Innovation is critical to our economic and social prosperity. When we think about innovation, we often think about the outcome – the innovative ideas – yet it is people who develop, modify, and implement these ideas. Innovation work can be a challenging endeavor. People must work together to navigate ambiguous problem contexts, overcome setbacks, and persist in the face of the status quo.
In the Delta Lab, my students and I study and design collective innovation, a shared scalable process that uses social media to tap into diverse, large scale networks to develop and implement of novel and useful ideas. I am currently focused on innovator incubators, integrated learning environments that support authentic learning about the basics of innovation.
We do so, by using multi-method research methods including longitudinal ethnographic field studies, participant observation, surveys, network analysis, research through design, and controlled laboratory studies to study collective innovation. We use this research to develop theory, systems (ex. digital lofts, incubators) and methods to support innovators on and offline.
Julie Hui is a 4th year PhD student who studies how social computing can support novice designers in online creative communities. She is supported by a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Prior to Northwestern, she received her B.S. in Physics with a Minor in Mechanical Engineering from MIT in 2011.
Mike Greenberg is a 4th year PhD student who studies how innovators understand and use social capital online. He is supported by a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Prior to Northwestern, he worked as a researcher the American Museum of Natural History abd received his B.S. in Physics from Brandeis.
Emily Harburg is a 2nd year PhD student who studies how social computing can motivate decision making for novice innovators through scaffolding. She is supported by a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Prior to Northwestern, she worked at Disney Research and received her B.A. in Anthropology from Harvard.
Daniel Rees-Lewis is a 2nd year PhD student who studies how civic innovators learn through analogy in online learning environments. He is supported by the Northwestern Cognitive Science Advance Fellowship. Prior his PhDc, he was a learning designer at Design for America and received his M.S., in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University and a B.A. from the University of Sussex
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