Think & Do Workshops

Research Fellow Susan Resnick West and Creative Director Erin Reilly have designed the Think & Do Process for the Annenberg Innovation Lab to foster an open space for people of varied disciplines and backgrounds to come together, effectively learn from each other, and create together. The process is an act of Thinkering, or thinking about something by tinkering with objects relating to the innovation under consideration.

Although each Think & Do workshop is unique, all are based on the same principles:

Provocative questions promote exploration. Think & Do workshops lead with a key question in order to spark a dialogue, then proceed into creative activities to foster and explore broader themes embedded within the question.

Phenomenal participants are critical. Key industry leaders, academics, customers, users and other stakeholders are invited. The participants are asked to come and be mentally present throughout the entire session, respecting the goal of the day and the resources allocated.

Play matters. As John Dewey says, “Knowledge is not a matter of having a set of facts; it is not a domain that stands apart from the world. Knowledge is the offspring of doing.” Play is the most important work we perform at a Think & Do workshop. It is through play that we acquire basic knowledge and skills fundamental to our culture.

Place matters. It has an impact on how participants engage in the Think & Do experience. Think & Do spaces have the flexibility to be transformed and foster a new culture of innovation, imagination and creativity. This physical space extends into the virtual with an additional suite of AIL tools.

In the end, being part of a Think & Do workshop requires a willingness to be open and understand that change is a process. It not only requires the expertise of many, but also a willingness to be humble and listen to others, to be ready for the unexpected, and to challenge authority and the current standards of how things are and what they look like. We know change doesn’t happen by magic, but by a community willing to thinker, play and participate.