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New Ways to Look at an Outdated Term: Innovation


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Presentation given by A. Cutler at the IT University of Copenhagen, March 2, 2013 (Copenhagen, Denmark).

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New Ways to Look at an Outdated Term: Innovation

  1. 1. COPENHAGEN + PROVIDENCE:BEST PRACTICE MODELNEW WAYS TO LOOK AT ANOUTDATED TERM:INNOVATIONITU PresentationAndy CutlerSmaller Cities Unite!Cutler & Companyandy@cutlerandcompany.comTwitter: @andypvdSkype: andypvd
  2. 2. Presentation• Establish a higher order of vernacular (beyond innovation)• Mix in some commentary about my observations onCopenhagen• 8 elements of creating change• The importance of design process• Change agent heroes• Smaller Cities Unite! initiative
  3. 3. People me so little that they do not even understandwhen I complain of being misunderstood.—Søren Kierkegaard, Journals Feb. 1836Is Innovation…?
  4. 4. Different perspectives on innovation(vs. ingenuity, entrepreneurship, andchange)….
  5. 5. “…words are markers of the social understanding ofthe world, and the emergence of new words is a markerof changes in society’s values.” (Skinner, 1988)
  6. 6. “When was the last time you, as a customer, called thesupport line for a product you own to complain about itslack of innovation? Or sent a meal back to the kitchen at arestaurant because it wasnt innovative enough? In thecourse of ordinary life the word innovation doesnt surfacemuch, and this is good. Innovation, as a word, a concept,or an agenda, is entirely overrated. Its a vague, subjectiveterm that distracts from what youre really trying to do:enjoy your life. Or in the case of a business: profit bymaking good things.”Scott Burkin, Why Innovation is Overrated, Harvard Business Review BlogNetwork, July 14, 2008; author, The Myths of Innovation.
  7. 7. THINK INGENUITY OVER INNOVATION…..Ingenuity is the quality of being clever, original, andinventive, often in the process of applying ideas to solveproblems or meet challenges…. ingenuity gap’ (ThomasHomer-Dixon) denotes the space between a challenge anda solution……
  8. 8. Why aren’t more governments, companies,and colleges/universities ingenius(or innovative)?
  9. 9. The Texas Blind Salamander(Eurycea rathbuni) is a cavesalamander that has adapted tolife living in the dark.
  10. 10. • English is spoken by 80% of Danes.• 26 hospitals, 14 universities, 10,000 researchers, 4 science parksand 140 biotechnological companies are located in the part of theØresund region, named Medicon Valley.• The transport infrastructure of Copenhagen is among the mostefficient and reliable systems in the world.• British style magazine Wallpaper has named Copenhagen one of thecoolest capitals in the world & Fast Company recently named it one ofthe “smartest cities in Europe.”Copenhagen at a Glance
  11. 11. 8 Elements of Creating Change
  12. 12. People understand me so little that they do not evenunderstand when I complain of beingmisunderstood.—Søren Kierkegaard, Journals Feb. 1836
  13. 13. Embrace it!
  14. 14. The Design Process is taught to graduates, K-12 students and design thinking bootcamps led by the Stanford The centerpiece to a human-centered design process.People should provide the inspiration and direction for ideas.Responding to human needs allows one to create designs that are both useful and meaningful to people.Define: Synthesize information and distill it down to big takeaways. Focus on a specific user or user group: their needs and theinsights discovered. Create an actionable problem statement to unify the team, inspire others, and provides a launching pad forideating solutions.Ideate: Step beyond obvious solutions. Ideate to create fluency (volume) and flexibility (variety) in innovation options. Be prolific,wild, and visual!Prototype: Explore options, test ideas, gain empathy, or communicate vision. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a prototypeis worth a thousand pictures.Test: Learn what aspects of the solution are resonating with users and which are not. This feedback helps guide subsequentiterations.
  17. 17. Distance: 3,705 Miles / 5,963Kilometers
  18. 18. • First:• Paderborn, Germany & Le Mans, France (836)• First (Modern Era)• Keighley, West Yorkshire, England & Poix-du-Nord,Nord, France (1920)• First (N. America)• Toledo, Ohio & Toledo, Spain (1931)• First (of its kind)• Rochester, Minnesota & Knebworth, UK (1967)Sister City (or Town-Twinning)Model
  19. 19. •Cities with less than 1.5 million in population are more nimble•Cities/Citizens with complimentary resources, assets,experiences, challenges and opportunities•Cities/Citizens that view what they DO well as “exportable”•Cities/Citizens with a desire to learn, teach and mentor•Cities/Citizens that seek substantive partnerships/relationships•Cities/Citizens that seek out active engagement•Cities/Citizens that are willing to connect•Cities/Citizens that believe their platforms for ideation andchange can serve to help other localesWhat If Cool Smaller Cities United?What If Cool Smaller Cities United?
  20. 20. COPENHAGEN PROVIDENCEFounded 1137 Founded 1636Populuation: 1.2 million Population: ~200,000 (37thlargest metro(78% Danish; 14.6% Non-Western area in the U.S.; 2ndlargest city in NewNations; 7.5% Western Nations) England)14 colleges/universities 7 colleges/universities34 square miles 20.5 square milesWorld class arts & design communities World class arts & design communitiesWaterfront development project(s) Waterfront development project(s)Active commitment social media/blogging Recognized leader in mentoring young talent-OpenCopenhagen Active preservation movement-Visit Copenhagen IBM Smarter City-Miss Design Says Leading American city for youth arts programs-Copenhagenize One of the oldest engineering programs inUS/Brown-Go Visit Denmark-CPH BlondeLeader in sustainability & bicycletransportationIBM Smarter CityWhy Copenhagen & Providence?
  21. 21. Providence* I-95 Corridor* 1 hour to Boston* 2 hours to Cape Cod, Berkshires, Portland* 3.5 hours (train/bus)/1 hour (plane) to NYCCopenhagen* Gateway to Stockholm, Oslo,Helsinki* Denmark is southernmostScandinavian country* 1 hour to Berlin* 2 hours to Paris/London (plane)Gateway Communities
  22. 22. • Economic in nature• New approaches in addressing community challenges• Expanded networks• Experiential learning opportunities for students• Increasing awareness of our community(ies)-press (traditional + non-traditional)-social media-tourism + travel-collaboration through through sharing (lectures, conferences, mentoring)-create & leverage as many storytelling opportunities as possibleROC vs. ROI
  23. 23. A New Type of Ambassadorship
  24. 24. 5 Elements ofInteraction
  26. 26. Arts & CultureTape Art
  27. 27. Entrepreneurial Programming
  28. 28. Conferences / Events
  29. 29. ”Two great tastes thattaste great together.”Imagine a World without these DuosImagine a World without these Duos
  30. 30. “The shortestdistance betweentwo people is asmile.”Victor Borge