NUI Galway Host Inaugural Innovation at Play Symposium

Zoe Philpott from Ada.Ada.Ada gives a live interactive performance that tells the story of Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer, at the inaugural Innovation at Play Symposium in NUI Galway.
Oct 26 2017 Posted: 16:15 IST

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower” Steve Jobs

NUI Galway in partnership with Blackstone LaunchPad hosted its inaugural Innovation at Play Symposium, today (26 October). The one day experiential symposium focused on exploring play for the purpose of innovation and featured award winning game designer, Brenda Romero, and astrophysicist, Dr Iain MacLaren, Director of CELT at NUI Galway.

The symposium also featured a spellbinding one woman live interactive performance by Ada.Ada.Ada that told the story of Ada Lovelace, the daughter of Lord Byron and the world’s first computer programmer. Using an LED dress and wearable technology operated live on stage by performance artist and technology professional Zoe Philpott, the show aims to inspire future generations to follow in Lovelace’s footsteps and push boundaries.

Offering a series of workshops throughout the day, the symposium created a time-out for people to pause, reflect and play, and to think about how study and work can be enhanced by being more open to all forms of innovation and seeing it as the calling card of the future.

In addition to participants from industry and academia, the event was opened up to local secondary schools. According to Sarah Geraghty, Student Recruitment and Outreach Manager at NUI Galway, said: “It’s important for the University to share innovations, small and great, with the wider community. By involving secondary schools in ‘Innovation at Play’ we hope to inspire the next generation of innovative thinkers.”

Workshops included:

  • Parallel Hands-on, Minds-on Workshops.
  • Creativity Through Mask Making - A workshop tool for reflection on the process of the person as inventor and innovator.
  • Innovation Through Lego Serious Play - A hands-on workshop in Lego Serious Play to enhance innovation in communication, creativity and building shared mental models.
  • Story Telling Through Sound - Exploring ways of telling a story using only sound instead of words.
  • Innovation through Performance: a Practice-based workshop - How to use theatre skills to inspire and foster creativity in yourself and the people you work with.
  • Fireside Chat – Innovation Knows No Boundaries – a panel and intergenerational conversation on innovation and the contributions that each generation can make by truly embracing innovation.

Mary Dempsey from the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway’s education mission is to build communities of contemporary innovators who will imagine and realise the world as a better place for all society, and the Innovation Symposium we hope will encourage people to explore how the spirit of innovation can be nurtured through playful methodologies.”


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