Innovation, University, and the Public Good

"Dream big. Dwell at the intersection of passion, purpose, and creativity. It really enriches your soul". Joining as a guest speaker to UBC Public Scholars Initiative's innovation-themed research talk event, UBC's Innovation Catalyst Angus Livingstone discussed how universities (and its graduate students) can promote innovation while purposefully generating positive social impact. The video features a condensed version of Mr. Livingstone's thought-provoking talk.

Highlights from Mr. Livingstone's Talk
  • "Innovation to me is change with positive benefit. And I realise you can have change without positive benefit; I really don't consider that innovation".
  • "In the good old days [...] academic excellence was really equated to scholarly excellence: 'Let's look at your publication record' [...] Now, to be excellent in research, you have to have the scholarly side, and you have to demonstrate impact. And the impact can come in many different ways, but they [academics] are being valued by both".
  • "One of the challenges with creating real impact is really through meaningful engagement with the stakeholders. And quite frankly, I don't think that's something that many academics do well. And that's been  one of the challenges we've been trying to help the academic community move through over the last fifteen years. That's why I'm excited about this initiative".
  • "Valorisation [...] is the translation of research for social or economic benefit. There's a lot of ways that that happens. And it's not just patenting and licencing and spin-off companies [...] But it's also through knowledge translation and changes of practice and policy. It's through entrepreneurship [...] It's through moving people back and forth through co-op programs and internships and fellowships. It's by doing collaborative research with community and with companies and with governments".
  • "It's not about the money; it's about making a difference. And the one thing that I would ask is we need to find ways of counting it [impact]. We need to find ways of documenting and creating metrics around it, so we can go back to the politicians and push them off of 'jobs, jobs, jobs' to a much more informed and meaningful discussion [...] [Innovation] takes time and persistence".
Sunday, 07 February 2016