Today, I was fortunate to be part of a small gathering led by Ralph Simon, a long-time music industry executive and mobile technology leader. Mr. Simon came to Hub Bogota to speak with staff and guests about how technology and social media are being used for innovation and social good around the world. The talk was not only educational and eye-opening, but inspiring as Mr. Simon acknowledged Hub’s own leadership potential, “The Hub is creating a whole new road for Colombia to move forward.”
After working at the Hub for over a month now, I think it’s quite easy for the novelty of the Hub atmosphere to wear off; the co-creation meetings, the tables covered in scratch paper – to jot down ideas whenever they arise, the ability to suggest virtually any idea without getting an open-mouthed stare. It was a refreshing to have Mr. Simon remind us that the Hub is a special place – one that you do not come upon everyday. A work environment that thrives on innovation and change, and works to make ideas come alive.
As Mr. Simon said, “Innovation is everything because nothing stands still.” Innovation is not about creating something completely new, but rather about transforming something existing into something better and fresh. The sad truth however, is that most firms are not excited by innovative ideas, and do not want to take a chance on something new. Unfortunately “naysaying” is the norm and until we can break that paradigm, innovative thinking will be considered too risky for the average company. My director here at the Hub, Paula Gutierrez, raised a good point as we were wrapping up our session; the Hub atmosphere is a space for open innovation, imagination and idea creation, “How can we make this space visible to the public?” How can we get the community engaged in this open thinking to make real and lasting changes?