Innovation & Entrepreneurship Reading Group: Mindless & Mindful Innovation

Mindless & Mindful Innovation, Invitation #9

In the mid-1990s, an IT research analyst named Erik Keller was having lunch with a client who was excited about the implementation of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system soon starting at his company. Keller asked him why he was adopting the ERP system. The client looked at him in a puzzled way and said, “No one ever asked me that before.” After 45 minutes of further discussion, he could still not come up with a reason.

This vignette illustrates the bandwagon phenomenon, suggesting that more than a little innovative behavior may be of the “me too” variety, where individual or organizational adopters entertain scant reasoning for adopting new technologies. If such “mindless innovation” is bad, why do we see so much of it? How do we account for it? What implications might it have for the design and development of new IT? Can you instead innovate mindfully in your organization, and how? If these questions interest you, please join us on Monday, March 30, 2-3 pm, in Hornbake 2116, for the 9th meeting of the iSchool Innovation & Entrepreneurship Reading Group. Light, healthy refreshments will be provided.
Continue reading ‘Innovation & Entrepreneurship Reading Group: Mindless & Mindful Innovation’ »

Innovation & Entrepreneurship Reading Group: Social Media for Social Innovation

Social Media for Social Innovation, Invitation #8

In an October 2010 issue of The New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell published an article to argue that social media generate only weak ties and can’t provide the strong ties always required by real social change (such as the civil right movement). Immediately his article triggered strong responses. But the debate was largely inconclusive at the time.

On Monday, March 23, 2-3 pm, in Hornbake 2116, at the 8th meeting of the iSchool Innovation & Entrepreneurship Reading Group, we will revisit Gladwell’s put-down of social media for social innovation along at least two lines of inquiry. One, we will take stock of more recent examples and counterexamples to Gladwell’s thesis. Two, we will explore whether and how sensitive design may have helped improve and reinvent social media applications to support revolutionary social change. Combining the two strands, we will discuss the implications to research on social movement and technology affordance, and to the practice of social activism through social media. Light, healthy refreshments will be provided.
Continue reading ‘Innovation & Entrepreneurship Reading Group: Social Media for Social Innovation’ »