UTSpeaks: Shapeshifters - the New Creatives (6th March 2012)

Uploaded by utschannel on 16.03.2012

Hael Kobayashi: Good evening, everyone. Thank you for joining us this evening for UTS Speaks.
I'm Hael Kobayashi, the executive director of the Creative Innovation Unit here at UTS
and also the associate director of the Creative Industries Innovation Centre.
Before we begin the proceedings - and on behalf of all of those present - I would like to
acknowledge and pay respect to the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Gadigal
and Guring-gai people of the Eora nation. It is upon their ancestral lands that UTS
stands. Similarly, I would also like to pay respect
to the elders, both past and present, acknowledging them as the traditional custodians of knowledge
for this place. Tonight is the second presentation in the
2012 UTS Speaks series. The idea for this forum is the result of the ongoing collaboration
between UTS and the Creative Industries Innovation Centre. this evening we are engaging in the
sharing of knowledge about creativity and innovation.
The integration of creative industries and technology is not new. However, here, in the
second decade of the 21st century we are now seeing the emergence of teams and tribes of
whom we call shapeshifters; bringing together a heady mix of creative industries and design
driven innovation enabled by technologies, big data and intelligence systems.
In just 20 years the world has gone from analogue to digital to cloud. Within this complex and
changing environment the drive to be the world leader in creative innovation strategy and
development is at the forefront of Australia's and its competitors' economic priorities.
With many regions competing to be the best the ability to educate and enable more people
to translate creative thinking into doing has become a top priority.
There is a large wave of transformation carrying the world forward; one which requires increased
agility of thought and perspective. Universities are designing more collaborative multi-disciplinary
and industry focused programs that provide essential teaching, learning and research
opportunities for our immediate and near future generations.
Education itself is undergoing significant transformation where shared increased knowledge
in dynamic learning environments - both the virtual and physical - are critical for creative
innovation and creative intelligence to thrive. It is no longer just about how much you know.
Increasingly, it is about what are you doing with it.
Within the rapidly morphing global ecosystem creativity plays a central role in facilitating
an integrated approach to expressing our distinct cultures and solving global problems. Creativity
is everywhere and it has many, many voices. As an example, the use of the term designed
thinking was widely introduced into western society by the engineering faculty of Carnegie
Mellon University in the 1950s. It was used as a way of describing their approach to the
work they were doing. Creativity is an innate part of who we are
and encouraging an understanding of newer disciplines in what this evening is all about.
Tonight you will hear brief presentations from three of UTS's thought leaders. They
will each offer their unique view of how creativity and innovation are part of the current hybrid
wave of practitioners who are prototyping new ways for us to reflect and act as a region,
as a country, as a global partner. Tonight we will also want to hear from you,
the audience; questions you may have for our speakers and your views and ideas. We will
be opening up the floor for discussion on these themes and questions once all three
of our shapeshifters have given their perspective. Please be aware that the presentation and
forum are being digitally recorded and also filmed. These will be available on the UTS
website in the near future. We request, during the Q&A session after our
presentations, that you keep your questions and sharing of your views brief to ensure
that all have a chance to contribute to the discussion. I will also ask that you are respectful
when others are sharing their ideas. It is essential that you completely turn off
your phone and other devices to ensure no electronic interference occurs with our recording
this evening. Also could you please close the doors quietly if you are leaving or returning
to the room during this evening's presentations. Now, let's meet the first of our catalysts
who will be sharing their 21st century perspective on creativity and innovation. The technology
might be working - yes [laughs]. Let's meet the first of our shapeshifters
this evening who will be talking about creativity and innovation, Professor Kees Dorst. Kees
is professor of design and associate dean (research) at UTS's Faculty of Design, Architecture
and Building. Kees, welcome.
[Applause] Kees Dorst: Thank you, Hael, for the introduction.
Thank you, everybody, for being here. I'm not as fast up the stairs as I used to be,
but I'm here. I want to take you through one of the ways that shapeshifters work at the
moment but, first, I have to basically ask the question why do we need these kinds of
people at all? Why shift shape at all when the world is still the world?
Well, what we found in the last 15 years is that organisations - that's Government organisations,
companies and the like - find that they're assaulted by a new kind of problem. New kinds
of issues are coming up and they've got trouble dealing with them.
There are, basically, these four things that are slightly different from the old world
as it used to be. These problems are open, in the sense that it's very hard to put a
boundary around them; which means that while you're solving them you can be influenced
by things that you didn't take care of beforehand. They are also complex.
Now, of course, we are very used to tackling simple problems. We are also very used to
tackling complicated problems, which are problems with lots of elements, lots of relationships;
but you can still cut them up in smaller sub-problems; solve those and put it all together. Complicatedness
is what - especially - I'm an engineer by background - engineers are good at. That's
how we think. That's how we work. These problems are not complicated, but truly
complex; which means that there are so many relationships between all the sub-problems
and all the elements in the problem that you can't cut them up anymore. They have to be
taken as a whole somehow, but how can you do that when they're really complex, lots
of elements and relationships? These problems are also dynamic. It means
that you can't freeze time. You can't just say okay, I'll close my door now and I'll
solve this problem, because as you solve the problem the world is going its way and things
keep changing all the time. When you finally open your door again and you have the solution,
it's probably out of date. So you have to get used to some kind of continuous dynamic
in the problems. These things are also networked, which means
that you can't own a problem anymore in the way that you used to. You can't say okay,
we're a railway company so we own the railway network, and we're the only ones that are
going to make decisions about this. All of society is making decisions about that.
The problems themselves are networked. It probably means that the solution should also
be networked so you can't, on your own, introduce a big solution for something. You need other
parties to be involved. Lo and behold, of course those parties want to be heard earlier
on in the process. So this is really tricky. How do you deal with these kinds of things?
They're extremely slippery. I've been doing projects that, from a design
standpoint, address these kinds of things for about 15 years now, earlier in Holland.
I'm from Holland originally. Slowly, Government there, in particular, got used to using designers
to look at these kinds of things because design problems are always open, complex, dynamic
and networked. So companies and organisations have trouble
dealing with this. They see this profession that's been dealing with this all along and
say hey, maybe we can learn something; let's contact those people - and really interesting
projects slowly growing in scale and the idea that design can actually move into different
arenas than it was originally intended for was taking hold.
I've done projects like, basically, redesigning agriculture in the whole east of Holland;
from heavy industrial agriculture to a different kind of land use; huge projects; really interesting
to do. Then, about seven or eight years ago, Bruce
Nussbaum wrote an article in Business Week and said that this is design thinking. Okay,
it's design thinking then. Since then design thinking has become a buzzword in business
schools around the world and people are really plugging it; which is great because it's recognition
for the kind of projects that people were starting to do and it ties it all a bit together.
It's also a bit of a disaster because if I see how business schools sometimes use design
thinking or conceptualise design thinking, it's basically sitting in a room, using lots
of Post-its, blowing lots of ideas in different directions.
I've been doing research into how designers think for about 20 years. It's not exactly
how design works. So we have to be careful here and say okay, what is actually design
thinking? What do we actually mean and how can we do it well, because just brainstorming
is not design thinking. Actually, the expert designers that I study, on the whole, don't
brainstorm at all. It's not something that expert designers do.
I'd say okay, if this are serious problems let's learn from the experts. Let's not use
the techniques that we bore or interest our first year students with, like brainstorming,
but let's actually see what expert designers do.
I've been doing research into experts for about 20 years now. Actually, the very first
conference - a symposium on expert design - was here at UTS in 2003, organised by Ernest
Edmonds' Creativity Cognition Studios. People from all around the world came here and said
okay, what's this design expertise actually? How does it work? What are levels of expertise?
How do designers develop, et cetera, et cetera? So that's the kind of study that I do, which
means that I have to travel around the world and interview wonderfully interesting designers
about how they work, which is absolutely great. As a designer, of course, I learn loads from
them. I do experiments. I give designers exercises
to do and see how they tackle these problems, to just find the thinking patterns of these
experts, because the way that I've found design to be is - it's not about random creativity
- blowing ideas in all different directions and then shooting them down until you've got
the right one. It's actually a very deliberate process of
exploration, thinking - all the expert designers that I've interviewed are very sharp analytically.
They're not just creative madmen with strange long hair and stuff. They really, really know
what they're doing in a very, very intelligent and deliberate way. It really is a way of
thinking that has its patterns to it. What are those patterns? How does expert design
actually work and what can we learn from expert design to put that into different arenas,
to have companies, organisations, governments, actually deal with these kind of things, not
by hiring designers, but by being a designer, in a way, themselves.
One of the things that I've found - and it's always fascinated me - about these expert
designers is that design is, broadly, a process that goes from the problem to the solution.
Of course, all these designers - it's also the way they present themselves - they're
known for their great solutions: oh, this is so wonderful; this is a great idea, et
cetera, et cetera. If you talk to them and you see what they're
really focused on, I think 70 per cent to 80 per cent of the time they're working on
the problem. All these designers say well, the solution is not a problem. Anybody can
brainstorm, anybody can get to the solution. The problem is in that part because the problem,
as presented to you, is never the one that you should be solving.
This is a quote actually from Albert Einstein, saying that a problem can never be solved
in the context in which it arose. For a very clever person this is not a very clever thing
to be saying because it's quite circular. If you could just solve the problem in the
context in which it arose you would probably never call it a problem and just do it.
Okay, there is some truth to this, and say okay, we need new approaches to problems.
That's what those designers are focusing on. That's what they're good at. That's what they're
known for. That's why they're hired by all these different companies et cetera, et cetera.
We need people that are able to do something that is called trend creation: create new
frames; create new approaches to old problems. I've been going through my data in the last
10 years and really looking at the patterns that these designers use in their behaviour,
in their thinking, in the way they justify what they're doing, that actually lead to
new frames. In the end I found out that this is the pattern. I'll walk you through a couple
of these steps. It's not important now. First, what you see them do is, basically,
look at an archaeology of the problem: why is this a problem? Why wasn't this solved
before? Who is the problem owner? Why has it actually become a problem? Then what these
designers all do is they go for the central paradox, which is what makes this hard to
solve? Why is this a hard one? Then, to my big surprise, when I first encountered
it, once they've actually - they spend quite a bit of work formulating this central paradox,
then they completely leave it alone. They go okay, we've got that one; interesting;
next. Then what they start to do is they start to
create a new context. They start to broaden it and look at other stakeholders. They start
to look at a very, very broad problem arena. I'll come up with an example in a minute.
From that very broad problem arena - all different parties that could be involved in the problem
and the solution, anywhere, could be interested. They do a lot of work on what are the values
of those people? What do they want? What's in the mix that we could use? From this rich
mix of different values - there's a different rich mix of thoughts - they start to let themes
emerge. Themes are the background to the creation
of new frames. The frames can actually lead to if I look at a problem in this way, then
it can lead to these kinds of solutions. These solutions lead to what needs to change for
this to be a good solution, or what needs to change for this to be actually implemented?
Then they look at how they can connect that to the rest of the world.
So it's a very, very deliberate process. I do this in workshops now. it takes about two
hours. It feels much more fluent than it looks when you see all the different words. What
you basically do is you take a problem as it is, you respect it for how it came about,
you ignore it for a little while, you start look in a broader context how you can create
a new one. From that new one you attack the problem. You see whether you've actually solved
it well enough and you go backwards and forwards a couple of times. This is expert design behaviour
around frame creation. When I started to get the idea that this was
an interesting process I thought okay, now I need to experiment. I'm a methodologist.
I want to actually package this in a way that people can use. For that I can't just go on
interviews and go on my observational data. I really need to experiment. I started looking
around the world for a place where I could do these kinds of experiments.
Actually, within a couple of weeks UTS put up its hand and said you could do them here.
I think Australia, interesting, okay, yes, we can do that, okay. So about four years
ago I came here; basically, on the proposition that these are the kinds of things that I
want to do. I need a place which is not Holland, where I come from, but a different place.
I was really afraid that the method that I would be developing would only work in Holland,
basically - too stuck in there. Okay, it needs to be somewhere else and I need an open environment
where I can try these things out. UTS said they could provide it, and they did.
Another thing that happened, just a couple of months after I came to UTS, was that the
New South Wales Attorney-General's department sent out a call for a Designing Out Crime
Centre. They want to do all of these projects which are, basically, about safety in public
spaces. I responded to that call and said okay, I can set up a centre for you, and it's
not going to be quite what you think. It's going to be slightly different, but it's going
to be better than you think we can achieve. To give them a lot of credit the Attorney-General
actually went for it; so we've got this Designing Out Crime Centre at UTS now. it's been going
for four years. We've done - I did the count today - 73 projects for different parties,
including the City of Sydney, RailCorp; all around the state.
All of these projects have this frame creation process as their basis. All of these projects
have actually gone a very, very long way towards implementation. It's a really interesting
place to be. It's a really interesting place to see happening. Right now the centre is
seeing a leading in crime prevention around the world. We are organising a conference
later this year. Copy centres are going to be set up in Japan and other places. This
actually works. This was me just looking for a complex to try out frame creation. Anyway,
it does its job really well. So working in this centre, doing all these
projects - I'd like to show you the last project we just finished last week, but it's still
being presented to the client, so I can't. I'll tell you an earlier one, that's actually
not happened here in Sydney, but one back in Holland. It's actually about the marathon.
So, if you remember the nine steps, talk about archaeology of a problem. This problem came
to us as - this is in the city of Eindhoven, which is an industrial city in the south of
Holland. It's a very high tech city. Last year it was named the smartest region in the
world, with Silicone Valley coming number two; so not bad.
It's also known as a boring city. It was boring to start with, then it got bombed in the war,
and then it was rebuilt even more boring, so it has this image problem. So one of the
things that it wants to do to get rid of the boringness image and attract people there
is to organise a marathon. It's been doing that for years and years and years, but the
problem with this marathon is, actually, that the people in Eindhoven don't like it at all
because it's this traffic nightmare. So half the people flee the city and the other half
of the people are stuck and very frustrated. So it doesn’t have the festive atmosphere
that you'd like for a marathon. Anyway, the way that the city of Eindhoven
approached this - which is a group of designers in Holland - are saying okay, we have a traffic
problem, and we've done everything we could and we've rationalised the way we redirect
traffic; we've put signs up, we've got a website, we've done publicity campaigns; so all the
things that are normal to do we have done already; and still we have a problem. Can
you look at this? I said well, because we're not traffic engineers,
yes, let's try and let's see whether we can find a different approach. We did our analysis
- again, a lot of this process of frame creation is really analysis. What we found was actually
hey, wait a minute, this marathon is - so the people in Eindhoven don't connect to it
at all. Actually, the way it's set up, it could be
anywhere, but it happens to be in Eindhoven. Nothing of the character of the city comes
out. The population has left or is frustrated, beeping their horns. It's not a good experience;
so what can we do, and by the way, who's actually running in this marathon? These are some maps
of Holland and neighbouring countries - where people come from that run in the marathon.
You see, wait a minute. They come from all over these countries. This is a big area;
interesting. There's really big companies in Eindhoven that need lots of people. We
find that the people run in the marathon, on the whole, are very highly educated, okay.
If we could give them a better experience of Eindhoven they might be more interested
in actually working there, which is good for the companies. Then the companies could come
in and actually give some money to the marathon to create a different event around it.
So let's see, by - we're, basically, making the problem more complicated. We're making
it richer. Therefore solutions can start to appear. If you just keep it as a traffic problem
you can never solve it because they are very good traffic engineers; they've already done
that as far as they could. So you need to widen that area. You need to widen it up and
make it a very confusing area, actually, to navigate in, and say well, this is an idea.
Because we have the addresses of all the people that have run in the marathon in the last
20 years we can go on Google and we can go on Google Street View and see where they live
now and see what kind of houses they have, and we can see what kind of areas in Eindhoven
they might be interested in looking at, because they don't come along, they come with their
families. The families have absolutely nothing to do during the day except seeing sweaty
people run by, and the fun of that goes off after a while.
So maybe we can actually start manipulating this a little bit and make it a really interesting
venture. Let's just map the big companies. Let's map the city parts. Let's map the themes
that we think we can express in this particular city in a particular way, et cetera, et cetera.
In the end what we did is we cut up the circuit of the whole marathon in these different zones,
where all kinds of events are happening around these themes that are actually housed there.
By doing this what we're actually doing is, in the end, solving the traffic problem because
we're spreading the audience which used to be in the centre of the city - that tiny little
red dot - because that's where the start and the finish is, so that's where you want to
be. People would just hang around there and not have much to do.
We actually spread them around the city much more, which makes it much easier for the traffic
controllers to make the circuit permeable for people to get across the circuit. So we
are, in the end, also solving the traffic problem, but we're doing much more.
This is just one direction. There were four different directions - widely different directions
- for this one thing, but you get the picture of okay, you get a problem, it's stuck, you
have to look at it very carefully, but you don't have to get stuck in there yourself.
You widen it up and you find a process of narrowing down again in a particular way.
So that's what we do and enjoy doing within the Designing Out Crime Centre. Right at the
moment the method has stabilised to the point where we can really go out to the world and
say okay, this is what we do; this is how we can do it; in all different kinds of areas.
So we're now opening up to - just like I came to UTS four, five years ago, saying do you
want to play with fire? Again, we've got this sorted out now to the point where I say okay,
for your own organisation, wherever you do it, would this be interesting to go through
these processes a couple of times and see what comes out; because we find them very
helpful. You'll hear different stories in a minute. For me, this is actually the core
of what design can bring to organisation and Government that need a new direction. So that's
the shape shift for me. That was me. [Applause]
Hael Kobayashi: Thanks very much to Kees. We appreciate the effort he's put in to joining
us this evening. As you can see, he's healing from an injury; so we certainly appreciate
you being here, Kees. Thank you. Now I would like to introduce Dr Jochen Schweitzer.
Jochen is senior lecturer of strategy at the UTS Business School and co-founder of U lab,
a multi-disciplinary innovation hub. Jochen... [Applause]
Jochen Schweitzer: Hello and welcome, everyone. I probably have to lift this up a little bit.
Kees, I'm not taking responsibility for bombing Eindhoven. Welcome, everyone. I would like
to share three stories and one experiment with you tonight. Here's my first story.
This is my friend, David. David is a [unclear] entrepreneur from Vancouver. He loves to build
companies. He enjoys coming up with new business ideas, developing a plan, finding venture
capital and working with other people who are actually equally enthusiastic about these
ideas. This story is not so much about David's businesses.
It's more about the attitude that he has building them. At a recent dinner conversation David
and I talked about the differences between being an entrepreneur and being an employee.
David said that he pretty much dreads the moment when he starts employing people for
his ventures. He employs business graduates usually because they have the skills to execute
his strategies. What he finds is that, often, business school
graduates are lacking the ability to develop strategies. He says employees are for running
the business, not for inventing or reinventing the business. Entrepreneurs, like him, who
invent businesses often don't even enjoy running them. So, obviously, we need entrepreneurs
and we need employees. David knows that too. Now, when I ask my students about their professional
plans I usually hear from 70 per cent of them that they are looking for some job at a corporate
organisation in Australia. About 10 per cent are planning to join a family business, and
another 10 per cent usually don't know what to do with their degree. So that leaves us
with about 10 per cent who are likely to maybe start up their own business.
I think business schools should focus a lot more on producing entrepreneurs. I think we
need to grow the number of people who want to be entrepreneurs. We need to encourage
young people in our schools, colleges and universities to reinvent, explore and challenge
the status quo. Without people who invent businesses there's nothing to do for people
who run them. We need to provide students with opportunities to test their own ideas.
My second story is about professional practice. It starts with my dad. I know I look like
my dad. My dad is an engineer turned business owner. Like many of us, I followed into my
father's footsteps. I became an engineer myself. My first job was [unclear]. My first was in
the automobile industry. I worked for a company that was building steering systems like these.
In those years I learned a lot about design, high quality standards and technological possibilities.
I then worked for a language school at a cultural institute as a program co-ordinator. I learned
about cultures. I learned about providing a service and I learned a lot about dealing
with people. Then I worked for a company that builds cars.
For this car, for example, I was involved in planning the tools that were used to produce
the doors. I really like the doors of this car. I learned about the economics of production
and that resources are not just materials, machines and designs. Resources are far and
foremost the humans that make everything run smoothly. That's when I got interested in
the human factor. I moved on to management consulting. The management
of change was my bread and butter for many years. I learned about the motivations, the
fears, the ambitions and the attitude that people would have towards change.
I then turned to better understand customers. I helped create strategies to meet customer
needs and user expectations. I also helped to surprise them with new products and services.
Now I work for a university. I study the role of collaboration, creativity and leadership
for strategic innovation. So, to be honest, for a very long time I felt
I have been all over the place with what I was doing. My professional interest and professional
practices were pretty much all over the place. My CV reads like a menu - a bit of everything
really. I'm sure that many of you feel the same way.
So let me suggest this: I think it's okay. Don't worry about it. I think it's good. In
fact, I think it's essential to bring a mix of all sorts of professional practices and
experiences to the table when it comes to innovation.
In my experience many efforts to innovate are held back by too homogenous groups of
people. A colourful CV is okay. It's not a bad thing. We need to embrace diversity to
enable collaborative creativity. Every experience counts.
My third story is about a group of people from UTS who went to innovation land. Over
the last 18 months we had many encounters with people who do very interesting work in
the field of innovation and entrepreneurship around the world. We talk to people in Australia,
the US, Europe and Asia. We went to experience some of the energy of places like the Silicone
Valley, Berlin and other hot spots, or hot houses of entrepreneurship.
We connected to the Sydney entrepreneur community and we learned about the rise of social enterprises,
co-working spaces, business incubators and many other initiatives that would seek to
propel innovation in their communities, cities and in their countries.
We even met David Kelley from IDEO. We spent some time at [D School] in Stanford University
and their sister organisation in Berlin. Apart from all the motivation and the good advice
that we received from all these wonderful people, one of the key insights from all these
encounters, for me personally, was that we need to use a common language for innovation;
a common language of innovation. I think this language already exists. We have
it in architecture, engineering design and other professions. The professional practices
for creating innovation have been used for many years. That, I guess, is exactly what
Kees was referring to earlier as well. As a language it might not be as logical as
mathematics, and definitely not as precise and clear as German would be, but I think
the design language - the professional practices of the creative professions - can help us
innovate and invent businesses in Australia too.
You can call it creativity, group think, design thinking, integrative thinking, lateral thinking
and so on. I don't think it matters so much what we call it. What matters is that the
practices are here already and we need to start using them a bit more. We need to create
this common language. Now, this leads me to the last part of my
talk. It leads me to the experiment. Our experiment at UTS started with this key to a warehouse.
The School of Architecture allowed us to use their space for one semester. So for spring
semester last year we started what we call the U lab.
The U lab is our pilot of collaborative creativity at UTS. At U lab we think that innovation
is a product of optimistic and opportunist interactions and serendipitous encounters.
We believe that innovation occurs between people. We seek to expand the capacity of
design practice into a collaboration between entrepreneurs, corporates, academia and the
public. We look for radical cross-boundary thinking and doing.
How do we do this? We designed a space that would allow us to bring people together in
a playful and open way. Space is important. From what we had seen we wanted it to feel
a bit like a work shed where you can quickly grab a few things and build something; a place
that is not pristine, but functional, and a place where you can easily swap from thinking
mode to doing mode and back. We think innovation is an open process. The
process of design thinking guides us, but we keep it in the back of our minds and we
don't follow it too rigidly. We encourage deep understanding that comes from observation.
Culture is important. We seek to create an open, honest culture without fear of sharing
thoughts and ideas. We think creative people are curious, humble
and lifelong learners. Creativity feeds on knowledge, so every experience counts. We
look for different lenses, different patterns, which we can only achieve by bringing in very
different people from very different backgrounds. We practice fast iteration because it accelerates
learning and it makes for better outcomes: fail fast, fail forward. We practice prototyping
because it provides you with quick feedback. It helps developing ideas and common understanding
and it helps to define the problem. Sharing is key of our approach at U lab. We share
ideas. We share food. We share with customers and users and we share with the public.
Let me finish with a quote from a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald by Josie Gibson.
In this article she talks about the importance of being innovative for Australia. She talks
about changing attitude towards risk, embracing opportunities. She goes on to say changing
behaviour is a complex long term proposition. It's about doing and trying, not just talking.
This very much reflects the journey that we have started as a group within UTS. Thank
you very much. [Applause]
[Start part offline_2_20120319_110559] Hael Kobayashi: Thank you very much Jochen
for sharing your perspective. Now we'd like to move on to our third shapeshifter for the
evening, Dr Joanne Jakovich. Joanne is senior lecturer in the UTSA Faculty
of Design, Architecture and Building. Joanne is a co-founder of U lab as well.
Joanne. [Applause]
Joanne Jakovich: Hello. Good evening, everybody. One quick reflection that is hot off the press,
before I start. The interesting thing is that when you start working with [Kees] - and it's
been four years I've been working with Kees now - you begin to wonder whether he's doing
frame creation on you: are you complicated or are you complex? Once he's worked that
out, what is your central paradox? Kees, you can answer me that later.
Really, it's a delight to be here tonight, to be speaking to you in this fantastic space
designed by our fantastic friends in Sydney, DRAW Architects. I'm a bit biased because
in my other shape I am an architect. However, if you knew this space before this brilliant
ceiling came in you would agree with me that DRAW are the true shapeshifters.
So tonight I'm going to start with a movie. [Excerpt from movie]
Here we have 11 of our students who dealt with conflict between their disciplines of
architecture and business while collaborating in our 16 week subject called the Entrepreneurship
Lab, which we are running in the U lab, which Jochen just spoke about.
After the close of the final public pitch in day the students had spent about 45 minutes
downloading their conflicts, talking about them, and I was about doing things. I turned
around only to find that this spontaneous formation had happened behind me. It's a bizarre
expression of connectivity, right. Take a look at their beaming faces. Look very
carefully. Have another look. They're connected by pinkie - swinging their pinkies. The staff
- we were absolutely gobsmacked. Hence I got the iPhone out as quickly as possible.
The most astounding thing about this film is not there's a bunch of true Aussie boys
hanging about, swinging hands together. It's really the icky feeling you get in your stomach
when you see this kind of thing. You also begin to question what happened prior to this
for these boys to be doing this. Really? I was surprised, so I'm going to tell you the
story about that. Why should we be surprised? They're a bunch
of students. They're on their final day of semester and, perhaps, this is a new way of
celebrating. Really, I would say that we are all perpetuators of a kind of blockism, I'll
call it. It's this silent agreement - persistence to stay a certain distance from each other
and to not really make the right connection to share ideas or to get into the sticky uncomfortable
place of collaboration. So the first question on the flyer for tonight's
lecture was is the global innovation movement challenging us to rediscover the innate creativity
in all of us? In my opinion, not exactly. Creativity alone is not enough. My proposition
- I'll ask you to think about this as I go through tonight - is that true innovation
exists between people as a function of their capacity for a shared humanity.
Kees suggested reframing how we think about problems. There's a re-jigging of a mental
process. Tonight I'm going to talk about reframing the social mindset towards a reprogramming
or a reminding of how it was when we used to enjoy having fun, when we used to enjoy
making things and when we we're really free to share our most wildly radical creative
ideas. This leads me to the second big question on
the flyer - which you may remember - asks how, in the so-called global innovation movement,
can Australia compete? Well, I can't speak of Australia, but I can try to speak of Australians
and, in particular, Sydney-siders. You see, I have a problem with how we Australians inhabit
our cities so vacantly. A lot of people are researching and writing
about how companies can be more innovative. If you ask my opinion this is a Band Aid solution.
We need to address it more broadly. We expect our staff to be innovative when
the lead the most uninspiring, individualistic urban lives. In allowing ourselves to fall
back into the cloud of advanced individual consumerism, and in submitting to a form of
spatial infantilism that denies our local and communal reality, we are making a mockery
of our attempt to be innovative in the workplace. My contention is that cities are the organism
to which we need, first and foremost, to inject the oxygen of innovation. Indeed, to solve
the city is the greatest challenge and opportunity of the human condition.
So tonight I'm going to introduce what I'll call - just for namesake - the three legged
monster of innovation in our cities. That is the three elements that we need to cultivate
the city in terms of city innovation, and then go on and flourish elsewhere.
The first leg is what I will call collective creativity. Does the city have an infinite
capacity for innovation and its wildly diverse players? Why are we and our cities so blocked?
Could it be that in this advanced individual capitalist treading the path of extreme banality
of enlightenment in the 21st century we are simply too embarrassed to do collectivity?
Behind me you'll see the work of the City Switch Project in which we've been switching
between Japan and Australia since 2005. I spent a large amount of time travelling to
and from Japan. I keep collaborating there because the Japanese had so much to teach
me about the link between humanity and creativity. I hear many people say Japan has not really
been innovating for the last 20 years. Some say it's due to a lack of diversity, a lack
of difference between the thinkers. Perhaps, yes, Japan is no longer creating the sensation
that Apple in the States is, but the one thing the Japanese have over the diverse cultures
of the west is an ingrained sense of creative community.
In the City Switch Project we participate in this incredible culture called [machiza
kuri]. It's the concept of city making. It's a wave of urban regeneration that has been
based on the arts and the creative design industries that has been sweeping Japan for
about the last 10 years, possibly longer. Here you can see one of our five day intensive
workshops in Japan where we built and shared a design for revitalisation of a shrinking
city around a new cycling tourism concept. We applied much of the processes that Kees
spoke about. As I lived and worked in Japan over the past
14 years I came to understand the gap in innovation that we, as Australians, can learn from them.
It's very simple: the Japanese believe in the collective creative and they are masters
at it. The second leg of the monster relates to how
things happen. After City Switch we began to think of the city as this semi-stable self-organising
system of talent. Rather than facilitation of workshops we designed orchestration and
decided to radically experiment with tweaking its parameters.
So we set up and pitched the concept of the Bike Tank; the think tank that you cycle to.
Our question here was to explore how can design make cities more human?
I'm going to show you a little intro [inaudible]. [Excerpt begins]
[Music] Female: [Unclear] is so important, but what
do we actually know about ... [Music]
Male: Especially a bright way to start the day for a start. Just the energy in the room
is really amazing. [Music]
Male: We're coming to learn more about design thinking, and I think it's really good to
- the interaction with people beyond UTS. [Music]
Female: I really like the idea of engaging and thinking of collaborative approach to
ideas. I like the idea of prototyping ideas and prototyping and synthesising a new idea
or a concept with a group of people. [Music]
Male: At the start of the exercise you can get all [unclear] - well, a little bit alien;
what are we really doing here. Then it culminates in these fantastic ideas [inaudible].
[Music] Male: We were really inspired with what could
be achieved in such a short period of time. [Music]
Male: [Unclear]. [Music]
Male: Then we incorporated that in our project ...
Male: It was a combination ... [inaudible]. [Music]
Male: First we came up with a transport solution. [Music]
Male: Now we have a solution which involves co-working [unclear] strategically located
in the ... Male: ... probably got a little bit of a glow
on the inside. [End of excerpt]
Joanne Jakovich: So we wanted to prove what we call the filtration theory of innovation
in the city. If we could filter out the things that we don't want - the fear, the status,
the blocks - then we only need to add some really simple ingredients to get a pure substance
and, maybe, even explosion. So what are these ingredients and how did
we do that? As Jochen described we started with a good shelf, filled it with some great
toys, handmade tables, yes, Post-it notes and some hefty glue guns.
Then we started to get crazy. We thought what if we hold this at 8am on a Tuesday? This
was the filtration process for finding like minded mad individuals as crazy as us. You'd
be surprised what challenges people rise to. This process was really, really popular.
Then we confirmed our inkling; that collective creativity is a highly emotional undertaking.
Once we knew that our filters were allowing for fillings of inspiration, breakthrough,
exhilaration and euphoria we decided to start aiming for the full explosion.
We invited inspiring guest speakers. We introduced a rapid fire design process: a five by five
where teams raced against the clock; five minutes, five steps each. We brought in the
coffee cart and the pastries and we decided to get strong on prototyping. We asked people
to make every innovation they designed. Then we began to push the boundaries of the
worn old concept of the role play. We found this was really, really successful. We did
things like raps, hakas, we made these bubble signs to help bring out expression.
We made these things we call [frame balls]. [Excerpt plays]
Joanne Jakovich: So once we'd proved our process we were ready to really step up and out.
The third leg of our deer monster is everyday entrepreneurship. It wasn't enough for us
to enhance the lives of our local Bike Tankers, so we decided to throw the model out to you;
a kind of crowd sourcing to improving it. So what inspired us to do this? Well, as we
went on with Bike Tank it became apparent to us that Bike Tank was running on a lot
more than just the caffeine, sugar and our inspirational hakas. We observed what we could
only define as creative altruism. This is the kind of intrinsic motivation to bring
about collective innovation through sharing one's creativity, one's time and one's energy
in a way that could only be said to be altruistic and aiming towards a greater good.
Indeed, the highest motivating factor might well be what Maslow describes as self-actualisation;
the desire to fulfil one's potential, to express individuality and to give back to others through
actualising and sharing one's capabilities. So we designed the Bike Tank snowball. Bike
Tank is a replicable model. It's a really easy thing to set up. It's [unclear] and to
take and to modify and to use it to enhance your company or your locality's innovation
processes. What do you need? Very simple: a room, a few tables, a beat box and a trip
to Reverse Garbage. What can we give you? We'll give you help
with learning about the five by five, what works, what doesn’t, access to our networks
and server and, most importantly, we'll help get the process running; so action is the
most important thing. From here you can begin to build the social capital that is the glue
for embedding entrepreneurship and innovation in your company or your city.
So I think I have about two minutes left. In the U lab we are always asking our students
to present us with their 10 point manifesto. It's a way for them to get down to what's
important and so in. So I'm going to put myself in their shoes, which I very - never do, actually,
in front of them. So I'm going to bring one together to sum up tonight.
Number one: encourage collective creativity. Filter out blockism. Play and make stuff together
and reframe the social mindset. Two: love thy city. Our cities are the heart
of innovation. Get it right in your own back yard before stepping out.
Three: action first and then stewardship. Remember, action keeps people interested and
gets the momentum rolling. Four: tap into creative altruism. Remember,
intrinsic motivation and self-actualisation are the most effective strategies.
Five: reverse engineer the emotional experience of innovation. That is the atmosphere, the
openness and a willingness to share. Six: raise the bar of creative expression
using music, timing, sugar, caffeine and visionary thinking, and remember to get up early.
Seven: orchestrate extraordinary experiences. Eight: good ideas scale when they are shared.
Open the flows in your system and the feedback will escalate.
Nine: foster everyday entrepreneurship and the local embeddedness of entrepreneurs to
build the social capital of innovation. Finally, Australia is one of the most urbanised
countries in the world. If we are going to crack the complex and competitive world we
live in we'll have to crack our urban being and tap into the immense wealth of diversity
we'll find there. I'd like to thank you and invite you to join
us in our adventures at U lab and to let us join you in the ancient and ever new encounter
between humanity and innovation. Thank you. [Applause]
Hael Kobayashi: Thank you very much, Joanne, for that perspective on what's going on in
Sydney in some of the projects that we're seeing.
Now we come to that part of the evening where we invite you, the audience, to ask questions
of our shapeshifters and to offer your views or reflections on what you were presented
this evening. Please remember that this forum is being recorded. Please be brief and respectful
of different views that might be presented. As moderator I'll be helping us get through
the dialogue and the discussion this evening. Our UTS events team will be circulating with
microphones. I see Robert standing by there. So if you would like to make a comment just
quickly raise your hand and a microphone will come to you. Then we'll get going. So we're
all going to switch on our other microphones, have a seat and we'll get going.
Male: Hello. Can you just briefly explain how to operationalise the concept of collective
innovation and [rigorous] engineering… Joanne Jakovich: I'll repeat your question.
The question was to describe the collective creation in relation to emotion.
[Inaudible] Joanne Jakovich: Yes. This is really interesting.
So the question is can you talk about the relationship - or the comment I made at the
end about reverse engineering; the emotion of innovation?
This is what we're working really hard to do in the U lab, both in our teaching in the
events that we run. We have been experimenting and trialling with what are the factors that
get you to that point - where we saw the students at the beginning with the pinkies - where
you're ready to share, you're ready to take risk, you're ready to risk failure and you're
always ready to risk a sense of being wrong or ridiculed.
So we construct - so, often, when you've worked with someone for long enough, or you've got
the right kind of chemistry, you reach that emotional interaction naturally. What we're
doing is actually taking that state and try to construct it at the beginning of our sessions.
We're constructing it week in, week out and actually scaling up, each week, this sense
of connection that people at Bike Tank are feeling.
Male: Hi. You said to focus on the problem, but I'd argue if Steve Jobs had focused on
the problem he wouldn't have invented the iPhone and all the other devices that you
mentioned. Isn't it missing the point, that you cut yourself off by just focusing on the
problem and not thinking about possibility? Hael Kobayashi: Kees?
Kees Dorst: I think Steve Jobs was very good in creating problems and creating the problems
that people feel actually need to be solved. So, in a sense, it just depends on where you
let the project start. You're right about opportunities. Of course
we look at opportunities all the time. What I do find is that a lot of opportunities are
hidden behind problems. This is a way of getting around those problems that hide the opportunities
that are, basically, there all the time. So that's the way I would phrase it.
Hael Kobayashi: Jochen, would you like to add something too?
Jochen Schweitzer: No. [Laughter]
Hael Kobayashi: Very wise. Joanne Jakovich: [Unclear].
Male: I suppose it is a variation on that theme. You said that we should make the problem
more complex. The Australian healthcare system is incredibly complex, yet it remains an intractable
problem for governments, for community, for a myriad of reasons. Have we not made it complicated
enough? Have we got too many stakeholders? Have we not pursued a path of collaboration
sufficiently that allows us to move beyond and actually find the solution? Or, in fact,
are we asking the wrong question? Kees Dorst: I just missed the one word that
described feeding the problem. Could you repeat that?
Male: I was talking about the healthcare system. Kees Dorst: The healthcare system. Let's talk
about rephrasing the [problem] of the healthcare system. I did the project in Holland because
I was contacted by the director-general of the Ministry of Health there who, basically,
said we have to give up on scaling up the healthcare system to care for the ageing population.
It's too expensive already. The organisations are too big. We don't have any control whatsoever.
We can't do it, so we've given up on that. I think okay, thank you. I'm getting some
grey hairs now. I'm thinking okay, this is going to be good. We rephrased it as okay,
how can we actually help people to care for each other more on a semi-professional basis?
A lot of care has been pulled in to assist them that people used to do for each other.
You can't get back to that. You don't want to go back to that, but there's lots of technology
around where you can now actually build networks and do quality control that is quite dispersed.
Normally, in the olden days, you would need a central healthcare system. You would need
a central water supply et cetera, et cetera, because you want to do quality control. That's
the reason for [size] of the organisations, and you want to be efficient.
If you can change that around with the new technologies that we have you can actually
start conceptualising a new healthcare system. In Holland, at this point, we're actually
trialling it out on an island which is off the coast of Holland which never had a central
healthcare system because it was too far removed from anywhere.
In a sense, they are so far behind it they're ahead of the game now. We're putting lots
of technology in there to see whether that will work; what can work there and what can't
work there, et cetera, et cetera. So I think there are different solutions.
I think the way that the questions around the healthcare system are put now - like the
questions about water et cetera - are just not the right kind of questions.
Luckily, with some of the new toys that we have - I mean I talked before about how we've
networked our problems by networking ourselves. Network solutions are good things, but they're
very, very hard to create. We need to get better at those very, very quickly to be able
for those rephrasing of problems [to be] actually a good option.
Hael Kobayashi: Sometimes we need to find that opportunity where we can prototype something
in a parallel universe; somewhere to do that. In Singapore they're also doing - they're
looking at next generation healthcare, well care. They're able to do that because they're
piloting it in their new medical facility on the north part of the island. So they've
been able to look at everything in terms of patient interaction, technology that's being
used. They took a lot of the input that was generated
from their workshops. In the medical centre itself it's not like a typical medical centre
that you would see in the world and in a developed country. Actually, they're pushing the process
as far as they can with real patients and real time. They've even gone so far as to
put an organic garden across the entire rooftop of the complex. That's how they feed their
patients. So it's an interesting way to use a prototype in an ecosystem, to see what works
and what's not working. Yes, a question in the back.
Male: First of all, thanks to Joanne for inviting me. I come from the Faculty of Science and
also the pharmaceutical industry, where [pharma] depends greatly on ownership of ideas. What
you're doing is requesting or having people break down those barriers so that, in a sense,
the ideas belong to everyone, which goes against patenting processes and ownership and exclusivity.
So have you bridged that gap between the need for ownership and exclusivity with your desire
to be collaborative and open? Male: A tough one.
Joanne Jakovich: We haven’t got there yet. Jochen Schweitzer: Yes, I think that's what
I would say; we haven’t got there yet. It's certainly - I would think that many of the
ideas that we've been floating around the Bike Tank or the U lab experience at the early
stages of [ideation], so I think, maybe, at that stage of ideation you're not quite facing
those - I don't even know where you're sitting, sorry. Oh, there you are - you're not quite
facing those issues maybe. That would be something that we'll probably
have to take into account for future iterations than of ideation processes and problem solutions.
Hael Kobayashi: A question over here, and then a question in the front.
Female: Hi. My question comes back to paralysis by analysis. It's something that's faced by
everyone these days, given there's so much data. Now, your framework suggests increasing
the complexity of the issue and looking around the actual issue to find the solution. Are
you actually finding a solution to the problem? Or are you just availing of another opportunity
that sits on the sidelines and not actually solving the original problem? How do you make
sure that you've actually solved the problem? Kees Dorst: This one's for me? Okay. In the
process we always make sure that we solve the original problem. That's what people requested.
That's what's going to be done. The kind of analysis that we do is lots of
little short analyses, in a sense. We do need competent specialists to come in. That's why
designing our [unclear] has worked swimmingly well, because we've got so many competent
specialists around - gathered around us now in the last four years - that the projects
get better and better; not because our process is so much different, but because we are closer
to the content. So the analysis can be done very quickly,
can be done on the spot. I don't see analysis paralysis happening so much because we make
sure that we've got these [diverse] resources. It's a scary thing to be doing, in a sense,
that you are opening floodgates that are creating a much wider problem arena in which to play.
What is interesting is that if you start doing that you can actually quite quickly see patterns
emerge between the different analyses, between the different partners. Those are becoming
your footholds - I shouldn't use that analogy right now - into okay, this could be a structure
that we could use to solve the problem. Great; let's put it apart for a while; let's look
at other things. It is quite a scary process. I don't see the
analysis paralysis coming up quite quickly because we are making sure that we are quite
nimble in moving around quite quickly. I think that nimbleness is absolutely crucial. You
do sometimes get a - in the project we finished you've got a group of designers together.
You go to the location. You talk to the problem owner. They come back and they completely
speak the language of the problem owner. You know that that language is not going to
be enough to solve the problem. So you do need to take them out of that. The problem
owner, in this case, is a very professional organisation; knows everything about everything,
and yet they're stuck. It's very hard not to completely get into their game. You know
you have to develop a new game, so you need to step out of that.
The analysis paralysis is more in listening to one party. In that sense I really agree
with Jo that, in the collective creativity that she's doing is - okay, the nimbleness
is in there, and it's absolutely crucial, otherwise it doesn’t work.
Hael Kobayashi: In the front here please. Then we have a question in the back.
Male: In regards to the U lab and the collective creativity idea have you seen that work really
well in organisations and businesses that have those kinds of creative challenges, either
internally or for clients or other groups? What are some examples of where that's worked?
Joanne Jakovich: We haven’t experimented with our particular model, but really is designed
to attack that kind of thing, really, quite well.
Kees Dorst: We had one opportunity with the City of Sydney where we employed some of our
processes or some of our ideas. That's been, so far, the only opportunity that we had.
We didn't have any opportunity with corporate Australia yet, so you're most welcome to contact
us. In fact, I think that would be a really interesting
[unclear] of what we want to do to see those processes work within an organisational context
because that's what we can really see and check whether those processes and steps that
we use actually lead to innovation with organisations. Male: So this is the voice of corporate Australia...
Kees Dorst: [Unclear]. Male: I work for Westpac Bank, which is not
usually associated with innovation and creativity. I'm charged with helping to build an innovation
capability. I have to say they are doing some incredibly awesome things to apply design
thinking, as you've described, inside what you would probably consider to be an incredibly
economic rationalist environment that would mimic many governments around the world or
other large institutions that provide - you would argue it would be very valuable services.
So it is happening and it can happen. One observation I've made being inside a large
corporation where you're charged with trying to change the culture to become more creative
is that so much of it hinges on the leader or, in the case of an architect, the client
or the person who commissions the work. So a question to you would be - or any of
the speakers - where have you seen these enlightened folks, these entrepreneurs, these leaders,
who actually create the space? Kees, you spoke about the attorney-general in Holland; those
people who create the space for this to happen. I think you've proved without a doubt that
it can happen. It can happen very convincingly. There's no shortage of great minds to do it,
but there's a certain amount of permission that's required, and the space that's required,
especially when you're trying to deal with big issues of change rather than entrepreneurship
where you're not constrained. Joanne Jakovich: There's a question?
Male: [Inaudible]. Kees Dorst: What I find interesting - I can
give you a partial answer; so working with [designing our crime] project here with different
organisations around New South Wales. Both U lab and Designing Out Crime are sneaky
formulas in a certain degree because you do work with young designers, young students,
coming in and you do these cute little projects. Then, actually, those projects are very well
thought through in the way they've been set up. They're very deliberate in what they want
to try to achieve. Those little projects can really make people think and can really put
people on a different footing; say hey, I'm learning something here; this is interesting.
What we find, when we do it right in Designing Out Crime - the little project that we do
- which is not expensive; it can be shoved under the table any moment - becomes really
important for people. It becomes for people the reason they're still in their job. Or
it becomes for them a reason to say actually, this could work in a different way.
What always strikes me, going into these organisations, is that once you've reached this barrier of
okay, I'm allowed to be like this or I can actually develop up in this direction, hey,
this is very useful and this is very interesting. Once you've reached the barrier it just keeps
rolling on and on and on. If you can't reach that barrier and everybody
keeps sitting in their official corporate role, then nothing will happen whatsoever.
There is an element of, say, a personal inspiration that needs to happen, otherwise the project
just won't roll at all. That personal inspiration is really important and [is linked] to the
themes in my model. If you don't get that across very, very strongly
the projects are just going to fail because they're way too complicated. If people agree
on that level of personal inspiration they can do anything together.
I've done a project with 35 different parties in there and they work because every party
has the same basic motivation in there. They're all different roles. They're all different
organisations, but if you can't get that right - and you really need to spend a lot of time
getting it right - then the process can just roll on.
I agree that you need leaders to sanction this kind of thing. It's great if you can
really inspire your leader in this direction. For me, what I always find is that middle
management is the problem because they have defined roles that are defined within an old
paradigm. Anything you're going to do is going to change things for them and make life more
difficult for them. Also you see them getting it. You see them
saying okay, this is a really interesting project. I'd like to give you some extra money
for the next step, but I can't because I have to talk to my boss and he won't understand
it, et cetera, et cetera. So what we tend to do, from a Designing Out
Crime perspective, is do lots and lots of interesting projects for an organisation that
we're targeting and then go to the leader and say hey, we've done all these projects.
They're actually right inside of your strategy. They're really exactly what you want to happen.
Yet all the follow up projects have been killed by your own organisation. Could you please
fix this for us so that we can all work together? So that's our attack to an organisation.
Hael Kobayashi: A question over here. Male: I'm with a youth run organisation called
ISIC that develops youth leadership. We talked a little bit, I think, about interdisciplinary
interaction in the innovation design thinking space. What do you feel is the importance
of cross-generational engagement, participation, interaction? What are the challenges that
you see in a place like Australia for that? Joanne Jakovich: When we run the Bike Tank
we have a little - it's actually like a manifesto - at the beginning. One of the things we say
we do is we do - we're looking at design to make cities more human and looking at the
multi-generational interactions that can stimulate this.
I think it's incredibly important - and part of it really builds on what Kees what just
describing. You can have the gorilla groups which - we might come under a gorilla group
- who are agile and nimble and quick and have the ideas and they want to run with them.
You may have that vision also at the top that it's making those connections right through
a city or an organisation is really, really important.
We've had some kids come along to Bike Tank. We held it on a Sunday one time rather than
eight o'clock on a Tuesday, when they're all meant to be going to school. We're trying
to encourage retirees and so on to also come in and share their wisdom.
Hael Kobayashi: I think what you'll find is there's a lot of opportunity for that in large
creative organisations, particularly in the film industry where they're constantly grappling
with an evolving landscape and different models of creativity, distribution, their business
models. When they've got very agile leadership - and
several of those organisations do - they'll frequently call on people who have left the
studio - whether they've retired or they've gone somewhere else - and asked them if they
would come back for an internal assignment. That internal assignment has to do with mentoring
and setting up a real 360 mentoring program and being able to introduce that into the
culture and get different groups going across the creative culture within the studio. It's
actually practised quite widely. It's not publicised widely.
Interestingly, I'd say since 2003 - in the last eight or nine years that I've been here
- I've actually come across several groups of people who've come up with this thinking
- the [meaning] is out there; that knowledge is there. So how do you call knowledge back
when you realise that you need some of this and to work with the next generation?
Then I suppose the next question is to ask if you have a long term strategy and if you
really want to travel a big arc; how would you put a mentoring program together where
you could train two - or mentor two generations of leadership simultaneously, and what would
that look like. I certainly think there's a lot of knowledge and capability here. I've
met many people who are keen to contribute, so something worth exploring, with your help.
A question there. We have time for three more questions.
Female: Thank you. I think you have inspired industry as well as students at this university.
I'm wondering whether you are doing anything to inspire the other entrepreneurship classes
at this university to host as innovative and entrepreneurial education courses as the one
that you put together. Male: Can you repeat that? I didn't hear you.
Female: Sorry. I think that you're education course has been both innovative and entrepreneurial.
I'm wondering whether you are doing something to help inspire the other entrepreneurship
courses at this university be as excellent as the one that you have just put together.
Joanne Jakovich: We are working on a pan faculty strategy to combine all of the entrepreneurship
programs that do exist. Part of what U lab is all about is talking and connecting and
bringing those conversations together so they can leverage and be a part of each other.
We're just starting on that, so we'll report back to you in six months perhaps.
Kees Dorst: We had people ask us how we could transfer the essence of what we do in the
U lab into other faculties and into other courses. That's definitely something that
we are looking forward to doing because that's what we want. We want to get this model to
travel around the university and beyond the university.
Joanne Jakovich: We take around 20 students per semester - now the second time running
- from all the faculties, so at the beginning we are inter-disciplinary, but we're not yet
out reaching as far as we could. Hael Kobayashi: The university has developed
recently a pan university strategy, as Joanne is mentioning. It does very much involve all
of the faculties working in different ways and different aspects and different characteristics.
What's great about it is that it's going to be moderated and facilitated from a central
point in the university so that it can work across all of the faculties and all of the
groups in the university. More of that will be presented in the next six to eight weeks.
One question over here. Female: Hello. My question is directed at
all of you around the lower end of that process around transformationing, connection; so getting
from all of the ideas and the creativity and that energy, Joanna, that you see coming out
of Bike Tank and everyone being really enthused about that creative process.
How do you take that and then infiltrate, I guess, bureaucracy and the corporate environment
to actually see those ideas come to fruition as real things? How do they have impact; because
I think that's what a lot of students struggle with when they're going through that process?
Joanne Jakovich: Certainly. Do you want to take that?
Jochen Schweitzer: In view of the business ideas and models that were generated throughout
the last semester, I actually [unclear] now. Some of our students take their ideas forward.
We want to be able to provide them, actually, with a space for the next period, let's say.
I don’t know how long that period might be - to continue working on their project.
So a few of these ideas that have been developed through the entrepreneurship lab course that
we ran last semester are actually going on; so there's one thing that we hope to achieve.
How we transport that into innovation across hard core bureaucracies is, again, something
that we haven’t tackled at the moment really. It's certainly something that we would like
to see happening too. Kees Dorst: One of the reasons for me to be
interested in this almost exporting of design thinking to a broader audience and to, say,
Government and other organisations, is that - you're absolutely right. At the end of the
process what you have to do is you have to start to create a value proposition for other
parties. Traditionally design schools have been very
bad in teaching their students those kinds of things because design sometimes takes place
in the world where it develops its own criteria. Good design is what gets you a design award.
Whether it's useful for somebody else is not your problem because you're the designer and
you're brilliant; this creator of this wonderful beautiful thing.
Building - it's almost like the process splits up at the end into - okay, design concept
development and value chain creation development or business concept development. Those two
things need to be running in parallel because the idea - the design concept that you create
- is only good relative to the environment for which you create it. Then you have to
understand the environment really well. That's where the two things really run very closely
together. I think when we - in a sense - I know very
few designers that are good at doing all of these things. Some of them are. They're absolutely
the most successful ones because they understand the world in just exactly the right way to
drive their concepts forward. So, in my dreams, those would be the students
that I'd like to train here at UTS. Coming from a fairly traditional design school background
we're moving in that direction. We're using - working with business students and other
students to actually give those different perspective and have that run in parallel.
So I think, in the end, for the developing of business propositions for big business
is not a problem. It's just that it needs to be built in and we need to find ways of
making these two processes run in parallel, and not one process just breaking off into
a different direction. Hael Kobayashi: We have time for one more
question. Male: Kees, and your questions about design
leadership. You've set up a paradox in your talks in that case you've talked about you're
analysing design experts and how they come up with brilliant designs. Jochen, you spoke
about your friend, David, coming up with great companies.
There we have leadership. Then we have people who can come up with a single idea, carry
it through to fruition, create a brilliant urban place, building, product, graphic design,
service, et cetera. Yet in your presentations you've also talked about collaborative design.
Now, the question that comes here is - and in the presentations I didn't see much leadership
in the collaborative design - and coming from personal experience over 20 years and five
countries of designing cities, collaborative design about leadership ends up at the lowest
common denominator. Also in bureaucracy we see design by committees
in that very effect. Thus the paradox I see in your presentations I'm asking you about
is how do we get to that design excellence? How do we have fantastic design leadership?
Maybe be [inclusive] of collaboration but not exclude the excellence. How do you see
that happening? How are you saying that's happening in your U lab or elsewhere in what
you're doing? Kees Dorst: Okay, I can pick it up - give
you all some more time to think about it. Male: A group thing.
Kees Dorst: It's a really good question. You're punishing me for simplifying my talk a little
bit. One of the things that I find when I interview, say, Norman Foster or Santiago
Calatrava, top architects in this case, or top designers like Phillip Stark - is that
they very seldom directly intervene in projects that happen in their firms.
What they do, what they create, is an environment in which that type of project can happen and
in which that type of project is stimulated. They are very explicit and they're very precise
in what kind of environment that needs to be. The environment includes how does the
leader present himself. It includes the books that they make. It includes the exhibitions
that they make, which are partly made to influence the people in the firm themselves to understand
how the frames of the firm are developing. So there's a whole layer of design which is
not about working in projects, but which is working above projects; creating those longer
visions and feeding into what happens in the firm. That's hardly been written about because
everybody knows design through its projects and everybody knows design through its results,
and not through those kinds of things. If you start talking to these people about
what they do, this is actually what they start telling you. There's a lot of knowledge there
that we haven’t mapped yet. That's the kind of knowledge that if you would like to transfer
design thinking to other types of organisations you'd need to transfer that kind of leadership
too, because otherwise - I agree with you completely - it is a rudderless thing, or
it is a management by committee thing, and that doesn’t work.
It's a different level of being involved. It's not so much being involved in the project
itself. It's creating the environment in which a certain type of project can actually run
and develop. At one point - one second - Mr Moderator - at one point for a book [I organised]
I want to interview the Santiago Calatrava he's a very busy man, so I didn't get very
far, until I suddenly go this phone call saying he has half an hour free in his agenda in
Zurich tomorrow. Can you come? I couldn't come, but my co-author did. You end up with
this interview which is Santiago Calatrava going okay, I don’t know who made this appointment,
but you're a methodologist and I don't use methods. What do you do here, basically?
Then my co-author started asking questions about this kind of practice, this higher level
practice. It turned out that nobody had ever asked Calatrava those - they always ask about
projects. They never ask about those things. The moment he realised what this was about
he freed up two days in his agenda. He just kept talking because he'd never verbalised
this. He was learning from verbalising it himself.
So it's this whole layer of design knowledge that we've hardly tapped, in a sense. It is
in people, but we haven’t made it very explicit. If we don't actually transfer that layer too
it's all very projecty, it's all very random and it doesn’t go anywhere. So I agree with
you on that. Jochen Schweitzer: I still have to answer
that too, right? I think the point that I was trying to make about my friend, David,
is more that he sees this lack of ability in graduates in being strategic thinkers when
he employs them into the businesses. So I think, in terms of leadership, what David
would like to see is people that he can employ that share the enthusiasm and the passion
for the idea that he, as an entrepreneur, pursues.
So what I would like to see happening is that we give more opportunities to our students
to develop those skills and abilities while they are still studying at university. I think
by training them and thinking strategically and seeking opportunity and getting [an antenna]
for the possibilities that are out there, I think we can achieve that and maybe provide
in the future people like David with graduates that are more capable of matching his requirements.
So, in that sense, I think we have a duty to develop those skills within our students
and graduates. Hael Kobayashi: Well, I think it's about time
for us to wrap up the conversation. Great to hear that themes that are emerging from
this evening's dialogue are around creativity, leadership, passion, focus, ability and the
need to dig deeper. We hope that you'll be joining us for our
next instalment in the Shapeshifter Series which will be held on 23 May. We'll make sure
that we get word out to all of you well before then.
Just a quick housekeeping note before we wrap up here. As you're leaving if you'd be able
to take your bottles and glasses with you and deposit them in the trays that are just
outside the entrance we'd greatly appreciate it.
I'd hope you'd all join me now in thanking the great team that's behind putting together
this event tonight. Special thanks to Kees, Joanne and Jochen for being generous in their
thinking with us. A special thanks to the UTS events and AV teams, to Robert Button,
the producer of UTS Speaks, and the Ellen Yang, our senior manager for the Creative
Innovation Unit. We thank you very much. So on behalf of UTS and the Creative Industries
Innovation Centre we thank you all for contributing to the dialogue this evening and we hope to
see you soon. Thank you. [Applause]