Dreaming ideas into reality is the spirit of innovation. Dreams, as sources of uncommon images and ideas, contribute to developing inventions. Once inventions become socially accepted and used, they become innovation. Dreams enrich innovation with meaning and purpose.
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Innovation calls for thinking in flexible, integrative and multidisciplinary ways; it requires an ability to synthesize humanity’s diverse cultural and economic realities to face the future in a proactive way.
Innovation was once only associated with new the development of new products and technologies. But innovation now encompasses new ways of offering services, fresh business models and management practices, as well as new processes, pricing plans and routes to market.
Once attributed to a select group of professionals — designers, engineers or scientists—innovation has now come to be viewed as the responsibility of entire organizations and sectors. The imperative is for innovation to engage people’s skills and imaginations as often and in as many places as possible.
If innovation was traditionally directed by the producers, it is now increasingly led from the opposite direction with users or consumers in the innovation driver’s seat. With this in mind, informal learning environments must make way for innovative methods and new technologies in order to remain vital in the 21st Century. We realize that society’s participation in our various processes and offers is crucial. How can our communities initiate innovative endeavors in all aspects of our work?
Science communicators must play a double role as agents of creativity and as the interface between invention and user. Can science centres and museums afford not to be at the heart of this process? More than ever, science communication organizations are needed as leaders and dreamers of innovation amid our world’s changing demographics, evolving meanings and perceptions, threatened natural world, shaken economy, imbalanced access to resources, power de localization, and blurred areas of trust.
How can science centres, museums and science communication professionals help future generations innovate for social well-being? How can we harness the confidence and insight for new approaches to problem-solving? Where can we find the motivation, inspiration and commitment to turn dreams into reality?