PICNIC Innovation Mash Up Event Report
A True Mash Up of Industries, Companies, People, Ideas and Experiences.
The PICNIC Innovation Mash Up lived up to its name: an active learning event focused on “how”: how businesses in other sectors can successfully apply top innovation and creativity processes used by Dutch and international creative industry professionals to launch new products and services, connect with customers and grow.
Approximately 165 participants joined the Mash Up, coming from the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Denmark and representing sectors such as media and publishing, consumer goods, banking and finance, design, chemicals, higher education, medicine, real estate, retail, law, government, IT and technology, life sciences, advertising, culture, and manufacturing.
Examples of the diverse companies present included Adidas, ABN Amro, Shell, IDEO, Frackenpohl Poulheim, frog, Eastman Chemical, Vodafone, AOS Studley, VU University Medical Centre, the City of Almere, 180 Amsterdam, SKF Group, Honeywell, Stabilo, Corio, the Rijskmuseum, SAP, Blurb, Reed Business, Waternet, Sanoma, Wolters Kluwer, TNO, Newtricious, the Van Gogh Museum, Tribal DDB, the American Chamber of Commerce, Accenture, Elsevier, and many others.
Morning Plenary Session Highlights
During the morning, participants learned from smart people.
“You can’t choose between scenarios. Use them as stress tests. The best decisions are those which will survive all scenarios. Use early warning scenarios and make sure to continuously update them.”
"True innovation passes along a road littered with failures."
“Play the orchestra.” Butterfly Works plays an active role in designing the process and setting carefully and structuring activities. They focus on enabling the problem solving process by creating a positive, collegial and comfortable atmosphere. They also bring participants outside of their comfort zone, using tools such as “ridiculous warm-ups” which temporarily put local officials in developing countries on on equal footing with children.
"IDEO is monumentally stupid as a place to work. People are funny. If people enjoy what they do, they will work harder. They are having fun while working. Play is not the opposite of work. Boredom is."
Seek forgiveness, not permission and create a ‘You did what?’ culture. IDEO employees bought an old Volkswagen van, retrofitted it into an office for a colleague and partially destroyed an office wall to bring it inside. And IDEO was okay with it.
“Bring the outside world in.” Recently, Vodafone Netherlands has devoted an entire floor in its Amsterdam office to providing start ups with technical facilities. It is also supporting the Startupbootcamp initiative, opening a usability test lab and hosting innovation days.
Its latest initiative, the Mobiles for Good challenge, was officially launched at the Innovation Mash Up. The competition will identify the three best ideas for using mobile technology to improve health care and welfare. The winners will each receive 40,000 euros, office space in Amsterdam and professional coaching to accelerate the launch of their concept into the market.
“Data is the new oil.”
Society 3.0 and innovation will be increasingly driven by “self-enterprising professionals”, otherwise known as co-workers, free agents and knowmads who use serendipity to create new business opportunities.
Afternoon Workshop Session Highlights
During the afternoon, Mash Up participants became the smart people in the room, participating in five interactive workshops.
“Yes and” Brainstorming Warm Up Session: facilitated by Boom Chicago
Michael Orton-Tolliver Boom got the crowd to think about the principle of building on other people’s ideas instead of claiming ownership on an individual level. 'Yes and' is about adding to each other's ideas and really listening to what other people have to say. Improvisation allows you to build on the ideas of others and create the sparks that lead to new ways of thinking.
frog divided its workshop participants into teams of six professionals from different industries and challenged them to create a new service based on the unlikely merger of two Dutch companies.
Participants generated design research through role play interviews and then developed initial concepts for delivering water services to end customers.
Participants were challenged to to create an open design for a product which combines exercise and connectivity, specifically integrating the use of Twitter.
Using Lego® building blocks as a creativity tool, individual participants and later teams of participants were challenged to develop ideas about where mobile technology will be in five years.
All in all, it was a lovely day and a signature PICNIC experience: escaping the daily routine to be inspired, share knowledge, ideas and perspectives, have fun, participate in concepting, and meet new friends and professional contacts.
Report written by Deborah Carter, PICNIC's Director of Sponsorships and Partnerships