My colleague, Bill O'Connor, is one of our corporate strategists. Bill crafts papers, speeches, visuals, and videos to support the CEO, CTO, and other members of Exec Staff in sharing Autodesk's thoughts on technology and innovation. So it should not be a shock that Bill is the force behind:
Inspired by how biologists were able to map the human genome, Bill was able to map innovation by studying the make-up of hundreds of innovations over mankind's history. Bill found that a simple set of questions were at the heart of many of these innovations, and that these questions could be applied to any project or idea to make it more innovative.
These seven essential innovation questions are:
What could we look at in a new way?
What could we use in a new way, or for the first time?
What could we move, changing its position in space or time?
What could we interconnect, for the first time or in a new way?
What could we alter, in terms of design and performance?
What can we make that is truly new?
What can we imagine that would create a great experience for someone?
The latest productive use of these essential innovation questions is a project called Pulse — an SMS based, food savings program aimed at allowing urban slum dwellers living on small, and irregular incomes a more consistent access to nutritious, and dignified food. The force behind Pulse is a group of dedicated students at the Hult International Business School. The team formed in November 2012 to pursue the 2013 Hult Prize as part of President Bill Clinton's Global Initiative.
Bill has been working with the Pulse team. He has helped them think outside the box to come up with clever and simple solutions to complex and difficult challenges. Currently there is enough food in these large urban centers, yet people go hungry because they don't have the means to access the food they need on a daily basis. We hear statistics that people live on $2 a day, but that number is an average. One day they may earn $2, the next day $3, but they might go 4 days without earning anything. With no access to credit, and no safety net, people in this situation go hungry. Pulse aims to level out peoples' incomes and give the 200+ million people in urban slums a way to help their own cause. Pulse aims to get to the root of the problem and repair the cracks in the foundation.
Portions of this blog article are from the Pulse web site. Check them out:
Innovation is alive in the lab.