C.A.S.T. Ltd


Innovation in a Small Nation

We are having a Festival of Ideas. We are exploring different ways innovation might look in a small nation – especially the more peripheral bits of it.  We want to get a feel from those who are already practicing innovators, we want to investigate and explore how innovators are managing to do it – what drives them and how they are supported. At the end of the festival we want to ask ourselves hard questions about how we can be better at innovating.

The Festival is an event as part of the Ireland Wales Interreg project Inventorium. It is being supported by Pontio – whose physical manifestation – an arts and innovation centre being built in the centre of Bangor. Both Inventorium and Pontio are premised on the idea that innovation is not a solitary activity – it requires conversation and multiple perspectives. We bring people together who might not normally meet. Innovation, at its very least requires one conversation between someone with an idea or invention and someone who needs to use the invention. In most circumstances there needs to be some third person who has the wherewithal to drive it from and idea and deliver it to the customer. We might call them an entrepreneur – but that is something we can learn.

Inventorium also encourages Open Innovation based on the idea that innovation does not necessarily come from in-house and equally innovation may be better exploited in environments other than the place it started. The Public Sector needs to learn this.

So we are having a Festival that brings people together to be  innovative about innovation.  It is a participatory day with invited contributors and anyone else who wants to think hard and differently for a day.

We have invited some key contributors. We have people with international reputations in design thinking and enabling people to think differently. We have invited local pioneers who have made international impact through their actions. We have invited the small business  people who are not settling for the ordinary.

We will start the day with inspiration. We will hear short messages from those who are innovating in the arts, science, commerce, and technology and how Wales works for them.

We then get to the practical business of conversation for innovation. We will work on problems set by real business – and that will mean leaving the venue to visit people in their place of business. We will reflect on the process and imagine what we/they might do next.

Finally we get into a non adversarial debate. We will hear different perspectives on innovation in a small nation – what can be done, what needs to be done and what we can do.

This event is not for the faint hearted. It is for those who want to innovate or innovate more, and want the mutual support and atmosphere of being in a culture of innovation. There is more about the free to attend event on http://www.inventorium.org/events/innovation-in-a-small-nation/

Posted on November 10th, 2011 by MOwen