In this blog post I want to share with you some interesting thoughts from the recently finished Aalto Camp for Societal Innovations. During the last days of August Dipoli congress center in Espoo was the place where magic happened, brilliant ideas were flying through the air like sparks, fruitful discussions were led and participants found out what they were capable of when they did only a single step outside of their comfort zones. The number of AHAs (the sounds of sudden clarity and realization) will never be known.
So you may ask yourselves who were the participants? Well, there were students and there were retired people, there were artist and university professors, Finns and international participants. Despite their differences they shared a desire to get together and contribute to the ever-growing need for societal change. One of the ways for stimulating creativity and innovation is to set up the right environment and atmosphere, in this case the formation of self-organizing teams which were allowed to challenge basically everything, from assigned case problems, existing solutions to suitable group dynamic and communication. A combination of the above mentioned, ability to think out of the box and hope that change is possible made way for new models for work-based learning to be created (P.A.W.) or the realization that the driving force in future development of Kotka should be its citizens.
I would like to think that the ability to innovate doesn’t lie solely within a limited number of gifted individuals, rather than with each person. For decades life experience had thought people that it is acceptable to choose secure and financially stable lives over challenging the status quo, taking risks and innovating. Recent years brought a shift in the paradigm as the previous “non-innovators” can no longer be the ones waiting for the change to happen, they have to start it and live it. Rapid population growth, fast technology progress and slow economic recovery only emphasize the need for a mindset change. During ACSI my team members, Niina Gromov and Heikki Hallantie, coined the term Innonatives, short for innovation natives. This I would use to describe the generation born in these turbulent times where questioning everything is more than welcome, new ideas are encouraged and innovating is a daily routine. The only thing that is stable is change. Innonatives remember the past, live in the present and think of the future. Their increased ability for fast information processing, critical thinking and connecting seemingly conflicting things will make them leaders of tomorrow.
Thank you for reading, I would be glad to hear your comments. To see who the author of this post is visit about.me/nkruz.