meeting room with people discussing

Collaborating from a human place

Creating a human place for collaborating and connecting ideas

A quick glimpse at the history of innovation shows us that innovation isn’t just the result of giving people incentives. It emerges from the creation of environments where people can collaborate and their ideas can connect. There needs to be a human place, human experience, human interaction, argument, debate, conflict and opening up the mind. And where there’s a human place for collaborating and connecting ideas, even if, in Rabindranath Tagore’s words, we can’t make it through one door, “we’ll go through another door or make a door”.

“We seem to forget that innovation doesn’t just come from equations or new kinds of chemicals, it comes from a human place. Innovation in the sciences is always linked in some way, either directly or indirectly, to a human experience.” John Maeda

It’s human experience and being open which enables people to “see bridges where others see holes”. This can be seen in the history of innovation: Alexander Fleming’s accidental discovery of penicillin in 1928; the invention of the Post-it note by Spencer Silver in 1968. These innovations share an important characteristic: they were made by people able to connect events creatively, based on the perception of a significant link. These people went beyond traditional behaviour and thinking based on logic and predictability. If we create a space for analysing ideas under the most diverse and different perspectives we can generate new ideas, appreciate the unexpected and think differently.

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