These days innovation spaces have become something of a fashion accessory; no large organization can afford not to be seen without having one. And start-up spaces have followed a similar trend; there’s been an explosion of support to try and tap into this potential source of local economic growth. On the surface these look like a welcome developments, innovation finally moving centre stage. But the reality is that very often these ‘adventures’ are little more than physical spaces with a slogan, perhaps brightened up by a few coloured bean bags on the floor or a chic location in a converted factory or warehouse.
What we know from research is that providing such space can make a huge difference — but we need to have an operating model which is geared to providing support and creating a mechanism to repeat the innovation trick. We need operating ‘routines’ which help foster and support various aspects of the innovation process and which create a community of practice for organizations who take up residence inside them. Managed well innovation hubs, labs or whatever else you want to call them can operate as ’boundary spaces’, creating an environment for shared creativity, connection building and continuing interaction across different communities.
This blog looks at an example of a successful innovation space, the Instituto Caldeira, in Brazil and explores how it has helped create a vibrant community for start-ups and established organizations to progress their innovation ideas.
You can find a transcript here
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