Innovation – Diversity

Innovation – Diversity

ambience: “Bonjour tout le monde..” (international greetings from Voyager spacecraft’s golden record.

Is Diversity an advantage to innovation? I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Wisnioski: The short answer is yes.

Historian Matt Wisnioski.

Wisnioski: Diversity doesn’t necessarily just mean racial or ethnic or gender diversity, which are all huge issues and huge problems in the realms of science and technology and engineering, where we often talk about innovation. I think diversity also means diversity of thought, diversity of intellectual approach, diversity of tools and problems. A lot of really innovative organizations intentionally create practices where they bring together people who look at problems differently, who question how the problems are defined in the first place and come up with better solutions, as a consequence of that.

There’s a design firm in Pittsburgh called Maya. Their teams tend to be made up of one person who has a scientific background, another who has a psychological background, and another who has a design background. Having these people who approach problems with these different vantages results in hybrid solutions that benefits from all of these. Another example is that crash test dummies — Up until, I think, 1995, consisted strictly of male model crash test dummies. It was only until the late 1990s where you start to think what happens if you have a crash test dummy who is a pregnant woman? How does that change how you design air bags and create safety technologies for automobile accidents? That has changed dramatically how auto manufacturers create their vehicles.

Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by Virginia Tech, inventing the future through a hands-on approach to education and research.

Innovation - Diversity

Diversity doesn't just refer to race, ethnicity or gender; it means diversity of thought, intellectual approach, and diversity of tools and problems.
Air Date:03/06/2017
Scientist:
Transcript:

Innovation - Diversity

ambience: "Bonjour tout le monde.." (international greetings from Voyager spacecraft's golden record.

Is Diversity an advantage to innovation? I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Wisnioski: The short answer is yes.

Historian Matt Wisnioski.

Wisnioski: Diversity doesn't necessarily just mean racial or ethnic or gender diversity, which are all huge issues and huge problems in the realms of science and technology and engineering, where we often talk about innovation. I think diversity also means diversity of thought, diversity of intellectual approach, diversity of tools and problems. A lot of really innovative organizations intentionally create practices where they bring together people who look at problems differently, who question how the problems are defined in the first place and come up with better solutions, as a consequence of that.

There's a design firm in Pittsburgh called Maya. Their teams tend to be made up of one person who has a scientific background, another who has a psychological background, and another who has a design background. Having these people who approach problems with these different vantages results in hybrid solutions that benefits from all of these. Another example is that crash test dummies --- Up until, I think, 1995, consisted strictly of male model crash test dummies. It was only until the late 1990s where you start to think what happens if you have a crash test dummy who is a pregnant woman? How does that change how you design air bags and create safety technologies for automobile accidents? That has changed dramatically how auto manufacturers create their vehicles.

Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by Virginia Tech, inventing the future through a hands-on approach to education and research.