Internews Center for Innovation & Learning

Internews Center for Innovation & Learning
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One year with Innovation Labs -- why they matter

“There are few opportunities in Ukraine where social and internet entrepreneurs are brought together to work on tangible social problems and solutions, it just provokes innovative thinking.” ~ Christopher Wild, Chief of Party, Internews Network in Ukraine

 Social change has never been so wild and unpredictable. From Arab Springs and Occupy to Russian Bolotnaya protests. No matter what the crowd thinks of these events, it’s obvious that they have impact and they are naturally born. Those revolutions indeed are evolution. They may be easily printed as a separate item on a human progress bar. 2011 showed us that technology transforms social space more than giving a nice opportunity to chatters, bloggers and social networkers. It’s not even about staying in touch with your relatives. It’s all about gaining direct control of previously uncontrolled things. It’s more about interactivity, involvement and fear of missing out. 

 When it comes to redesigning your Facebook page you just double-click and choose what you like: covers, profile, timeline, etc. The same thing here - when you want the garbage to be sorted and managed, you just tap in and gather like-minded people around you. And now people have technology at their fingertips and all this technology is about connected world and people. The audience of internet is large and are accustomed to use interactive tools on a daily basis. It’s impossible to go back and let them feel the lack of control. They want to scroll, browse and interact with reality as they do it on the web.

 Innovation Labs is the answer to this global change in minds and demands. It’s a great opportunity to bring two or more different audiences that may never would have met naturally and speed up the evolution. Today Innovation Labs are about mixing social activists and technology heroes to achieve synergy, but who knows where it could go later. Even now there are events that mix techies and ecologists, techies and energy professionals. It’s always planned, but unexpected. Internews Network is pioneering this change and supports everyone who wants to participate or organize the Lab. Maybe you are the one who will bring a great project in and win the money for implementation or organize next Innovation Lab.