What is innovation?

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  • Thomas Moore
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    #1965 |

    We live in tough, difficult and often challenging times. Universities are neither ‘ivory towers’; nor are they removed from the real world. The landscape of Higher Education mirrors the world in which we live; but universities are also active agents for innovation, change and enabling social justice.

    This roundtable examines how we might understand the concept, practice and discourse of ‘innovation’ within the landscape of contemporary Higher Education. Each of the participants has been asked to reflect on what ‘innovation’ might mean and how we can develop critical, creative and entrepreneurial approaches within our own practices. Key questions to be discussed include:

    • Is the concept (and practice) of ‘innovation’ a useful one within the changing landscape of Higher Education today?

    • Do you see any problems associated with the concept (and practice) of innovation?

    • What are some potential risks of innovation? Can these be avoided, mitigated or are they ‘part and parcel’ of the business of innovation?

    • What do you think innovation means within your own area of expertise and disciplinary area?

    • From your own experience, can you think of a time where a very small ‘innovation’ worked to deliver an unexpected or positive outcome?

    • To what extent (and how) should we think about equality, inclusion and diversity in approaching questions of ‘innovation’ within our learning and teaching practices?

    • As an academic, what role do you think innovation has played in helping you achieve success in learning and teaching, scholarship and/or public impact? (Please draw upon examples)

    • As an academic community, what sorts of learning and teaching innovations should we be thinking about? If you had the resources and support to implement these, what type of university would we be?

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