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Exploring diverse innovation

In this video you’ll hear Adiba, Nathan and Alex talking about what diverse innovation means to them, and why it matters.
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<v ->Diverse innovation to me is just innovation.</v> It’s just, I just happen to be someone from a diverse background. If I’m in Lagos, you know, there are more men in the field. I mean, I’m a woman. If I’m in the UK, then it might be, you know I’m black; really depends on where you are. Diverse innovation to me is all about including people that kind of lie outside your target audience and just trying to make a product that works well for anyone who’s using it regardless of their background or other facets. <v ->It’s about harnessing</v> Creativity and creating a supportive system.
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So if you can get it from a management perspective how you can create a supportive system to help people flourish and be their best selves. I, I generally believe everyone is innovative. And when we talk about innovation, we talk about creativity and I think for me, there’s no right or wrong answer What does it mean to have diverse innovation if you think of the definition of innovation or I see it as this application of creativity in a particular type of way. It’s a very interesting term for me, but I maybe if I’m coming and I’m hearing this term for the first time that’s how I would see it. It would be like creating things that can serve multiple communities.
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<v ->I think that diverse innovation, especially</v> within tech is really important because most companies tend to grow at a very rapid rate. And if you can infuse diverse innovation, right from the beginning, then you have the potential to you know, extend that to everyone during the process. And I think generally when you have a platform or a product or service, which kind of takes diversity into account and works around that it’s a better experience for everyone overall. <v ->I think for a lot of the work that we do</v> at Comuzi is very much focused on this concept of hard to reach communities, their always could “hard” to reach.
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And I’m going to do this “hard to reach” because for years, we’ve always thought that these communities are not hard to reach. It’s just organisations want to do the standard ways of engaging with them. And for us, one of the key things we tried to do in our work is to always have to find a new approach to engage a community. I understand that maybe having a fixed way of doing stuff or a standard helps to achieve, you know it’s done it before, let’s do it again. But I think different communities have different needs. They have different worries, they have different stories.
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And I think it’s about first trying to connect with them as much as you can being able to allow them to take the lead. You know, they are the expert of their experience. You know, the key thing we can do as a designer, as a technologist as a creator is to be the facilitator of that vision. So some of the things we’ve done in the last year a lot of Comuzi has been co-designing with the people that we’re building for and going to our clients and saying that this is our approach. the community needs to be a designer with us in this.
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They might not have the tangible skills to actually design or to write code, but they understand their experience. And so if we can sort of work together hopefully we can build something that is going to be more meaningful than me sitting in my comfort, my space. You know working in tech, you know, being exposed to these things, having these conversations and maybe create an a product or service, or that doesn’t necessarily resonate with people. So that’s the reason why we do this.
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<v ->There’s a few platforms that come to mind</v> but one that really stands out for me at the moment is one called Artism. And it’s a platform where artists can find grants and it’s it’s sort of like, you know, a community but at the same time they can find different grants to support their projects within the immersive tech space. And each of the grants kind of, you know, they they target different audiences. So in this case, you know, there’s a there’s a black realities grant as a femme future grant. There’s an environmental impact grant.
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And there are a series of other grants, you know focusing on virtual reality, augmented reality but it also helps amplify the voices of those creatives who might not have access to funding traditionally within this space. And it gives them a level playing field on the platform. <v ->It’s quite interesting working</v> for a micro mobility company. It’s sort a tech startup type space currently something which I’m working on right now. It’s about how you can include disability groups in particular, in the conversation of the developmental of e-scooters and not just disability groups also sort of wider group of individuals, the majority of people which use these kits are men. So that’s around 75%.
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So therefore when you’re developing a product such as these kits you’ll probably find that it’s designed with men, men first, and then maybe women second even if you do allow for other groups to try that. So I think that co-creation from the very beginning and having those different groups provide their input will inevitably lead to maybe a better product. So right now, in AT4 we are working with an organisation called Open Inclusion; and they have a panel with over 500 people with different, from different backgrounds. So people might be neuro-diverse, above average height. So six foot five someone who’s below a certain height.
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I think having those, all those different inputs particularly with something like an E-scooter would allow for us to have a product which can actually benefit more people.

In this video you’ll hear Adiba, Nathan and Alex talking about what diverse innovation means to them, and why it matters.

For Adiba, diverse innovation is about including people who lie outside a target audience and making products that work well for people with different backgrounds. For Nathan, it is about harnessing creativity and creating systems to help people flourish. Alex sees it as co-designing meaningful products and services with communities so they are better served.

What did you think about the ways diverse innovation was discussed in this video? How would you define it?

Share your thoughts in the comments below and take a moment to respond to a fellow learner.

References:

  1. Artizen
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