Feature Innovation Embassies

The Innovation Embassy Blueprint

Erik Micheelsen
Written by Erik Micheelsen

This document will be updated periodically. Last update: July 2019

If you are currently investigating what it means to be an Innovation Embassy, please read this introduction or these examples or contact administration at hello@innovationembassy.com to learn more.

After being accepted as an Innovation Embassy the Innovation Embassy manager will receive the Blueprint.

The Blueprint is for house owners who have a physical space you’d like to use for innovation.

The Blueprint shows how the Mt. Innovation process can be mapped into physical spaces – each with their dedicated purpose.

The Blueprint also provides some ideas for practical use and applicable business models.

Obviously, the sky is the limit to what an Innovation Embassy can be. The Innovation Embassy Blueprint is a guide to help you achieve your goals.

If you’d like to learn more about the Blueprint, we have added three imagined examples below. The idea is not to go into full detail of how to use the Blueprint but to provide an overview.

Upon becoming an Innovation Embassy, the Innovation Embassy administration will be happy to help you if you have questions on how to use your space and the Blueprint.

  1. A large Co-working space would like to run both internal accelerator programs and also bridge to corporate partners to help with their innovation efforts. They have three rooms they can use.
  2. A town has an abandoned three-story building. Could it be turned into an Innovation Embassy? To help both local talents in their efforts to become entrepreneurs and startups? And be a part of a larger Innovation Embassy program with several other houses?
  3. A small town in a rural area that would like to setup a Satellite Innovation Embassy.

In these two examples, we see both the option for one or several rooms to be used for a dedicated part of the innovation process but also the possibility to run certain paid for innovation programs.

The Mt. Innovation process is derived from the Simple Systems Framework. It describes the dynamics involved as innovation happens including creative and business model aspects. It also describes mindsets and what we call for “Innovation Capitals”.

If you have the four Innovation Capitals and they follow the dynamics (actually, they’ll happen spontaneously), then innovation will happen.

The Blueprint explains how this can be true and the different rooms in play. Each room holds a part of the dynamics.

Going back to the two examples: The owners of the Co-working space decide they want:

  • An internal accelerator program for their startups including discovery and some kind of workshop area
  • An informal space for corporate clients but also a workshop area
  • To help global innovations and
  • lso have a space for 848’s and their own internal Rebel Tables

In the Blueprint, they find a description of nine main spaces. Each space has its process including input criteria (what you walk in with), the process(es) and the output criteria (what you walk out of the room with). The processes are described in video tutorials and templates at the Genius Circles membership area. All rooms are both for creative and business model work.

  • Entry: This can be a café or a waiting room. A place to introduce what’s going to happen or even a place to hold workshops.
  • Basecamp: This is where the Discovery happens. To determine the objectives, measures of success and desired value from innovating
  • Ideation: descriptions of the use of wall and floor space including “stations”
  • Design 1: this space is for pre-visualisation
  • Knowledge: setup ideas for investigations and resources
  • Relations: much like a “war room” – the concrete action and workroom.
  • Design 2: this is for modeling, MVP’s and prototyping
  • Decision: Challenge room setup for testing for a go/no-go, redesigns etc
  • Presentation: A place where people present their work.

The Co-working space decides to use their Cafe space as an Entry. The staff behind the bar is shown how to facilitate small workshops to have some fun before participants are led to the other rooms (depending on the program).

They set up a Basecamp room and a Relations room. This way, they can help internal startups to make their acceleration program. And run it!

Likewise, the corporate partners they so far have been helping usually want help with finding a new perspective on a current challenge or to breakdown a current project into a strategy or action plan. Now they have spaces setup for these jobs along with tools and methods.

They also learn how they can easily turn their café space into a presentation space, where they can hold their Rebel Tables and how. Finally, this is where they can have their 848-talks.

Finally, they have a room they can use for both Design 1 & 2. The Co-working space has setup a whole wall screen. This way, they can hold workshops with other Innovation Embassies.

This Co-working space has many designers and some of them have said they’d love to participate in some of the workshops (some of them paid for and others like the global innovations are not).

Combined, they also help to bridge to new partners as well.

In fact, they made a program partnership with another Innovation Embassy halfway around Earth, Their role will be to get design asignments while the participants in the other Innovation Embassy are sleeping. When they wake up, the designs will be there waiting for them.

Moving on now to the abandoned house:

The owners decide to install all rooms on the three separate floors. The house will have a large café that will function as a halfway innovation visitors place. They can sit and enjoy the cafe as usual but here, they can also hold certain events (just like the Co-working space above).

The Blueprint describes exactly this scenario – what if you wanted to turn a three-story building into a dedicated innovation house?

In the café (Entry), participants are given Mt Innovation passes. To venture further into the building, they are required to show their pass.

The rooms described above are placed in a certain order around the house such that participants start and end in the café area – which is then turned into a presentation space!

There are many programs that can be run in such a house and also educational opportunities.

As the whole of the innovation process is setup in physical spaces, students are provided passes and tought in entrepreneurship/startups by showing the dynamics and processes that happen in each room.

It is also possible to simply make a sightseeing tour. At the third floor, there is the Mt Innovation Café. providing a splendid scenic view from the top of the mountain. Only innovators are served here.

Corporate and public service partners can also send teams to the house to stay there for days or even weeks. The top floor has both hotel rooms and a camp area complete with a camp fire (led lighting) and everything.

Because each room has it’s criteria and processes, it means that participants soon learn that the usual innovation step-by-step approach has great limitations. And that here, they learn how to use the different spaces and when.

It’s even possible to send the ideas around the spaces – and keep the people in certain rooms to do a certain job.

This way, dedicated and trained staff can be found in each room. And for instance corporate or public service teams with their ideas can be sent around. Or perhaps students. Or JUST the ideas!

There are many options and possibilities.

We now move on to the Satellite Innovation Embassy.

In a once flurishing town, we now find only a few inhabitors and not many returning. The remaining inhabitors would like to find out how to make the town attractive again.

They have at this point had years where all sorts of ideas had been discussed but nothing that would truly make a difference had turned into concrete actions.

Such ideas are usually so vast that it becomes difficult to know if they are feasable or even where to begin action wise.

They recieve the Blueprint and in the section that describes the Innovation Capitals, they find out what people are needed and the resources. Three of those capitals are all together missing – financing and diverse talent. The third one, materials, technologies and knowledge, they learn, is aquired during the Mt Innovation process.

The Blueprint describes how, in lack of usuable house space, a large tent will do!

They setup a war room in the tent and then they use the Innovation Embassy network and their spaces to help with the missing spaces.

These other Innovation Embassies and the people involved are funded via the investment capital that now arrives.

The local investors see many opportunities but are eager to see what the Innovation Embassy Satellite can come up with.

Long story short – they post an Innovation Embassy challenge with first, second and third prices to winning concepts.

20 Innovation Embassies answer the call. The Co-working space from the first example above have combined efforts with two other Innovation Embassies.

From their War room with the full screen wall, they are able to work continually with the other Innovation Embassies as if they were in the same space.

In all 150 concepts are made and presented for the town. Amoung the winners, we find both a hotel concept but also a “is this your home town?” plan that aims to link the town with its former inhabitants. We also find a co-working space idea for remote workers and even mobile daycare center for children to experience different outdoors surroundings.

The Innovation Embassy network also has architects, city planers, ingeneers and others – people who are a part of the network to exactly work on projects such as these.

The Blueprint describes how to use the network and how to get to the final action plan including supporting teams, advisors and groups. For instance, a business and investor group who will help oversee the project.

The Blueprint even describes how to use the war room to provide a full transparent overview of the project and its details.

There is a reason why we ask everyone to learn CoCreationCards. This way, we are all speaking the same (innovation action) language and even more specifically, we can point to what we need where and when in terms of knowledge, resources and actions.

About the author

Erik Micheelsen

Erik Micheelsen

Erik is “the guy with the business idea” behind Innovation Embassy and the web platforms CoCreatorX, CareCubicle and the up-and-coming Quritiba. Erik has worked and lived in Silicon Valley, London and Denmark. He has more than 14 years of User Driven innovation experience, is behind several Start-Ups, mentored Start-Ups and advised business leaders on innovation strategy. Erik has lead numerous innovation projects and as Technology Officer at Coloplast A/S, he was responsible for Radical Innovation. As an innovation management consultant, he has inspired and guided business leaders. Erik’s background as an Astrophysicist from UCL and work with high energy physics has provided a unique and very effective mental tool set for any vision based processes.

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