|19 August 2016|

Scotland

Innovators Magazine announced last month our support for the new Innovation Academy – which was recently launched in Glasgow.

And we were delighted to watch the success of its first event, held in the city’s CitizenM Hotel, which was testament to the hard work which has been going behind the scenes at the Academy.

The morning gave attendees a taste of what is to come.  From arriving at the reception desk – where delegates were registered by Aimie, a teenage member of the team wearing one of the Academy’s stylish branded sweatshirts – it was clear this wasn’t going to be a stuffy corporate event.

And so it proved.

The audience was welcomed by Creative Director, writer, comedian and broadcaster Hardeep Singh Kohli. His engaging introduction was funny and warmed up the early morning crowd perfectly but he left nobody in any doubt that the Academy is a serious business with a strong vision.

Hardeep spelled out the international nature of the venture, which will tap into a global fellowship of mentors, hold events in locations across the UK, offer accredited courses and develop a pioneering e-learning portal which is going to function in a way which encourages interaction with the concept of change.

He explained that in addition to professionals; start-ups, school pupils and women will be important areas of focus for the Academy. Hardeep also revealed that technology will be an integral part of future events and courses.

Innovation Academy Colour Web Version (122 of 131)

The Big Mic Ball was a huge hit with the audience.

And that was the case from session number one, led by the inspiring and knowledgable Director of Interface, Dr Siobhán Jordan.

Siobhán interacted with the audience using the Big Mic Ball – a brilliantly designed microphone which can be thrown around to speed up the conversation.

She blogged on the day: “The Innovation Academy is adopting a different approach in inspiring innovation which is why my own thinking will be stimulated today, particularly in sharing the platform with the creative Hardeep Singh Kohli.”

One of Scotland’s most famous and traditional industries was represented next, by Rosemary Gallagher, Head of Communications at the Scotch Whisky Association.

She spoke eloquently about the modern, innovative face of the industry.

“I was delighted to be asked to speak on ‘cross sectoral collaboration’ at the launch of the Innovation Academy in Glasgow. It has been established in Scotland to give professionals and young entrepreneurs access to a creative mix of courses to help them succeed in a changing environment,” she said.

“On the day it was also insightful to hear from Siobhan Jordan of Interface on unusual partnerships, such as a cake manufacturer adapting technology developed for the defence industry, and Paul Macalinden, conductor and author, who had delegates working in teams to build towers made of sugar cubes  – all in the in the interest of collaboration, of course.”

Before the Q&A session at the end, Paul MacAlindin, conductor and author of Upbeat: The Story of the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq – which is currently receiving rave reviews – used sugar cubes in an inspired workshop identifying different types of intelligences and looking at how like-minded teams function in comparison to those with diverse influences.

Susan Robertson, the Academy’s Director, added: “We are all delighted with the successful launch. Our Events Director, Mallorie Sullivan deserves a special mention. Her input and expertise has been invaluable.”

Susan also told us the Academy is currently putting an Advisory Board in place to ensure the priorities of the Academy continually match those of industry and society.

“Our Advisory Board will continually assess the challenges faced by industry and society so that it can best advise on the development of programmes which most effectively equip individuals and organisations to overcome them. We will use our network of industry leaders and the latest technology to support people and organisations working in the innovation economy.”

The next event will be held in Glasgow on 8 September – and will be captured by international video pioneers 29studios – as the Academy looks to quickly become an integral part of the innovation economy.

And we agree with one of those who joined the launch event, Cameron Munro, who tweeted on the day: “Fabulous session on collaboration this morning – well organized and positive audience, others should get online for next event.”

And as a partner of the Academy, we are delighted to be able to offer our readers a 50% discount with code: ESPECIAL, click here.