Broadband/HD Innovation Lab – day 1

On: November 22, 2006
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About Esther Weltevrede
Esther Weltevrede is a second year Media Studies Research Master student at the University of Amsterdam. Before studying New Media she attended the School of Arts in Breda where she received a Bachelor degree in Graphic Design. She is involved as researcher and coordinator in the recently founded Digital Methods Initiative at the University of Amsterdam. DMI is dedicated to developing tools and methods for researching the ‘natively digital.’ Since this summer she is a member of GovComOrg, a foundation dedicated to creating and hosting political tools on the Web. Currently she is a part-time teacher Information Visualization at Master Editorial Design, Utrecht School of Art, and part-time teacher Public Design at Interactive Media, Hogeschool van Amsterdam.


Day 1 is introduction day. What projects are participating in Innovation Lab? Who are the teams? Why are they participating? What are the goals of the projects? And how are they going to achieve these goals? Expert in innovative processes, Frank Boyd, is leading today’s session.

Group session

After a short introduction of all participants and their projects, the group is asked to answer the question: What do we have to achieve? Answering this question collectively and discussing it, has a two-folded advantage. Firstly it says something about the drive and aims of individual participants. Secondly it establishes a common ground where the group can built on the rest of the workshop. This is important since the workshop is a combination of both individual and group work; of collaboration with peers and mentors. Part of the process is benefiting from the innovative context in the Media Guild, consisting of peers, specialists and mentors. A few collectively established aims are: to put yourself in a stressful situation (= good for the creative process), challenge yourself and others (step out of the ‘comfort zone’), set impossible goals, a user focus, creating value with new ideas, understanding your own process, be open, and standing outside the fish tank.

The morning session ends with a set of questions that need to be answered at every level of the process. The Need-Approach-Benefits-Competition questions (NABC):
What’s the need you’re addressing?
What’s your approach?
What are your benefits in addressing the need?
What’s the competition?

The afternoon is reserved for working on the projects and preparing a pitch. During and at the end of the day there are little pitches planned. These pitches are an important reoccurring element in the process during this week and take place in different forms. Pitching is about getting people to talk about their project, about learning to articulate, and communicating an idea to others, but also getting a full grasp of your own idea.

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