Mashing innovation and creativity

On the 15th of May, the PICNIC Innovation Mash Up 2012 took place. This was the appetizer of what this years’ PICNIC festival could taste like. And the Mash Up ’12 menu sounded promising: speakers from Shell, IDEO, Butterfly Works, Vodafone, CDEF (Cada dia es una fiesta). These are the people who deal with innovation strategies on a daily basis and this was definitely reflected in their talks and condensed in one morning.

Marja Zonnevylle (Shell) discussed scenario planning and explained how Shell uses scenario planning for almost half a century to respond to unexpected events. And why this is an essential part of business strategy. Shell collaborates with others, such as the City of Amsterdam (Triple Helix approach) to spark new ideas, share expertise and speed up development.

Emer Beamer elaborated on leading Butterfly Works’ co-creation sessions, using co-design all over the world. She emphases that co-creation means that everyone is an expert (especially young people), which implies that you should make this count. As a tool for building bridges between different views Butterfly Works uses analogies (such as the idea of a lighthouse) to create a shared idea.

Andréa Mallard (IDEO) spoke passionately about the culture of innovation and clarified that the culture of IDEO defines the companies success. She sums up why she loves her work at IDEO and what it truly means to be an innovative company. Her enthusiasm of the playful approach of IDEO is contagious. Next to this, she emphasizes the gift of failure (as Marja Zonnevylle pointed out) and takes this a step further by emphasizing the celebration of failure with the Fail Talent Show, because ‘bad ideas can generate good ideas’.

Danielle Puma (Vodafone Foundation) talked about how Vodafone expands their crowd sourcing activities. Furthermore, she launched Mobiles for Good: a competition for mobile health applications.

The inspiring morning was followed by an active afternoon where you could choose to do one of the workshops by Trivium, Waag, Frog or STBY. Unfortunately, you could choose only one workshop, but every one of them sounded interesting. I chose the one on Innovation Strategy Development by Frog. As Frog sees unexpected partnerships as one of the main challenges of tomorrow, they designed the workshop on joining the values of two (totally) different companies to one service. It was a fruitful afternoon with intensive tinkering and strategic thinking following Frog’s method on consumer profiling, journey mapping and creating a signature experience for the newly invented service. Again, condensed in just one afternoon.

Finally, Innovation Mash Up 2012 proofed to be more of a tapas menu than a full course meal. It was an inspiring day full with different attractive flavours.



Isjah Koppejan