Innovation Management in an Arts University: From Thinking Hats to Changing Mindsets by Alcinda Lee and Andrew Robert Bellofatto

For one thing, pursuing innovation management in an arts university enables students to develop their own characters. This year, students taking the Masters in Innovation Management (MA:IM) at Central Saint Martins will be hosting an exhibition themed around four global tensions. The four tensions are digital and physical, profit and preservation, now and the future, and order and chaos.

Digital and Physical
We are witnessing emergent technologies and practices that are enabling and empowering people to create whole new value chains. Collisions herald new realities, presenting opportunities and threats for both organisations and individuals. While new technologies commence, the physical remains, constructing a variety of new mediums to continue practice. We are posed with questions on how to embrace these emergences, and reflect on their necessity.

Profit and Preservation
Human nature has a long history with greed. Within hyper-capitalism profit and success are monetary; other values are often undermined. The discourse on profit is being explored with a focus on inclusivity and awareness of the world-at-large. Globalism can work as a benefit and a detriment to preserving world resources. Can we intrinsically motivate organisations and ourselves to compromise? Do we need to?

Now and the Future
Technology allows for greater accessibility to information. Modern day documentation and archiving is a cherished activity of this generation. We believe we are constructing more informed futures. Time is losing its value, making it hard for individuals and organisations to understand how to live in the present and prepare for the future. Identities are at stake.

Order and Chaos
Rapid development in today’s world forces us to challenge the existing order. Industries are constantly evolving, and a select few of these organisations spark revolution, corroding traditional hierarchy. In this era, companies can employ survival strategies by toying with chaos to construct a new order to champion tomorrow.

With these four tensions, this exhibition has been summarised to be one which allows visitors to experience the practice of innovation through the ways students respond to current affairs in the realm of business, culture, and design. In innovation studies, we commonly talk about putting on different thinking hats for the creation of innovative outcomes. However, this graduating class of MA:IM embodies the power of changing mindsets which allows for fluidity rather than friction in their methodologies in solving problems. MA:IM has superseded the university space into hosting a debate on the four tensions above with The London School of Economics, University of Westminster, University of Leeds, and Cambridge University. In addition, students have presented their innovation proposals to Microsoft which received an appraisal, “I honestly did not expect to hear what you did today. I thought I already knew what you were going to present”, reflecting MA:IM’s experimental but relevant mindsets to innovation. This has been their collective work towards a participative future where university discussions flow out to aeffect public spaces.

The clichés of innovation must be forgotten before attending this exhibition held between the 21st and 25th of June 2017 at Central Saint Martins. All twenty-nine proposals during the week challenge the boundaries of innovation and its application across disparate geographical-cultural-economic-political circumstances. Therefore, we are extending an invitation to members of the Knowledge Quarter to T.E.N.S.E, Temporary Environment for Navigating Scenarios of Emergence, an exhibition curated by the students of the Masters in Innovation Management.

T.E.N.S.E. EXHIBITION from Wednesday 21st to Sunday 25th June
Central Saint Martins, UAL
Wed – Thurs: 12-8pm
Fri: 1-3pm
Sat – Sun: 12-5pm
Free entry to the public

Evening T.E.N.S.E Session – Fri 23rd June: 6-9.30pm
Register: please click here to book your place.

Twitter/Instagram: @csmmaim
Facebook: MA Innovation Management
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Alcinda Lee and Andrew Robert Bellofatto are Innovation Researchers at Central Saint Martins, UAL.