While innovators are everywhere come in all colors sizes and shapes, I would pose that the following branches of study should be home for potential innovators.
|– Philosophy (postmodern and relativist)
– Conceptual art
– Quantum physics
– Ecology, permaculture
– Systems theory, Techtology, cybernetics
– Social psychology
– Cognitive science
– Cultural anthropology
|– Film studies
– Database designers
– Human factor folks
– Information architects
– Information designers
– Teachers and educators / trainers
– Interaction designers
– all the user experience folks
– Sales people
– Folk studies
– Marketing and advertising
– Organizational Theory
– Cultural studies
– Critical studies
(Note: this is not an exhaustive list.)
What do these fields have in common? They are thought-feedback-experience heavy. They require attention to experience, introspection and extrospection, independence and collaboration, convergent and divergent thinking. In some cases they require to think and act outside of the box.
Most if not all of these fields require the individuals to engage in an ongoing process of innovation. It requires them to understand that iteration of design and action is part of the job. It requires them to always look for ways to continuously make something better. It requires them to know that the job is never really “done” because change is ongoing.
These fields also require empathetic imagination and switching between big-picture and small-picture perspectives (micro and micro).
While some of the schools in these fields are still “behind” we may see some changes soon. The word “holism” and “integration” are becoming commonplace – when “systems thinking” becomes commonplace we may have the change that we need to have an innovation culture.