MISSOULA – Blurring the lines between the city, University and other sectors, this year’s
On April 25, guest speakers from Finland’s Espoo Innovation Garden, Aalto Design Factory and Startup Sauna, as well as Google, Stanford d.school and ClassPass will help facilitate community design labs and share bright lights from their communities that have successfully nurtured place-based, cross-sector innovation ecosystems.
Through interactive breakout sessions and facilitated design sprints,
A leader in co-creating cross-sector collective impact and ecosystem building initiatives with communities, BIG harnesses UM’s research and innovation to foster transformative change. Through its signature collective-impact efforts on the Flathead Reservation, in Missoula and the Bitterroot Valley, and through local and statewide programming, BIG engages over 200,000 Montanans annually. This community-based, co-created work is supported by an array of federal and private foundation grants in part to research, design and
“The Broader Impacts Group is honored to be convening our university and community with national and international innovators and design thinkers as we begin to imagine what it would look like to intentionally co-create Missoula’s innovation ecosystem,” said Holly Truitt, director of BIG and the spectrUM Discovery Area. “Our
“InnovateUM seizes the opportunity to work together to refine Missoula’s vision for its future,” Missoula Mayor John Engen said. “We don’t have the luxury of drawing hard lines between community and university but, more than that, those lines don’t serve us well where they do exist. Together, we can make lives better for all Missoulians, and a grand vision comes with an open conversation like this one.”
“With the theme of ‘innovation runs through it,’ this year’s
During a morning session focused on learning from existing innovation ecosystems locally, nationally and internationally, Espoo Innovation Garden’s Sini Liu, director of community at Startup Sauna, and Maria Mikkonen, a researcher at Aalto Design Factory, will share experiences and findings from their community’s cross-sector innovation model.
Engen and ClassPass CEO Fritz Lanman will hold a conversation about Missoula’s own innovation soils and why ClassPass decide to call Missoula home. Through breakout sessions moderated by local innovators and thought leaders, including Tom Bensen (Arts Missoula), Joe Fanguy and Jason Williams (Blackfoot), Karen Knudsen (Clark Fork Coalition) and Reed Humphrey (UM Health and Medicine initiative and UM College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences), attendees will explore and co-design specific opportunities to foster innovation and alignment between sectors.
Over a working lunch co-hosted by the Finlandia Foundation of Montana, design facilitator Blake Wigdahl will lead a community design sprint that engages community members in co-imagining and co-designing Missoula’s innovation ecosystem. Elysa Fenenbock, designer-in-residence at Google and an instructor at Stanford d.school, will lead a
Findings and recommendations that emerge from the day will feed into a guiding document that will inform UM and Missoula’s long-range planning efforts. External evaluator Becky Carroll of Redwing Research will capture the day’s outcomes and feedback from participants, stakeholders and external guests. Drawing on Carroll’s research, the guiding document will be published online for community feedback in fall 2018.
InnovateUM’s morning session will take place from 9 a.m. to noon at the DoubleTree (100 Madison St.). The afternoon will resume at 12:30 p.m. at the Public House (130 E. Broadway St.) and conclude at 3 p.m. The event is fully booked, but the organizers are managing a wait list. To learn more or to join the wait list, visit http://www.umt.edu/big/innovateUM.