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Innovation … with a dash of design thinking

Lean startups, Six Sigma, brainstorming – the entrepreneurial landscape is dotted with buzzwords dropped by practitioners of the ‘next big thing’ in innovation.

The Innovation Council is out to combat the confusion next month with the second in an annual Expert Series that covers innovation culture, IP and design thinking.

It’s added the last component by popular demand after 2013’s event.

“When we did innovation and IP we got a lot of questions around what this new designing thinking thing is about and the differences between innovation and design thinking,” says Innovation Council founder and CEO Louise Webster, adding there’s been a surge of awareness with programmes like NZTE’s Better By Design getting more prominence.

The event will outline different innovation methodologies and their origins and try to simplify what they’re about, she says.

The council also wants to school businesses up about IP in an affordable and valuable way.

“IP is one of those things businesses really need to know about, but it can cost a lot of money to find out how to develop an IP strategy. Even protecting a trademark, you can find out a small amount, but still not fully understand the potential IP you hold as a business or what other types of IP there are.”

Alongside Webster, the speakers are managing partner of IP consultancy James and Wells, Kate Wilson, and Ideas Accelerator director Andy Blackburn.

The Innovation Council was established to address a gap in the market for support for Kiwi businesses that employ fewer than 50 staff, says Webster, so it set up a hub to make information and resources more accessible.

The Expert Series takes place in Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch and Dunedin from 16-19 September.

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