Second Open Lecture: Innovation and Cultural Change


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On November 27th. The Master in Service Design had the pleasure of hosting its second open lecture with Mark Vanderbeeken, founding partner of Experintia, a leading international experience design consultancy.

So, where does innovation come from, and how does it happen?
Today, technological innovation can be easily achieved; the real challenge, however, is creating sustainable and relevant cultural innovation, that leads to true behavioural change.
Given the fact that the space and objects that surround us embody cognition, and that our behaviors arise from the interpretations of what is possible, we can attempt at modeling them by generating appropriate conditions.
Behavioural modelling is the design of new conditions or new possibilities for human behaviours to evolve according to new and desirable patterns. These new patterns make possible the evolution of a given culture.  Therefore by modelling the conditions for a behavioural change, we also create the conditions for the evolution of the culture.
If we set out to establish a framework for cultural change programme, we can establish a three layer model, that we need to understand:

  1. Social: Looks into the existing cultural constraints and the participatory models of innovation; the possibilities of  innovative incremental innovation and existing services for social innovation
  2. Behaviour architecture: Analysis and understanding of cognitive biases. Modelling of behavioural patterns and corporate etnography.
  3. Learning architecture:  Deals with how we learn: by doing and creating, by discovering and by sharing.

How do we manage these layers to create the architecture of choice that generates the patterns we are looking for?
Smart cities, e-learning platforms, smart meters, e-health, connected vehicles are some of the initiatives that aim at understanding each layer and generating a change in human behavior that will last.
Mark’s previous experience includes: communications manager of Interaction Design Institute Ivrea (Ivrea, Italy), European communications coordinator for the World Wide Fund for Nature (or WWF, Copenhagen, Denmark), marketing director of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects (New York, USA) and chief press officer of Antwerp 93, Cultural Capital of Europe (Antwerp, Belgium).