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Re-designing Education: Ireland's Innovation Academies

Photography by SameRock

As students, Nicole and myself have spent a significant amount of time in Innovation Institutes and Academies in and around Dublin. Some of these include the Innovation Academy in University College Dublin (UCD), the Innovation Academy in Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and the Innovation Value Institute in Maynooth University (MU). All of these educational centres integrate a common trait in their approach to higher level and executive education - design thinking.

Now, with SameRock, we have had the opportunity to work with these Innovation Institutes in capturing their unique approach to student and executive learning.

Below you can find a video put together by SameRock for the Innovation Academy Trinity College Dublin.

Video by SameRock. If you liked our video, please hit subscribe and share it with someone looking to further their career.

Innovation Academy Executive Breakout, Trinity College Dublin

The Executive Breakout Programme attracts senior executives from companies such as Microsoft and Google, aiming to inspire them to re-imagine their managerial roles in terms of creativity, design thinking and leadership. By introducing this comprehensive structure, executives are encouraged to engage with an entrepreneurial mind frame and become gateways for global change.

We have rounded up some key points from our experience with Trinity’s Executive Breakout.

1. Use entrepreneurism as a lens to view the world.

2. Be curious - ask questions.

3. Know your end user – research, research, and research some more.

4. Focus on the problem first, not the solution.

5. Value diversity within your team – and use it!

Innovation Academy, University College Dublin

Completing a module with the Innovation Academy UCD, whether at an undergraduate or PhD level, is an extremely rewarding experience. The programme aimed to improve my presentation skills, working as a team, my confidence as a leader and most importantly, to change how I think about a problem.

The focus on creative and design thinking allows one to approach real world problems through a structured and practical lens. It is a challenging and immersive experience, like no other classroom or academic structure, as you are thrown into an immersive world of problem solving. You are constantly challenged to go further and think deeper about your end user and then structure your business or product to meet those needs.

Nicole’s UCD Innovation Undergraduate Experience

The importance placed on design thinking taught me to research and define the problem and to collaborate and work with the people around me. This module really emphasises how important creativity and diversity are in making something out of nothing, by putting the right minds together.

Innovation Value Institute, Maynooth University

The Innovation Value Institute (IVI) in Maynooth University is another educational innovation institute around the Dublin area. It is involved in multi-disciplinary research as well as education of management and IT executives. The IVI Services Network comes from a partnership between MU and the Intel Corporation, along with the support of the Irish Government. It was launched in 2006 with the aim of aligning research focus and agenda with business goals of organizations within various industry sectors. We were privileged to work with IVI on a range of events; from covering their convention with the International Conference for Information Systems (ICIS) at the IVI Winter Summit, to capturing the entrepreneurial flair and collaboration at the Smart Cities Showcase last October.

IVI Winter Summit - photography by SameRock

The Smart Cities event, led by IVI MU in partnership with the Technology and Entrepreneurship Centre at Harvard, highlights future technologies and smart city projects that are currently being researched, piloted and developed within Ireland.

Group Photo of IVI Smart Cities - photography by SameRock

IVI, like many of the innovative research centres and academies around Ireland, aims to focus the minds and skills of today, on researching and developing creative solutions to the problems of tomorrow. In this sense, future industry challenges, such as digital transformation and disruptive innovation are a main priority.

IVI Smart Cities - photography by SameRock

About us:

Eugene and Nicole are the co-founders of SameRock creative agency with the mission statement: “Beautiful Media for Beautiful Causes”.

We have participated in a number of Entrepreneurship and Incubation programmes and regularly work with Universities and Innovation Centres.

Eugene Markovski,

B.A. English and History, M.Sc. Business & Management

Nicole McCormack,

B.A., M.Sc. Psychology

"...we're all standing on the Same Rock"


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