Innovation Spaces are Just the Tip of the (systems) Iceberg: Transforming Hidden Networks into Sustainable Practice

Wednesday 11:30 am – 11:55 am PT / 12:30 pm – 12:55 pm MT / 1:30 pm – 1:55 pm CT / 2:30 pm – 2:55 pm ET Online
Concurrent Session

Nick Swayne, James Madison University

Presenters will map the systems change processes necessary to realize the benefits of creating new physical innovation spaces--agnostic/neutral spaces, made accessible to all, and inclusive of instruction about the process of innovation, along with some combination of interdisciplinary, project based, and/or experiential learning. Below the surface of visible innovation space artifacts are department and college norms for teaching and pedagogy, which are often bounded by both campus and departmental policies for teaching, which have roots in disciplines across time. Unpacking these systems is important because new ventures fail when actors fail to respond to both the depth and inertia of history upon which a new innovation space (IS) likely sits.

Presenters will detail resources, inputs, values, rewards, along with power and influence. Further, presenters will demonstrate how locating a new IS in a network. Networks can help strengthen the position of an IS through momentum from creating peer-to-peer partnerships, strengthening research processes and outcomes, and providing direct support to faculty (i.e., external funding; publishing opportunities). These opportunities are closely linked to external stakeholders like governments, communities, and industry, creating unique access for institutional impact, expert/faculty collaboration, and student career outcomes.

The examples of innovation ecosystems presented here can be informative to other change makers attempting to establish space for or, importantly, the practice of transformative undergraduate education.