April 1, 2013

Innovation is quite the buzz word these days. Hoosiers are asking themselves how to innovate faster, smarter and more responsibly to increase profits, enhance products and improve communities. From hipster blogs to corporate board rooms, it’s the word that’s on everyone’s tongue.

But what does it mean? And why is Indiana Humanities digging in? 

Innovating means making changes in something already established by producing these new methods, ideas or products. Plenty of people invent. They make something new that has never existed before, but innovation is different. See, it requires making changes in something already established. That means being aware of current social constructs, processes and ways of operating in order to dream new opportunities, efficiencies and methods.

Indiana Humanities recognizes the power of individuals to improve their communities. In fact, our vision statement shares that we believe that our humanities work will help create a stronger, more innovative state. How? The humanities connect us to our place, our peers and our ancestors. They build that awareness and respect for what is and was so that we as individuals might be able to imagine what could be and innovate new methods, ideas or products to get there.

In our Spirit of Competition theme, we identified five core elements of competition. It’s no accident that innovation is one of these five core themes. Regardless of the type of competition, the strongest innovators have a tremendous edge on their competitors. Our hope is that through examining innovation, we can all cultivate it within our daily lives.

And so, in this spirit of competition, Indiana Humanities will spend April and May exploring innovation in many forms. Put on your thinking caps!


In April and May, Indiana Humanities is exploring the topic of “innovation,” as part of its Spirit of Competition theme. This post was written by Kristin Hess, Communications and Program Officer for Indiana Humanities.

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