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Future Innovators

Future Innovators is an interative on-line programme that equips researchers with the tools, skills and confidence to help them lead, facilitate and enable innovation. Participants learn how to clearly define problems, create a large volume of possible solutions, select top ideas, reduce risk, test assumptions and present ideas clearly and concisely in order to gain buy-in. The programme offers a blend of group working with peers and individual study to explore key concepts and apply new skills and tools to current situations.

PROGRAMME OVERVIEW

The programme is organised into 6 modules, typically run on weekly cycles over 6 weeks. Each module includes self-study elements, a live on-line workshop with peers, application activities and a Conversation with Innovators session. Below is an overview of the key topic areas covered in the programme.

Innovation System

Explore why innovation is critical to long term success for companies, organisations and individuals.  Learn structured innovation syste, the key stages of the innovation process and challenges and opportunities assoicated with each stage.  This creates a strong foundation for the rest of the programme. 

Idea Generation

Learn tools, techniques and principles that increase your ability to generate high quality new ideas. The tools can be applied to create solutions for societal, business or technical challenges or ideas for everyday “innovation”. You’ll have the opportunity to practice your new skills with peers and apply to real challenges.

Idea Communication & Evaluation

Participants learn a framework for effectively communicating new ideas.  This communication framework helps participants develop “seed ideas” into more complete opportunities.  These ideas include the key elements required in order to be reviewed, discussed and evaluated objectively.

The Power of Numbers

Participants learn how to create a quick financial forecast for a new innovation.  This framework provides learners with a technique for applying disciplined and structured thinking to the inherent uncertainty associated with innovation.  It also helps to focus discovery activity on the most critical issues first, helping to increase speed and reduce risk.

Making it Real

Learn how to accelerate the development of new ideas while reducing risk. Explore key concepts related to customer discovery, prototyping and how best to engage with potential users and stakeholders to gain quality feedback. Following this module you’ll have an increased understanding and confidence about how to make your idea a reality. 

Innovation Action Planning

Work to apply the tools, frameworks and principles to your situation. This is about identifying opportunities to improve the effectiveness of the innovation system in your organization or identifying actions you can to take to accelerate a specific project or initiative you’re working on, or simply actions you can take to further enhance your innovation skill-set.

PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

The Future Innovators Programme is a rich, varied and engaging skills development programme. The course is hosted on our e-learning platform where you can access course content and downloadable resources.

Self-Study Lessons

Multimedia content covering key concepts, frameworks and principles. This includes video lessons, recorded interviews with subject matter experts, selected readings and links to externally hosted materials. You have access to this material throughout the programme.

Live on-line Workshops

Interactive zoom-based group workshops that give you the opportunity to activate tools and skills with your peers in a supportive environment. We apply a range of tools to support group work and collaboration, including online breakout rooms, virtual whiteboards and digital collaborative spaces.

Application

Each module includes at least 1 application activity. These activities encourage you to apply the principles and tools to your situation. The application actiities are optional for the participants, however they are strongly enouraged as it helps to solidify the learning. 

Downloadable Resources

You have access to a range of downloadable resources throughout the programme, including pdf’s of presentation slides, worksheets & templates and a selection of short texts. These materials become a valuable part of your resource & skills toolbox.

Conversations with Innovators

Facilitated group discussions with professionals experienced working in the area of innovation. The “Conversations” are live interactive forums with diverse guests who provide context, inspiration and real-world stories. In addition to the valuable insights and experience, “Conversations” offer the opportunity for you to expand your network and build relationships with experienced innovators. 

Time Commitment:

Expect to spend 2.5 – 3 hrs per week to successfully complete the programme. This includes 2 hours of “live” activity per module, with the rest of the time spent on self-study and application activities, which can be completed on your own schedule.

Custom Programme Elements

We’ve designed additional programme elements that are often included to further enhance the learner experience. 

Innovation Coaching

Receive one-to-one coaching immediately relevant to your personal situation. This helps build momentum in relation to a specific innovation project or challenge. Coaching provides an opportunity to gain additional insight, receive individual feedback and progress a specific project. Coaching is a proven approach to drive rich learning and development and can further enhance progression after the programme.

MultiMind Live Challenges

Stimulating innovation challenges where you work in teams to apply your learning to create solutions for real business situations. The challenges require teams to work at speed, allocate tasks and combine multiple strands to create a quality output. The challenges develop innovation skills, increase confidence and build relationships while establishing connections with industry. Objectives are set by companies or social enterprises. 

ABOUT SKILLFLUENCE

We are a specialist training and skills development company who focus on helping researchers develop the skills and confidence to work more effectively in, or with, industry.  We identify best-in-class tools and processes and package them into programmes that meet the unique needs of researchers. During the last 5 years we have worked with more 40 universities in the UK and Europe and trained over 5000 PhD students, early career researchers and academics.

Clients & Partners

Skillfluence has run the Future Innovators programme with a rapidly growing list of top universities, research institutes and innovation centres.