USC Annenberg Innovation Lab a finalist for Innovating Innovation Challenge

The USC Annenberg Innovation Lab is one of 24 finalists for the Harvard Business Review/McKinsey Innovating Innovation Challenge.

"With the Innovating Innovation Challenge, we’re looking for examples and ideas that will help us how [to] build innovation into the woof and warp of our organizations," the challenge brief read.

More than 140 applicants submitted accounts of innovation promotion within their individual organizations, and from this list challenge organizers selected the Innovation Lab and 23 other innovators based on their projects' "depth, boldness, originality, clarity, and the ability to inspire and instruct in equal measure."

The Innovation Lab's submission, authored by communicatin professor Susan Resnick West and co-penned by Erin Reilly and Jake de Grazia, is titled "21st Century Play Dates: How USC Annenberg's Innovation Lab Brings Together Diverse Communities to Provoke Innovation."

Featured is the Lab's "Think and Do" or "T&D" innovation process, explored through a series of 6-hour workshops in which individuals of various disciplines come together with the goals of creating communities of subject-specific innovators and generating innovations on a specific product or process.

"Each workshop is different, but all T&Ds are based on 5 design principles: Provocative questions, Phenomenal participants, Play matters, Place matters, and the view that innovation and change are a Process," the submission read.

In the past two years, the Innovation Lab has hosted four "Think and Do" sessions, two of which were highlighted in the challenge submission. The initial meeting fostered the creation of Flotsam, "an immersive transmedia play experience" for children, while the idea of creating a personalized video news experience using holographic technology was developed in a subsequent session.

"At USC’s Annenberg Innovation Lab, we bring diverse communities together to provoke innovation, build networks, and create the future at the intersection of art, science and engineering," the submission stated.

"We thank the people who have participated in our Think & Do Workshops for teaching us about our process, expanding our networks, and having the courage to abandon assumptions in service of changing and innovating cooperatively rather than competitively."

Read the submission here. For more information about the Innovating Innovation Challenge, see here. To give feedback on the project, contact Susan Resnick West.