my business from those around it. That spirit and drive still powers Barclaycard today, not least as we launch contactless mobile payments in the UK."