Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation on the National Mall
The CENTER FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP & INNOVATION on the National Malla concept for the future use of the Arts & Industries building
“The worth and importance of the Institution isnot to be estimated by what it accumulateswithin the walls of its building, but by what itsends forth to the world.” —Joseph Henry First Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution
“The great issues of the day typically areinterdisciplinary. How are we going to grow aneconomy in this world in a way that is sustainable sofuture generations can live on this planet in somesemblance of what we have today? How do youeducate young people so they’ll carry out theseactivities? How can young people compete in aworld where they’re going to be taking jobs ten yearsfrom now that don’t exist today, using technologythat doesn’t exist today?” —G. Wayne Clough Twelfth Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution
The CENTER FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND INNOVATION on the National Mall
a concept for the future use of the Arts & Industries buildingThe Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation MISSIONon the National Mall will• celebrate and support entrepreneurship and inventiveness by all Americans, and• communicate and advance America’s vital role in the 21st century as a source of solutions to global challenges. FTBy nurturing a culture of innovation both at the Smithsonian andthroughout the United States, the Center will encourage the APPROACHdevelopment and deployment of entrepreneurial solutions toglobal challenges and reaffirm America’s positive role in the world RAcommunity.The original purpose of the Arts & Industries building, to showcaseand celebrate American ingenuity, will be adapted fluidly for a newmission. Exhibits, educational programs, and convenings willcatalyze and convey transformational new ideas creating value forsociety.DThe Arts and Industries Building will:• Provide a new integrative, forward-looking platform for the unparalleled content in the Smithsonian’s collections;• Realize potential synergies that exist among the diverse entities that comprise the Smithsonian Institution; and• Promote new external partnerships that will extend, on a global scale, the reach and impact of communities of learning to which the Smithsonian is a vital contributor.Designed to be operationally self-sustaining, Center forEntrepreneurship and Innovation on the National Mall will be alasting resource for the nation and the world.
The CENTER FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND INNOVATION on the National MallWhy the Smithsonian?James Smithson bequeathed his estate “to the United States of America, tofound at Washington, an establishment for the increase and diffusion ofknowledge among men.” Smithson’s gift provided its author with an enduringlegacy extending over nearly two centuries—a testament to the dedication ofgenerations of trustees to the founder’s vision.Yet, while the mission of the Smithsonian has remained constant, the nature ofknowledge has not. A century ago, the advancement of knowledge meant heroicdiscovery or patient inquiry conducted in isolation; the role of the Smithsonianwas to document and display physical artifacts related to that process. Today,while individual insight and commitment remain essential, advances inknowledge increasingly require collaboration, open communication, and thebridging of disciplines. The complexity and urgency of terrestrial challengeshave compelled an increase in the value placed on knowledge developed in thesearch for solutions to global problems.Museums today provide a bridge from past discoveries to future opportunities.The transformation in the nature of knowledge that marks our age provides theSmithsonian with an opportunity to build on its great foundations, expandingits reach and impact as a global center of education, research, and scholarship.In so doing, the deeds of the Institution’s founder may prove as great a sourceof inspiration and guidance as the words he chose for his bequest. What lessonscan be learned from the example of a person who granted his fortune to acountry in which he had never set foot? What motivated this exceptional manof science to believe that a viable institution dedicated to the advancement anddiffusion of knowledge could be situated in the capital city of a nascentrepublic barely carved out of the wilderness? Smithson’s action speaks of a deepbelief in the possibilities of the future and the unrealized potential of thefrontier, in all its forms.Among the Smithsonian’s greatest assets is its unique ability to reach, and totouch, millions of people with inspiring and educational experiences. At theirbest, the Smithsonian’s programs open minds and change lives. In that spiritthe Smithsonian can use its great collections and unique location to inspire itsvisitors to think deeply about the interaction between our planet and the lifethat populates it, about our major challenges, and about the astoundingprogress that is attainable through human innovation.
a concept for the future use of the Arts & Industries buildingAs the home for the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation ACTIVITIESon the National Mall, the Arts and Industries Building will be thesite of three categories of activities:• Exhibits and Events. Informative and inspiring presentations collaboratively designed by teams spanning the Smithsonian Institution and engaging external partners in novel ways, that will convey to a broad audience both the historical, and cultur- al, and scientific context for the most pressing challenges facing society on a global scale, and information on how contempo- FT rary entrepreneurs, inventors, and innovators work with com- munities and resource providers to address such challenges.• Education. Active, participatory learning experiences, including collaborative problem-solving by student teams; professional- to-professional training across areas of experience and expert- ise; and sharing of new educational tools and approaches RA among educational institutions.• Convening. Symposia, workshops, and gatherings inclusive of the general public that will bring global thought-leaders togeth- er with entrepreneurs, inventors, and innovators working to develop and deploy practical solutions to global challenges.While each of these three categories will have equal weight, weDenvision that between 65-75% of the space within the Arts andIndustries Building would be allocated to activities directedtoward the general public, including the exhibit space describedabove, a Smithsonian welcome center, as well as eateries and otherretail space.The Center will actively partner with organizations—notablyincluding universities and educational non-profits—that havesuccessfully created and deployed component programs consistentwith its mission. Employing a modular approach to programmingwill substantially enhance operational flexibility and efficiency.This open-source model will also benefit external partners whowill derive value from association with the Smithsonian and fromaccess to exceptional location of the Center for Entrepreneurshipand Innovation on the National Mall
The CENTER FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND INNOVATION on the National MallWhy the Arts and Industries Building?The idea of using public spaces to excite interest in innovation and toeducate the public about possibilities in the future is almost as old as theAmerican republic. The Constitution gave Congress the power “topromote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limitedTimes to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respectiveWritings and Discoveries,” and a bill establishing a patent office wasintroduced in Congress’s inaugural year of 1789 and passed in 1790. Butsimply granting patents was not enough; the country wanted to celebratethe idea of invention. In 1840, Patent Commissioner Henry Ellsworthwrote a letter to Senator John Ruggles asking that a great hall be built inWashington for this purpose at the site where Pierre L’Enfant had wantedto build a pantheon. He argued that “annual fairs, in many places, havedone much good and excited a laudable emulation; but these have beenlimited to a short duration, and designed for citizens in their immediatevicinity. It is now proposed to establish at the seat of Government, aNational Gallery, to remain a perpetual exhibition of the progress andimprovements of the arts in the United States. Here the most beautifulspecimens of the genius and industry of the nation will be found...”Praised by Walt Whitman as “the noblest of Washington buildings,” withits design modeled after the Parthenon in Athens, the patent office andmuseum was the largest public building in Washington for many years.The “Centennial Exposition: International Exhibition of Arts,Manufacturers, and products of the Soil and Mines” in Philadelphia was acenterpiece of America’s centennial celebration in 1876. A catalogue ofthe enormous exhibition which appeared in several buildings built inPhiladelphia to house them, includes: “how weather reports are made,”“type casting machine-process described,” “how envelopes are made,”grapple dredging machine, tailoring by steam, a stone crusher for roadmetal, diamond stone saw, shingle cutting and sawing machines, brick
a concept for the future use of the Arts & Industries buildingmaking machines, mammoth thirty-inch double belt, type casting and settingmachine, Niagara Pump, veneer chairs, A crystal fountain seventeen feet high,soda water fountains, Process of Manufacturing Glass, telegraph instrument,electro-magnetic mallet, burglar alarm, blast furnace charging apparatus,automatic alarm gauges, and “useful inventions by women” (sic). The goal ofthe exhibit was to celebrate American inventiveness, to excite a newgeneration of Americans about what would be possible in the future, and toeducate visitors about how the equipment worked.Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian Institution became the focal point forpublic exhibitions of technology after the Civil War (a fire damaged much ofthe Patent Office Museum in 1877). The National Museum, now know as theArts and Industries (A&I) Building, was the first building on the NationalMall expressly constructed as an exhibit space. It was designed by architectAdolf Cluss and completed in 1881 to receive the collections of the 1876Centennial Exposition. The building was also designed to exhibit the results ofresearch being conducted by Smithsonian scientists working in the CastleBuilding next door. But the exhibits were left largely untouched for much ofthe next century; over time, the A&I building evolved from a spacecelebrating contemporary innovation to one displaying of century-oldartifacts. The exhibits were eventually moved, and the building closed to thepublic in 2004.While the American History Museum hosts exhibits on the information ageand occasionally an event celebrating an invention (for example, the winnerof DARPA’s annual robotic vehicle contest) there has never been a realreplacement for the original idea the A&I building: a place where inventioncould be showcased to the public and excitement generated about the linkedprocesses of entrepreneurship and invention themselves.The creation of a Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation on theNational Mall would constitute the restoration of a neglected nationalmission. If located at the Arts & Industries building, it would also constitute areturn of that national architectural treasure to its original use.
The CENTER FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND INNOVATION on the National MallEXHIBITS AND Some 20-30 million visitors come to the Smithsonian museumsEVENTS each year in a unique frame of mind. They are people, often families or organized groups, expecting to learn at the same time as they are inspired and entertained. The enormous amount (25,000 square feet) of available exhibition space at the Arts & Industries Building will be used to offer exhibits and events, aimed at the general public and at students (levels 6-16), that celebrate ingenuity, invention, and innovation in the service of society. The staff of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will coordinate the creation of curatorial and event- FT management teams, drawn from all parts of the Smithsonian and from external partner organizations, that will collaboratively create four categories of exhibits: • Feature exhibits and events on any of a wide range of topics related to global challenges. A notable example is the Cooper-Hewitt’s acclaimed “Design for RA the Other 90%” exhibit. • Exhibits related to challenges and solutions on a global scale, rotating on a regular 3-6 month schedule and linked to con- venings (see below). Examples could include “Blowing in the Wind: How Nature Powers Civilization” on the topic of renewable energy, featuring D the work of Stan Oshinski; or “Culture and Conservation,” on how the evolution of human societies alternately reinforces and competes with the conservation of biological ecosystems, featur- ing the work of the Amazon Conservation Team. • Exhibits related to challenges and solutions at the U.S. state or regional level, similarly rotating on a regular 3-6 month schedule and linked to convenings (see below). Examples could include interactive exhibits showing the impact of ocean elevation on coastal areas; water usage through time along the Colorado River watershed; or a teaching exhibit on the H1N1 virus. • A permanent collection featuring stories of remarkable inno- vations and describing the entrepreneurial process. Examples could include an exhibit displaying the garage at 367
a concept for the future use of the Arts & Industries building Addison Avenue, Palo Alto, California, where Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard started their company; or another telling the story of Aravind Eye Hospitals: how one man’s retirement project became a global organization that has cured 3 mil- lion people of blindness.The Center will jointly sponsor public fora, both at the Arts andIndustries Building and conducted via virtual platforms, that willengage the public in an active dialogue about the nature of globalchallenges and their possible resolution.Examples of such public fora could include the “Innovation Café,”Maker on the Mall,” and “Smithsonian Innovation Challenge.”All exhibits and events will draw upon resources from across theSmithsonian and will be integrated intoother activities of the Center. As appropriate,exhibits and events will also explore newapproaches to inclusivity in curatorial designand will involve entrepreneurs andinnovators as in-person participants.The Center will be an obvious setting forceremonies of national significance,including the President’s awarding of theNational Medal of Science, the NationalMedal of Technology and Innovation, andthe Malcolm Baldrige National QualityAwards.All of these activities will allow visitors tothe Smithsonian to make new andunexpected connections between resources available atSmithsonian—on the Mall and elsewhere—and questions ofimmediate relevance to them and their future.
The CENTER FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND INNOVATION on the National MallEDUCATION With increasing awareness among wealthier nations of the real challenges facing others around the world, there is an urgent need to help educators prepare their students differently. Bernard Amadei’s Engineers Without Borders, the Legatum Center and Amy Smith’s “D-Lab” at MIT, TechBridgeWorld at Carnegie Mellon, and dozens of similar efforts at universities across the U.S. are growing rapidly. The further development of such initiatives is supported by evidence that the potential for technology entrepreneurs to create both profits and high-quality jobs when they collaborate with customers in under-served communities to develop needed new products and services. Education programs offered at Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation on the National Mall will draw upon the assets of the entire Smithsonian complex, as well as those of partner organizations and experts around the globe. Educational programming within the building itself will focus on those activities that benefit most from face-to-face interaction. A suite of on-site educational programs will enable active participation among learners at all levels, from children through professional experts. Universities will support the on-site offerings with faculty research, teaching, and credentialing for participants. Coordinating the themes around which exhibits and events in the building are planned will make this experiential learning especially powerful: • Programs for children and young adults: active, team-based expe- riences focused on challenges present in their own communities as well as others around the world. • Programs for researchers and other professionals: opportunities to educate each other about advances in their fields and engage in collaborative problem-solving focused on specific global chal- lenges. • Programs for educators and educational institutions: sharing and disseminating new educational tools and approaches for learning by inventing and innovating. Inviting talented educators from around the world to experiment on-site with their most creative new teaching styles will be critical to the greater entrepreneurial mission of the envisioned Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Simulation and gaming technology would support this active collaboration because of its
a concept for the future use of the Arts & Industries buildingproven ability to reach students with a range of learning styles. As its onlinepresence evolves, the resources of the Smithsonian Information Commons andits global connectivity can augment and extend this educational programmingto reach those who can’t be present in person.Learners and educators can use the Center’s interactive resources, describedfurther below, to simply to explore new ideas, or could link multiple resourcestogether to teach more complex concepts in science and technology.Instructors could use these modules in a variety of different ways to enrich orreplace conventional approaches to instruction, or as engaging virtualmanipulatives to get students interested in subject areas that might otherwise FTseem abstract and dry. For example, a pairing of traditional and new mediainstructional materials could teach individuals the process of innovation,providing a practical background on what it takes to move an idea to themarketplace, the kinds of financing available from public and private sources,and the way new businesses are formed. Multimedia interviews with inventors,animations of their inventions, and tools for asking questions might be RAanswered by the inventor himself for modern day inventions, or by a museumcurator on the inventor. The initial target audiences for these materials areCenter for Entrepreneurship and Innovation visitors, then science teachers forgrades 9-12, then eventually reaching a broader audience of college andcontinuing education institutions and informal learning for people who wantto develop skills in newly emerging fields. D
The CENTER FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND INNOVATION on the National MallLINKING Facing the challenges of the twenty-first century with new"INCREASE" models of creative innovation is a tremendous task—one thatAND must not only embrace the vibrant on-site community engaged"DIFFUSION" OF at the Arts and Industries Building, but also reach across theKNOWLEDGE Smithsonian’s diverse museums and far beyond into the broader society. The new media strategy of the Commons links the building to the public around the world through virtual integration and outreach initiatives. “Virtual integration” refers to combining the inputs of stakeholders from within the Smithsonian’s diverse museums, university, and entrepreneurial FT communities, and from the general public. These initiatives create focused conversations that incorporate multidisciplinary perspectives by grounding them in the mission of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Virtual outreach is integration’s often-overlooked complement, and refers to initiatives that take the Smithsonian’s assets out from under the RA institutional umbrella to wherever people already congregate digitally. New tools, processes, and ideas for and from the innovation community will be developed, piloted, and refined in the Center. Whenever feasible, these innovations will be added to the Center’s foundation, creating a virtuous circle of transformation of, by, and for the Smithsonian and the public it D serves. By “innovating at the edges”, the Center aims to become a center of excellence in new media collaboration by leveraging professional expertise with crowdsourcing and user-generated content in exciting, innovative, and sometimes unpredictable, yet cost effective ways. Specifically, the Center will extend its global convening role beyond the physical space of the Arts and Industries Building, thus enabling the public to participate in its events and opportunities regardless of location or time. The Center will broadcast on-site events through live streaming video and audio, archived webcasts and podcasts, and by posting of conference and seminar materials. But true convening goes well beyond the broadcast or broadcast-and-reply paradigm. Pre- and post-event collaboration activities will extend the community of on-site participants. Virtual conferences and seminars will reverse the flow of information by convening online and broadcasting to the physical visitors at the Center. High-profile speakers and high-
a concept for the future use of the Arts & Industries buildingrelevancy issues will draw a unique audience, offering an unparalleled opportunityfor the Smithsonian to showcase the connections between basic research,innovation, and society.Online access to Smithsonian research and artifacts will enrich these conversationsin unexplored ways, fueling innovation and entrepreneurship. The Smithsonian’saggressive digitization effort will provide a rich reservoir of over 137 millionartifacts and related research, available online to inspire and educate students,teachers, scientists, and entrepreneurs. This level of public accessibility forSmithsonian resources will bring a revolution itself; when combined with the goalsand questions stimulated by the Center, the potential for creative purposing and FTrepurposing of Smithsonian resources explodes.For example: virtual curation and exhibiting projects, inspired and shaped bymulti-disciplinary teams of museum curators in response to Center programs or totheir own initiatives, can reduce the time and costs of developing new exhibits bothonline and on-site. Using the Center’s virtual exhibiting tools, participants will beable to produce complex creative responses and offer possible solutions to the RACenter’s guiding inquiry questions by selecting items from Center programming,arranging them in a page layout and adding narrative text, then sharing theircreations with the world. The work of engaged amateurs, professionals, and expertsfrom diverse fields will encourage the flow of innovative ideas on issues as diverse asenergy or biodiversity or public health, and thus add to the foundation ofcommunity-building, collaboration, and innovation. “Best of ” selections, as Ddetermined by museum curators and other experts, would be prominentlyhighlighted and possibly converted into real life exhibits.Complementing initiatives to engage participants with the Smithsonian’s work areinitiatives aimed at engaging the Smithsonian in the creative work of others. Forexample, website visitors will be able to perform sophisticated searches and post theresults as a “web widget” (interactive, distributed micro-applications) embedded onother websites and applications. Major exhibits will incorporate interactive kiosks where visitors can explore newaspects of the topics and artifacts on display. For example, games and simulationswill enable them to virtually operate an atomic-force microscope, control a pilotlessdrone aircraft, design a new vaccine, design and test an energy-efficient building, orcreate a special effect for a movie. Navigation kiosks will suggest related exhibits inother Smithsonian museums and nearby points of interest in the D.C. area, therebydeepening the engagement of visitors and extending their interests to otherlocations and related topics.
The CENTER FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND INNOVATION on the National MallCONVENING Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation on the National Mall will be home to a state-of-the-art space for discussions, decision- making, and dissemination of ideas regarding entrepreneurial solu- tions to global challenges. Meetings will be thematically linked to exhibitions and events at the Center. The Center will work in partnership with the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Kauffman Foundation, and The Lemelson Foundation to bring cohorts of 20-30 leading entrepre- neurs, innovators, scientists, and policy-makers to Washington, D.C. FT for three weeks of intensive interaction focused on particular global challenges. This convening of the “ Global Innovation Fellows” will take place six times per year—each time on a different topics and with different participants. These cohorts will, over time, form an international network of leading innovators who will act as a resource to the Center in its effort to support other entrepreneurs RA and technologists. Inspiration and education can be drivers for economic progress only when the local economic ecosystems are hospitable to individual innovation and entrepreneurship. Within many communities in the U.S. as well as overseas, economic stagnation has persisted for decades, often while a series of investment approaches have been D tried and abandoned. This creates an imperative for new capacity- building efforts led by people well informed about these past failures as well as how successful experiments might be adapted to each set of local circumstances. Grassroots community leaders need to be able to call upon networks of outside supporters who can bring deep knowledge of the successes and failures of economic development efforts around the globe.
a concept for the future use of the Arts & Industries building