Specific contact hours for each topic include
  • 3 x Full day intensive workshop immersions and
  • 1 x full day application workshop
Attendance is also required at a number of additional course level full day application workshops.
Enrolment not permitted
INNO2004 has been successfully completed
Assignments, Project, Tests
Topic description

Even the best ideas are useless until put into practice, and the most effective innovators and entrepreneurs are those who can adapt their ideas to fit reality. This topic focuses on learning - and using - theoretically grounded tools for assessing the desirability, feasibility and viability of any idea - and for tuning the idea to fit real constraints and opportunities. Through readings, videos and a series of hands-on, in-the-field exercises, students will test, refine, test again, and refine again a particular innovation. Along the way, students will learn the theoretical underpinnings of and practical tips for applying proven research tools for understanding users' needs and perceptions, customers and funders' willingness to pay, competitive dynamics and the broader context. Students will also learn and practice techniques for adjusting ideas to meet the opportunities and challenges their action research reveals.

Educational aims

This topic aims to inspire and enable students to get out into the field and test new ideas at once rigorously and rapidly. On one level, this is a methods topic, exposing students to a variety of applied research approaches, including relevant methodological and statistical tools, used to tease out and understand users' needs and perceptions, customers and funders' willingness to pay, competitive dynamics and the broader context. On another level, this is a creativity and critical thinking topic that pushes students to re-frame, re-think and redesign ideas iteratively as their evidence-driven understanding of the needs and context evolves in response to evidence about user, competitor and funder perceptions and behaviors.

Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Describe, choose and apply problem-appropriate applied research tools to better understanding the needs for, competition for, and context in which an innovation might be applied. Derive insights from the application of these tools, and appreciate the theoretical and practical limitations of the tools
  2. Apply design thinking techniques to use the insights generated from the research to reformulate proposed innovations
  3. Practice telling - and helping others to tell - an insightful, evidence-based story for a specific audience
  4. Plan, monitor, manage and integrate several simultaneous action research initiatives for validating demand, feasibility and viability of an innovation