Censemaking No.23

Lockdown Learning

As more of us find ourselves back at home working, creating, and coping it's more important than ever to find things that extend our perception and see out into that wider world. Worry not, we got you covered. 
This issue we're profiling some new tools for engaging people online, review some recent conferences and platforms to help you learn and connect and highlight some upcoming events to help you take advantage of time spent at home to brush up your skills and grow your innovation practice
Learning is the fundamental component of innovation, which is all about taking new knowledge and applying it in context. Learning is also about adapting and change and whether we like it or not, we're going to need to learn a lot in the months to come. I hope this newsletter helps you do that a little better. 
Keep sharp and safe -- Cameron


Sounding Off

One reason many of us find the string of engagements we have with others over video chat dis-satisfying is that the experience is rather flat. Part of this has to do with the soundscape. Product research has found that our engagement with sound is what shapes our experience of video calls. Aside from using any specific technology, one option might be to re-position your speakers and invest in higher fidelity sound hardware to make your calls richer.

Creating Conversations

I miss conversations - the kind of informal, casual and impromptu ones that come from engaging people in physical spaces including all the background noise that comes with it. Now, we can mimic some of that experience with a new platform called, appropriately, High Fidelity. This experimental 'space' is open for use and allows people to create places for people to find and exchange conversations. Using this as an adjunct to any conference or learning event could bring that 'feel' and 'sound' back to our interactions, even online.

Innovator Toolkit

Having Difficult Conversations

One skill many of us need, but few want to have to use is having difficult conversations. This guide from Psyche provides some expert advice from the field of mediation to help guide you through ways to talk about tough stuff. One of the big take-aways is to make a plan for your conversation to help you avoid getting swamped with emotion. Calm preparation makes for calm discussions. 

Build Apps Without Knowing Programming

Do you have an idea for a simple app that could make a big difference but have no experience in coding? You might not need it. is a tool that allows for the creation of functional apps that are useful and usable with no coding experience. I've used apps created with this tool and am impressed. This isn't going to get you something to replace Facebook, but might be enough to help you engage your clients, partners, and other audiences. 

Designing Better Conferences

Over on Censemaking, I've published a series on Conferencing the Pandemic where I review four distinct events and compare them. Some of the tools used to support these events are ones that might help those of you develop your own. Hopin and Pathable are two of the platforms that powered these events. There are others, too. Add in some lessons on how to host an event and there are ways you can bridge people from remote places into a common space to continue your learning. 

Profiles of Innovation

Vaccine Transformation

What is getting overshadowed by the prospect of the promise of a vaccine for COVID-19 coming into use in 2020 is the science, technology and techniques behind two of the first candidates to be considered. Both Pfizer and Moderna's new vaccines were developed using mRNA, a novel approach that has been in development for years. This short video helps explain what this is and why it can be a game-changer for vaccine development -- and our public's health. 

Tackling Climate Change Through...Paint?

While it might be winter in the Northern Hemisphere, we're not far removed from the heat of summer. As climate change warms many parts of the world, architects and material scientists are looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint caused by cooling. A new ultra-white paint in development might do this by reflecting back rather than absorbing heat into the interior. Climate change, like COVID-19, requires innovation to tackle - now. 
The Science of mRNA


Systems Thinking & Innovation 

Two more events in the Art & Science of Change series have been announced as part of the Cense Academy. The first is focused on introducing people to systems thinking and how it influences innovation on December 9th at 1200 ET. Registration is free and available here. 

Evaluation for Innovation 

Learn how to demonstrate impact and assess how your innovative idea or service is performing in this one-hour introduction to evaluation for innovation on January 6, 2021 at 1200 ET. Registration is available here. 

Improving Teaching

Whether it's as a professional teacher, professor, parent at home with kids, or corporate trainer -- we all need to know how to teach. Barbara Oakley, who teaches the wildly popular (and free) Coursera course on Learning to Learn is offering a three-day workshop on the best practice in teaching January 6-8th
Like a good coffee, knowledge is best when shared with a friend. If you like this forward it on to someone you want to have coffee with. 
"Learning is a constant process of discovery - a process without end" - Bruce Lee
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