The MAIM Class of 2014 shares their individual innovation opportunities in the lead up to their Degree Show, Exploiting Chaos: Innovation in the Making. Here, Caroline Truyol describes her insights bridging different forms of knowledge, expertise and approaches, that organisations can harness for innovation.
The potential of the ‘creative class’ in contributing to a healthy economic recovery has become increasingly evident, at a time when more and more people can and are engaging with the production processes of new products and services thanks to technological advancements such as 3D printing. Finding that the engagement with the right community and the securement of quality standards were more important to reach this objective than funding a project alone, I looked into how those two elements could be implemented in a digital platform that could better support creative entrepreneurs.
In order to design a solution that matched entrepreneurs’ expectations and was based on behavioural insights I followed a design approach derived from the Human Centered Design Toolkit developed by the innovation and design consultancy IDEO, which focuses on developing insights generated from end users and/or project stakeholders. Carrying out extensive field research in the entrepreneurial hub of Old Street in London and the creative district of Gràcia in Barcelona, I observed and conducted interviews with members of the accelerator and coworking space communities which allowed me to understand that, in the end, the economy is about people.
Awesomeness happens when thick – real, meaningful – value is created by people who love what they do, added to insanely great stuff, and multiplied by communities who are delighted and inspired. That’s a better kind of innovation, built for 21st century economics.
Umair Haque, 2009
Current trends, such as the maker movement and more broadly, maker culture, indicate that an increasing number of people will engage in creative practices while customers will look for new possibilities to recognise products and services that are both trustworthy and correspond to their values. Bruce Nussbaum argues that the rise of what he calls ‘Indie Capitalism’ (named after the independent music scene) is capable to respond to these challenges through socially focused and local actions. As a platform for that action, social media provides the capability to build a strong community around a company and to authentically communicate brand values. The entrepreneurs who manage to take advantage of community engagement are more likely to develop products and services that appeal to a wide audience, and to fund their projects using crowd-sourcing platforms.
In a world that is characterised by information overload and a mass product market the capability of transmitting brand values throughout every point of contact and connecting to a wide network becomes crucial for future business success. Therefore a deliberate use of social media has to be put into place and content needs to focus on authentic brand assets that inspire the entrepreneurs target audience.
To learn more about startups, entrepreneurs, the creative economy and Caroline’s research, please join us at the MA Innovation Management upcoming Degree Show, Exploiting Chaos: Innovation in the Making, from the 18-22 June.