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News Book Launch: The Imagination Challenge

January 18th at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
105 St. George Street, Toronto
5:00sharp - 6:20pm, Presentation and Q&A in Room 134, Ground Floor
6:20 - 7:30pm, Reception in Fleck Atrium, Ground Floor

You and your guest(s) are invited to take part in the next session in the ongoing Rotman Design Thinking Speaker Series, which showcases leading design thinkers. Organizations can no longer count on quality, performance or price alone to sustain leadership in the global marketplace. Design has emerged as a new competitive weapon and key driver of innovation. At Rotman, we see great value in the designer's approach to solving problems -- the integrative way of thinking and problem-solving that can be applied to all components of business. Read More...

News The Imagination Challenge Upcoming Release

The publication of the Beal Institute's first book is approaching! Director Alexander Manu's new book The Imagination Challenge, published by Peachpit Press, will be available December 21, 2006.

News Rotman School of Management

The Beal Institute is organizing and sponsoring the lecture "Product Design and Corporate Strategy: Managing the Connection for Competitive Advantage" by Robert Blaich,  a session in the Rotman Business Design Speaker Series. The lecture followed by a reception will take place at the Rotman School of Management on December 6, 2006, at 5 p.m.

News Strategic Innovation in Asia

Alexander Manu and Lenore Richards, Director & Executive Director at the Beal Institute for Strategic Creativity, recently returned from Asia where they visited with leaders in design & industry in Taiwan, South Korea and Japan. Read More...

News Look Inside!

On Saturday October 21st, the BISC participated in OCAD’s “Look Inside!” event. An inquisitive and diverse public attended, where Beal staff greeted and spoke with interested visitors about the Beal’s philosophy and process. Exciting dialogue occurred especially when curious visitors considered how to bridge their own “Imagination Gap.” If you’re interested in seeing what you missed, check out the presentation from the event.

The Imagination Gap

Dr Alex Manu


By Alexander Manu

Imagination is often mistakenly considered to be the same as creativity, but there is an important difference: imagination suggests ideas resulting from freedom of thought, while creativity suggests some actual aspect of creation, even if only in concept. Likewise, there is a distinction between invention and innovation: The former is the creation of something new, the latter is getting further ahead because of it.

1. The ability to form images and ideas in the mind, especially
    of things never seen or never experienced directly
2. The part of the mind where ideas, thoughts, and images are formed

1. The quality of being creative
2. The ability to use the imagination to develop new and original ideas
    or things, especially in an artistic context

The challenge for product development and innovation in the Industrial Age was to extend the limits of technology—by improving how things were made, what they were made of, or the capabilities of the machine that made them. These were logical, technical limitations, and they were eventually transcended by technological innovation.

In the current cultural and technological paradigm, the development model calls for something different. It calls for understanding and mapping of behaviour—understanding the current limits of knowledge and wisdom, as well as the limits of people and their environment. This is not a technical challenge, nor is it a tactical one; it is a strategic challenge to our limits as humans and to our desire to transform them into possibility. This is the Imagination Challenge.

Technology can be a window into the unseen possibilities of any experience. The Imagination Challenge, as detailed throughout this book, encourages individuals and corporations to create the indispensable condition required to deliver the promise of new technologies—the ecology of play. By generating a new network of concept makers and business leaders, the Imagination Challenge will redefine the role of technology—not as the cause for meaning and purpose, but as the method for how to achieve them.

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