Ecologies of innovation and public libraries

April 23, 2016

Over the past couple of years, I’ve spent more and more time in the “innovation” space, attending conferences and workshops, speaking with leaders in the public library field, visiting innovation hubs from Africa to South America, doing a bit of research on innovation spaces, and otherwise trying to grapple with what this all means for international development generally (and as it pertains to all of TASCHA’s work), and public libraries in particular (for our public library research).

Event: Impactful Innovation with GlobalWA

May 27, 2015

On Tuesday, June 9th, 2015, GlobalWA will host a panel of social entrepreneurs in a discussion about new products, tools, and ideas for global development. The conversation will challenge participants to think about the role of technology in creating a more equitable, healthy, and prosperous world. TASCHA Director Chris Coward will moderate the panel, which includes Ali Arjomand (Director of Global Good), Beth Kolko (CEO of Shift Labs), and Laura McLaughlin (Director of Global Health at Mountain Safety Research). A reception will follow the panel discussion. More about the event on GlobalWA’s website.

Innovation Spaces: Supporting individual action

February 6, 2014

In June 2013, I joined TASCHA’s Chris Coward to help launch a project on Innovation Spaces. This work builds on earlier conversations Chris has had with Christine Prefontaine and Beth Kolko, among others. Using a giant whiteboard, we shared, discussed, debated, synced, and altered our understanding over a period of weeks. The office got used to the hijacking of most of the common wall space. We had many questions: What are these spaces and what do we call them? What types of innovation do they foster? Why do people go to them?

What is innovation?

January 28, 2014

In our research on innovation spaces, we needed to arrive at a definition of innovation that fit the spaces we were observing. It was not entrepreneurship, as that would be too narrow and not explain many of the uses. Rather, it was about problem solving, and making use of these spaces to find answers to individual questions in ways that were superior than trying to do it alone, on the internet, or otherwise. The works of three authors in particular resonated – Matt Kingdon, Ken Robinson, and Steven Johnson. Here are some snippets…