This is how Ikea is co-creating with its customers and users. How about you?

Have you heard of "co-creation with customers"? The idea is to innovate along with your customers and see them as part of the product/service creation process, rather than just as end users. Good to see Ikea do just that with one of their key users: children!

Now, Ikea is smartly tapping into this wellspring of ideas for a line of stuffed toys, dubbed Sagoskatt—Swedish for "mythical treasure"—which hits shelves on November 20 and will be available until December 24.

To come up with the toy concepts, Ikea invited kids all over the world to submit illustrations of whimsical creatures. From the pool of 52,000 drawings that came in, Ikea then picked 10 to turn into plush toys that are dead ringers for the kids' drawings. The toys retail from $1 to $8, and a portion of the sales will be donated to kids' charities through the Ikea Foundation. Last year, Ikea raised more than $11 million for charity through its inaugural soft toys campaign.


Here's the article.


TED Talks at FSQL 2015

TED Talks are one of our favourite ways to stay curious. We ran the Firodia School Quiz League in Pune, India, which consisted of 5 quizzes on different themes. Each quiz has a 30-45 min break between the written preliminary and the stage finals, and we made good use of it by playing some TED talks for participants to watch, learn from, enjoy, and be inspired. Here's our playlist:

Quiz 1: History and Heritage

The History of Our World in 18 Minutes - David Christian

Quiz 2: Sports

The rise of cricket, the rise of India - Harsha Bhogle

Quiz 3: Science & Technology

Optical illusions show how we see - Beau Lotto

Underwater Astonishments  - David Gallo

Quiz 4: Travel & Geography

Magical houses, made of bamboo - Ellora Hardy

Quiz 5: Entertainment & Culture

My rise to yo-yo mastery - BLACK

Hack a banana, make a keyboard - Jay Silver



If you are a lifelong learner, this is for you.

Tim Brown, CEO of the innovation consulting firm IDEO wrote this post on "how to inspire creativity and lifelong learning for everyone". In this post, he talks about how lifelong learners in professional life feel the need to explore and express creative and other facets in their work, and sometimes get frustrated on not having the opportunities to do so.

Brown writes:

I’ve met a lot of people [...] who are craving new challenges and new ways of thinking and working. They’re lifelong learners, and they’re interested in amplifying their craft -- whether they’re doctors, engineers, designers, researchers, filmmakers, architects. These are motivated leaders who want to stay nimble and sharp, and are finding ways to do it despite their busy schedules.

He then talks about how a number of online offerings have emerged, that let these kinds of people keep learning, especially in the creative space, some from traditional universities and also, increasingly, from the private sectors. (IDEO, which has long positioned itself as a leader and teacher of creativity and innovation, has launched IDEO U to deliver creativity courses).

This is just the beginning. As the breadth and variety of online learning keeps growing, we are exploring this as well, with the launch of IDEO U. We understand that learning has to accommodate people’s lives in a realistic context. We still have much to learn about how best to deliver learning experiences about creativity in an online environment. No doubt there will be more innovation to come in this arena, but we hope many people [...] will benefit from learning how to unlock their creative potential and sharpen their problem-solving skills.

Here's a list of some of the online learning avenues that Brown mentions in his post:

We at Choose To Thinq have been monitoring and using some of these great online learning platforms. We also have our own take and offerings such as Quintessence to help leaders, both established and budding, to raise their game through learning and knowing. If you have a "THINQ" mindset, you must be a lifelong learner with a belief in growing all the time.

When does an innovator gets an "Insight"? This sketch has the answer.

IDEO's Tim Brown sketched this diagram to talk about the emotional states of researchers in the design process, who are trying to make sense of collected material.

The graph alternates between feeling +ve and -ve. His point? Insight is often found at the lowest ebb of the feeling, taking you from hope to confidence.

As you drown in data, you move from the high of what felt like being useful at first, but as the complexity of it hits you, your optimism decays.

That's where you need to stay strong, willing the insights out of hiding.

This is also true of most explorations in innovation and life. Do you agree?