Putting the Discipline in Interdisciplinary: Using Speedstorming to Teach and Initiate Creative Collaboration in Nanoscience
Journal of Nanoscience Education, Vol. 1, No. 1, p. 75-85, 2009
11 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2010
Date Written: 2009
The most powerful scientific advances are propelled by creative ideas that cross disciplinary boundaries. Few fields exemplify this as thoroughly as nanoscience, which promises to benefit humankind by delivering radically new technologies - if scientists from different disciplines can work together creatively. Unfortunately, initiating interdisciplinary conversations can be a costly undertaking in the context of academia,, where disciplines are separated by entrenched physical and social structures. We present a new method, called ‘speedstorming’, designed to improve the process of teaching and initiating creative collaboration. Early results show great promise for accelerating the rate of collaboration formation in the field of nanoscience. We found that for teaching and forming creative collaboration, speedstorming is more efficient and more effective than group brainstorming. This article explores the rationale for using such a method in nanoscience research and education, and details the steps to conducting speedstorming sessions to achieve several of common aims in a variety of settings. Limitations and unanswered questions regarding the method are also explored.
Keywords: creativity, innovation, collaboration, interdisciplinary, boundary-spanning, brainstorming, speedstorming, idea generation, constraint, structure, social interaction
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