Simon tells us about the course: Innovation & Co-creation
Theory, methodology and practice
The course Innovation & Co-Creation explores innovation with themes and perspectives from the anthropological theory and the ethnographic methodology. The course is rooted in the “Business and Organizational Anthropology” at the Department of Anthropology, which runs a number of courses that can be connected to both innovation and entrepreneurship. Inspired by anthropological discussions and debates the course looks into practical case studies related to themes such as creativity, entrepreneurship, organizational culture, new technologies and sustainability.
During the course the students participate in a number of workshops where the groups work together to solve specific problems – both academic and practical – which they then convey to both an anthropological as well as non-anthropological audience.
Therefore, practice and environment are key elements in the course and external partners are very much involved in the teaching. “We collaborate with businesses such as NOMA, Vega, IO Interactive, PostNord and the Alexandra Institute, and here we involve employees and managers in constructive dialogue between academia and business, addressing and discussing issues of interest.“ says Simon Lex.
Hacking existing approaches and understandings of innovation
Teaching on the course is dynamic and oriented towards dialogue and student involvement via lectures, student presentations, corporate inputs, group work and discussions in plenum.
“We have explored and discussed different approaches to innovation and business anthropology such as; open innovation, user-driven innovation, co-creation, technology-driven innovation etc. These headlines have however mainly been linked to practical examples from the previously mentioned companies. Our main focus has not been on innovation theory, but rather how innovation is practiced and articulated in daily life.“ explains Simon Lex.
Additionally, he goes on to add that they;
“have tried to ‘hack’ existing understandings of innovation and develop new frameworks and understandings. We have attempted to “go native” by using anthropological methods to work innovatively with and in the companies (small scale and “quick and dirty”).”