MARIA CAROLINA MACHADO DE MATOS
Master's - Strategic Foresight and the generation of innovation concepts in higher education: processes and applications
Room 217, FEA-5
Advisor: Prof. Dr. Eduardo Pinheiro Gondim de Vasconcelos
Comission: Profs. Drs. Flávio Hourneaux Junior, Luiz Antonio Bloem da Silveira Junior e Nelson Daishiro Yoshida
Innovation occurs through the development of new ideas about products, services or processes. There are two distinct forms of innovation in their degree: incremental and radical. The first concerns innovations that have minor extensions to existing products, services or processes, while the second concerns innovations involving the development or application of new technologies or ideas. One perspective that can help organizations identify possible ideas for generating incremental and radical innovations is that of future studies, which aims to understand early changes and their potential future impacts. These elements are especially relevant in the higher education sector, which has undergone several disruptive changes and transformations. Given this, this study aims to design and implement a methodology to consummate innovation concepts with the incorporation of futures studies. These concepts are detailed ideas about new products, services and solutions. Moreover, the intention is to apply the process to a higher education company employing the action research approach. There are numerous methodologies in futures studies and this study will focus on an exploratory survey of trends, megatrends, uncertainties and emerging signals. These elements provide insight into future opportunities and issues that can contribute a long-term view to innovation concepts. After implementation, a comparison was made between the previous concepts of innovation of the selected firm and those resulting from the process articulated by this study. Initially, in-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with 8 area coordinators of the study institution, where it was evidenced that innovations tended to be incremental. After this stage, the futures study was carried out, where 166 elements of change were outlined and set to 53, and then to 20, based on a workshop with the participating coordinators. After that, more than 60 teachers were asked to generate innovation ideas, which would be filtered, grouped and then detailed by teachers in the construction of innovation canvas. This step resulted in the generation of 15 canvases, which were then evaluated by the area coordinators for their degree of innovation, impact and implementation time. These results showed that innovations moved from a primarily incremental level before action research to a much closer degree to radical innovations, as perceived by area coordinators in their assessment. Among the contributions, we highlight the contributions of future studies to the generation of more advanced, that is, more radical innovation concepts.
*Abstract provided by the author