CRUNCH on THIS! — Challenge Authority

Annenberg Innovation Lab’s Research Assistant, Jamaica Brown participated in and observed our first CRUNCH on THIS and survived to tell the tale!  Check it out!

Our inaugural CRUNCH on THIS event starred Flint Dille: writer, producer, designer and trailblazer in film, game development. After an overview of the program and the work we’re doing, he addressed the two central questions of the night:

  • “What is the single greatest challenge to Innovation?”
  • “What does innovation mean to you?”

Dille’s vision of innovation was one of challenge and experimentation. The best times for innovation are crises, where calcified systems are destabilized and new possibilities open up. Challenging authority isn’t easy, though, he cautions. If you want to change the system, people will be annoyed with you, because it’s telling them they’re wrong (and you know better), and it threatens their stability.

That’s not surprising, because innovation means being ready to fail! Dille trotted out aphorism after aphorism to illustrate his point:

  • “It’s a feature, not a bug!”
  • “A success is a man who goes from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm”
  • “There’s a lot of power in reckless courage. It works on battlefields and it works in life.”

Endless energy doesn’t magically produce innovation, of course. You need opportunity, resources, time, space, and whatever tools you can get your hands on. Whether that’s working in the wee hours of the night, huddled in a corner of your dorm room scribbling out ideas with crayons, or sitting in your favorite chair at your desk in Corporate America on your lunch break, with every office supply you can think of, innovation is all about context. The CRUNCH group discussed barriers to innovation, conjuring up a vision of the ultimate innovative space.

After the intro session in the West Lobby, the group traveled upstairs to the patio and discussed the difference between the space in the ASC West Lounge and the open air outside. Immediately after, the group moved on to “the most traditional room in Annenberg” for a discussion on authority, authenticity, and the power of design, with the stark contrast between the two spaces emphasizing every moment.

The night ended in the Annenberg Digital Lab, where the group was encouraged to sign up at the Annenberg Lab website, then post questions about Innovation in their Facebook statuses Facebook/Twitter share their responses. In addition to the answers they got, people contributed websites, videos, and tools that could be used to spark or facilitate innovation. Some of the results were:


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