Innovation, what a journey!
Author: Eugenia Forcat, Head of Innovation @ Co.Station
On June 3, 1965 astronaut Edward White stepped into space. He stood on top of his spaceship’s; he touched it with his gloves; he floated and manoeuvred himself around the Gemini spacecraft; he gazed down at the earth and spotted the area where he lived…
White wasn’t the first human to step into space. A few months earlier, the USSR had sent Alexei Leonov. Yet White, was still making history: he was able to operate around the spacecraft and stay out in the open for a longer period. What he experienced and learned in his time outside the spaceship represented a significant leap forward for manned spaceflight. And, besides, he enjoyed it so much, he had to be ordered back into the spaceship
Innovation can be defined as something original, a better solution to meet new or existing requirements/market needs. It is related – but not the same thing – as invention. Invention aims at the creation of a product/service/process for the first time; whilst innovation occurs if someone improves or makes a significant contribution to an existing product/service/process. And, as it was the case with Ed White, it can be a very enjoyable trip.
Innovation is fuelled by curiosity and by perspective: looking at the world from a different angle; exploring, learning, discovering… Inspired by examples such as White’s, we* have launched the Innovation Trips: a journey to stimulate, discover and drive innovation within our community. What’s in there for participants?
A first objective is to Discover. Discover a different innovation ecosystem, and how other countries and cities deal with technological disruption and new approaches to old issues. The goal being to gain new perspectives. The life of entrepreneurs/startups is full of obstacle, and when organisations experience difficulties, what is often needed is to approach the problem from a different angle, to find new creative solutions.
The second objective is to Identify Business Opportunities. Visit the cities and countries targeted for commercial expansion. Meet potential customers, partners and providers. Hear from those that have done it before, so we can take informed decisions for our commercial evolution.
The third objective is to Connect and Network. Networking is known to be one of the most valuable uses of an entrepreneur’s time in terms of return. It can lead to opportunities in terms of help, advice and business. And during the Innovation trips, we shall be able to network with the communities of the host countries, as well as with fellow participants.
And, of course, a core objective of these trips is to Have Fun. The word “fun” seems to be tainted with a certain connotation of superficiality, but the truth is that “fun” increases creativity, productivity and is in itself a source of innovation.
We shall not be boarding a spaceship, and our exploits will probably not change the course of history. But, if you join one of our Innovation Trips, we pledge to deliver an exceptional journey into inspiring places, organisations and people. And fun, lots and lots of fun.
More information on Eventbrite.
* Co.Station, BECI and Brussels Creative, with BNP Paribas Fortis