To experience perspectives on skateboard design and design thinking I applied for an innovation grant to attend the IASC Future is Now Summit Series 2013, in Anaheim, California. As part of my bid I set myself three objectives
During the four days various speakers addressed a variety of topics from lessons skateboarding could learn from winter sports, audit sales expectations, educational programs and my personal preference, a presentation by Jeffrey L. Brodie, Ph.D. Deputy Director of the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation on their Innoskate program,
StateOfSkate was set up to function as a space where like-minded businesses could share knowledge and predict future landscapes. Focusing on production and digital marketing it afforded me the opportunity to begin situating my research within a solid framework while tentatively beginning to discuss my thoughts on approaches to digital strategies in terms of techniques and process.
Addressing sustainability and health within skateboarding raised a series of questions around particular materials and design thinking, speculating on directions industry could move towards responding to user experience and consumer feedback. However, a chance conversation over dinner with Jeffery Brodie about the Innoskate program led to a remarkable opportunity in the form of an application to the Lemelson Center’s fellowship program at the Smithsonian in Washington DC.
Being part of the conference had become more than just an opportunity to reconnect within industry, it had provided key opinions on trends and developments within business and research helping to shape key questions about my own research directions. It had provided key connexions and afforded insights into programs I had known little or nothing about. I returned from California with a determination to begin my PhD journey.