We are now contemplating the next stage of Innovation Space and it appears that we blooped – in choosing our name.
Why “Innovation” is a bad name
Primarily because it is what most non-innovative organizations call themselves – leaving behind a trail of organizational failures in their attempt to organizationally create and support innovation. We don’t belong in this type, because we succeeded in what we intended to do, causing some confusion along the way.
Innovation is too strongly related to cleverness and success – a relationship that we do not see or believe in. Much of successful innovation in the projects we have supported is about nurturing what is seen as failures. We do not seek “smart students” either. We realize that outstanding achievements are generally made by students who do poorly in school.We do not run a program for “gifted students”. We attempt instead to provide opportunities for kids to discover their gifts.
We are more of an “Incubation Environment”
It may have been a mistake in not naming our selves as such. But incubation environments also succumb to the same failures of organized innovation environments. So it is best for us not to change our name – but clarify what we do instead.
We enable exploration – provide time, space and resources (in that order)
We help form new projects (incubate) – this is the trickiest part of our operations
We encourage peer support – we are now totally peer to peer support based for learning
We provide recognition – not enough, we need to do this better
We connect – students to external organization and experts
We essentially do not do anything to innovate. Innovation is just an outcome. Our focus is clearly now on incubation.
How true. We are not alone in this discovery. Peter Hutton principle of Templestowe College has got it right. He seems to have liberated students who are “Victims of the Curriculum” to “take control of what they want to learn“. We have a lot to learn from this school.
The school seems to be “committed to the philosophy that students have far greater skills and abilities than they are generally given credit for…. “. ASMS shares some key aspects of this school. “The extremely flexible structure of TC allows you to manage your own learning, to progress at your own pace and study subjects at whatever year level you choose or even study your own area of interest well outside the conventional curriculum! ”
And Innovation Space is of course is about pushing those very limits, with the rare privilege of – operating totally outside conventional curriculum.
Self Organizations is about enabling mobility. So we bought cheap tractor chairs – with wheels of course. Also construction scaffolding with wheels for our TV screen – defying in the process the convention of locking students to location – for their safety and well being.
“a 2013 survey of nearly 30,000 women found that those who sat nine or more hours a day were more likely to be depressed than those who sat fewer than six hours a day because prolonged sitting reduces circulation, causing fewer feel-good hormones to reach your brain.”
Education based on a factory model requires sitting. But then, it was found that such a system along with its factory model was deficient in developing creativity – but very few researchers attribute that to Geo Locking.
One of the interesting aspects of running Innovation Space is the dilemmas that we face every Thursday as we do our best to adhere to the guidelines of the Department of Education. We have a list of students and a teacher marks thier presence.
But every now then, we have unauthorized visitors – mostly students (who have signed up for other offerings). I am never too sure how to handle such visitations . Since we claim to to be Self Organizing Learning Environment (SOLE) should we be reacting negatively when the self organization defies our own sense of organization ? of course I do not approach the school admin with such questions.
I figured, that some one had self organized a “lap top opening event” . I just learn t that there is significant student interest in interchanging hardisks.
At innovation Space I have the pleasure of working with nerds. Not that they all are, but some definitely are.
Mainly because they appear to be looser and generally perform significantly worse in most measurable indices. They are blessed with a mental condition expressing disregard, arrogance and doggedness that appear to work against them. It makes them annoying.
It is their annoyance that give them the very space time and tenacity to lock on to passions that gets them in trouble with their peers, parents and teachers. But in that very state that they create for themselves unusual abilities. They explore dumb possibilities which turn out to be not so dumb. They create value, companies and jobs and employ the very people who did so much better than them – to do their bidding.
Its time for us to compile our current thinking around what makes Innovation Space tick. It has been under evolution for a few terms and every term has been different. A core pattern is now emerging and this is our attempt to articulate it.