Essentials: Quick guide for Innovation & Entrepreneurship
La Trobe Definition
Innovation relates to the introduction of the new; renewal, and change. Entrepreneurship at La Trobe refers to seizing opportunities and managing them effectively to realise their potential. La Trobe students will develop skills and knowledge in innovation and entrepreneurship, to include:
- understanding and experiencing the dynamics of change;
- the generation and effective management of new ideas;
- the ability to network, forge partnerships, collaborate and effectively communicate;
- flexibility and creativity in developing ideas, and in resolving complex problems;
- the capacity to apply theory, locate and synthesise knowledge resources, prioritise action and manage associated risk.
Definition for students
Innovation and Entrepreneurship is…
"The future is waiting to be invented. From the latest technologies to finding solutions to seemingly intractable problems like global poverty, current approaches won't solve future challenges. Tomorrow's innovators and inventors will need to seize and make the most of opportunities. They'll need to be able to think on their feet. The pace of change and the intensity of competition will require employees and managers to devise new strategies and target new markets and audiences.
The Innovation & Entrepreneurship Essential will help students to take an active role in shaping the forces that will shape our world. "
- From La Trobe University Innovation & Entrepreneurship Explanation to Students
The Essence of Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Innovation and Entrepreneurship is based around the following combination of ideas: Dynamic change, generating new ideas and how to develop & manage these:
- Dynamic Change: Students need to be actively involved in some type of change process during their learning, and reflecting on this so that they more clearly understand what change has happened, how, and at least partly why.
- Generating New Ideas: Students need to have opportunities to generate their own new ideas as part of learning. They need to have opportunities to identify these new ideas and to reflect on how they came about.
- Developing and Managing New Ideas: Students need to have opportunities to manage the new ideas they generate, so that they develop and get clarified — in order that outcomes of having an idea become more tangible/practical. They also need to have the experience of working together, or with others outside the subject, to experience collaboration as part of their processes of change, generating new ideas and managing these. This will include having opportunities to effectively communicate with other students/outside collaborators in the development of ideas. Some of these ideas and their implementation will not be easy, and may well involve coming to better understand the complexity of the issues they are grappling with.
Part of the purpose of the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Essential is to ensure that students understand the wider perspectives of creativity and flexibility in their discipline/topic. For the subject coordinator/developer, this means understanding the complexity of interactions, and intersections between different disciplines, that are often involved when new ideas are developed and brought to fruition.
For this to happen, it is important that students have some exposure to the wider, creative contexts of their study, and how to think about, and gain experience, in having an early try at developing and pursuing the implementation of a new idea.
Need to Include All Dimensions of I & E Together
The definition of I&E requires that all elements of innovation and entrepreneurship be considered together, or at least in a complete sequence. Students need to gain an understanding of what is required for change, and then experience the process of creating and managing new ideas themselves. Students also need to gain some experience of collaborating with others in the process of generating and managing ideas, how to be flexible and how to address the opportunities and risks associated with bring ideas to practical fruition.
Some Ways to Get Started with I & E
You might want to consider which parts of a student-based project or other learning tasks that give the most opportunity for students to develop their own ideas, having looked at existing knowledge, resources, circumstances and opportunities for change. You also need to consider how students are going to get opportunities to collaborate on development and management of new ideas, either with one another or with outside people/groups.
It is likely that your subject is going to accommodate these requirements through some type of collaborative project, so you need to consider where and how this occurs in your subject, and also how the various elements of the I & E Essential and going to be incorporated, and how they are going to be assessed.
I & E Needs to be Covered Overtly
Innovation & Entrepreneurship needs to be an overt part of the subject, but preferably in ways that integrate or link with some issue or activity that is located in the discipline (see examples above, and in the Resources for Innovation & Entrepreneurship below). Remember that I&E does not need to be in every part of the subject, but it needs to be sufficiently present to meet the requirements of the Essential - see Description above, and "What Formal Requirements Need to Be Met" in the Essentials - Getting Started resource. The purpose of the Essential is to give students some practical experience of generating new ideas, and managing these, including opportunities to collaborate with others so that these ideas have a chance to come to fruition.
It is intended that the I&E Essential expands the student view of their discipline, in ways that address issues of creativity and collaborative invention in the discipline - this will inevitably mean looking at the complexity of issues that these brings up for the discipline, including issues for which there are currently no clear directions for development. To some extent this places the staff member in a collaborative relationship with their students - looking together at the complexity and uncertainty of making change and generating new ideas, and trying to bring these into practical being, as this relates to the discipline/topic that is being explored, rather than the staff member being a source of pre-digested ideas or information. I&E encourages active, exploratory learning in students, and is highly amenable to team processes and projects.
How I & E is Helpful to Students
The La Trobe explanation for students for Innovation & Entrepreneurship is as follows:
- The future is waiting to be invented. From the latest technologies to finding solutions to seemingly intractable problems like global poverty, current approaches won't solve future challenges. Tomorrow's innovators and inventors will need to seize and make the most of opportunities. They'll need to be able to think on their feet. The pace of change and the intensity of competition will require employees and managers to devise new strategies and target new markets and audiences.
La Trobe is committed to creating opportunities for you to take an active role in shaping the forces that will shape our world. Through the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Essential you will learn:
- Learn how to thrive in a fast-changing world;
- Be challenged to use your creativity to generate and effectively manage new ideas
- Learn how to understand and solve complex problems
- Locate and use knowledge to reduce risk and make smart decisions.
Innovation & Entrepreneurship Resources
- The University of Michigan Centre for Entrepreneurship have a range of resources for teaching innovation & entrepreneurship.
- Wake Forest University have a range of resources, including curriculum ideas and materials on Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship.
- Is Social entrepreneurship the rich saving the poor? — by Martin Montero (2012) "Social entrepreneurship is not about elitist fellowships, conferences, summits, accelerators, co-working spaces, or contests. Social entrepreneurship is not about charity or even about philanthropy, and it's certainly not about wealth redistribution. Social entrepreneurship is about opportunity and power distribution.."
- How inequality curtails a nation's creativity — by Mark Buchanan Bloomberg. Japan Times
- Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) helps students carry out the Texas Christian University (TCU) mission statement — Abbie Maynard (2014)
"To educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community."
- University using an Innovation Lab To Solve Global Development Challenges — Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist (2014). Universities are getting involved in trying to solve global problems by developing innovation labs.
- A crash course in creativity Tina Seelig at TEDxStanford
An excellent presentation by Tina Seelig on TEDX on creativity and innovation and how to create learning environments to encourage this.
- Stanford Graduate Business School Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies has a range of video and other resources on innovation and entrepreneurship.
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