The push and pull between innovation and feasibility: reflections on an ideation process during a CERN IdeaSquare Summer School
Keywords:Creativity, divergent and convergent thinking, suspension of constraints, CERN Summer School
We wrote this paper as part of a summer school project in collaboration with CERN IdeaSquare, TU Delft,and the Rotterdam School of Management. Using the example of the PEBBLES technology, our work elaborates on the exploration and integration of technological boundaries to the creative thinking process. Diving into the foundations of different views on creativity allows us to better understand the ideation processes and outcomes that occurred throughout the project. Feasibility boundaries appeared as a key element in the ideation and idea selection process, suggesting the prime importance of realistic thinking in the case of technological innovation. Expert discussion and validation played a significant role in the navigating of technological uncertainty, helping mostly within the idea validation stage. We did not overlook the importance of technological boundaries in the creation process. We postulate in this paper that the role of attention to those boundaries varies depending on the process stage. Our paper encourages innovators to formulate ideas prior to exploring the boundaries of the technology in order not to impede the richness of the creative thinking process. We stress that expert talks happen to play a great role in the validation of ideas and should occur in the end stages of ideation.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Hugo Buurmeijer, Lander Verlinde, Alice Fuller, Piyush Deshmukh
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