Improv to Innovation: Innovators Meetup Recap

Improv to Innovation: Innovators Meetup Recap

We kicked off our first Carolinas Innovators & Design Thinkers Meetup in style as Arik Abel shared his insights of how to use Improv to improve your innovation outcomes.

Improv to Innovation

The organizers had to do a little improv before the event since one of our speakers had a family situation that prevented her from speaking, but we will reschedule Gizem Cetgin and her Hidden Innovation in Accounting. Stay tuned for that reschedule.

The intimate group kicked off with some introductions, and we learned about BMWs, Roadsters, Gazpacho, Quinoa salad and Doramon, the cat, as each participant shared one of the four “Cs” about themselves: Car, Cuisine, Cartoon or Color.


Doramon is a Japanese cartoon about a cat with a pouch filled with things you need when you need them. Thanks Bin for sharing this jewel.

Arik offered 3 takeaways while sharing some tips and tricks of improv that applies to the innovation process:

  1. Keep an open mind and leave your agenda at home
  2. Always add something – “Yes, and”  never “But” or “No”
  3. Find the pattern – Look for the game and chase it down

Arik gave us some words to live by too: Take it easy. Take it as it comes. He says when things are spinning and can seem overwhelming that is one of his mantras. Thanks Arik.

No visit to the American Underground on Main St in Durham, NC, which was our hosting organization, could be complete without a trip down the infamous slide. Watch Julie as she slides like a champ.

Hope to see you at the next Carolinas Innovators & Design Thinkers Meetup, July 12, 2016, 6pm @HQ Raleigh where we explore, Beyond the Buzz – A Simple Framework to Assess & Start with Emerging Technologies from R&D Manager Chris “Spence” Spencer, who will share insights on conversational computing, ambient computing, Watson and more, but with an easy litmus test to help you decide to invest time to pursue or not. And, Reinventing News, from Jodi Leese Glusco, Director of Content for, who will share major transformation trends and actions in the news industry from our own local TV News powerhouse. RSVP here.

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K. Melissa Kennedy

Chief Innovation Officer, Founder, Intrapreneur. Entrepreneur. Enthusiastic leader and speaker. Teller of truths at 48 Innovate
I spent many years working for and building successful companies. I parlayed that experience into a unique process for harnessing hidden assets inside organizations and turning them into big-idea-generating, $1-billion-revenue-producing resources. (Spoiler alert: it’s the people.) I'm an internationally acclaimed expert, happy to share the not-so-secrets that have led to impressive outcomes for Fortune 100 corporations, major educational institutions, start-up companies and entrepreneurs. Working with companies like Cisco, Lancope, Arby's, Capitol Broadcasting Company New Media - WRAL, PRSONAS, Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog, REVO Communications, Erno Group, Focus Carolina, Madan Global, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, INZONE Brands, Albright Digital, Spring Metrics and NC State Kenan Fellows.

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