Innovators Hub Catalyst – days 8 and 9
3 days to go and it's now time to enter the last part of the course – ‘create phase’ – where we will be focussing on innovation and creation, and putting everything we’ve learned into practice.
Kicking the day off, we arrived at the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT) for our session with Joan Burnett, where we were to observe a business working specifically with arts and technology in Liverpool. We were shown their new exhibition and I’m not normally one for history, but their whole piece on Guantanamo Bay was amazing; it included a fully interactive map of the camp and you could use a joystick to walk around. I had never thought about how technology could be used so freely in art and I found it so interesting!
We then headed to Uniform for our session on ‘imagining the impossible’. We were put into pairs and given a large piece of A3 paper with a human figure drawn on each side. They asked us to draw our partner over the figure, giving them personality traits and hobbies etc. in the background. We then had to take a picture of it via a website created by Uniform (imaginetheimpossible.net) that would allow us to turn our photos into a virtual reality scene through the use of a cardboard headset and our phones. Having only used VR once before (at Studio Mashbo), it was amazing to see our own ideas come to life in front of our eyes.
We created another scene - our ‘happy place’ - and were able to bring that to life as well, but this time we had the use of electric imps that were connected to an IOD code to make our scenes shake, move and vibrate - It was pretty crazy. And we got to see some of Uniform’s creations in real life, like SOLO - an emotion detecting radio that scans your face using AI and detecting your mood, plays music that matches it!
After breaking for lunch we were ready for our session with Jon Minchin from FORM. The session was all about building a purposeful brand and so the first task was to look at what really goes into a brand and why it plays such a massive role in a company’s success. We thought about how you would come into contact with a brand and why it might resonate with you and looking at two vastly different brands, explored the ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘why’ behind them. The thing that really stuck with me from Jon’s session was that a brand should tell a story and needs to mean something if it’s to be successful.
The last session of the day was run by Robyn from the Innovators Hub, to work on our ID cards. We were each given a large piece of card to write our names on, draw a small picture of ourselves or something that represented us, what we can help someone with, and what we would like help with.
It offered a great opportunity to reflect on everything we’ve learnt so far and how we’ve developed – we’ve all grown so much in confidence!
Today’s session was to be totally different to anything we’d done before... We were to spend it at Angel Solutions in their awesome circus themed office, taking part in their monthly innovation day - a sort of team building day where all the staff take a break from work and collaborate to try and solve problems.
Upon arrival, we were seated in their ‘Grand Stand’, complete with a ball pit – like I said, awesome office! We’d previously contributed some ideas on what we’d like to discuss in the session and split into groups accordingly - I chose to be in the ‘make Liverpool greener’ group as the environment is something I am passionate about.
We were sent off to the ‘Skyline room' to work off an idea that we would be pitching the next and final week, to a real company. There were 3 ‘Angels’ also in our group to help us throughout the day with ideas and general real world applications. After a bunch of brainstorming and getting to know our team a bit better, we came up with an idea for an app; our app would work to help educate and inform people about recycling while rewarding those who recycled with in-game points that could be transferred into money or vouchers.
Capitalising on the tight knit culture that Liverpool has and thrives on, we hoped that it would be a great way to market the resurgence of environmental spaces. We discussed using a code that would connect to the app and allow the user to take plastic and tin materials to designated ‘smart bins’, scan their app, weigh out the recyclables and turn it into points. We also had to consider how to gain funding for it.
Now we just have to pitch it...
With the final week looming, stay tuned to find out how I get on!