What did the participants of the DIVA operator training say?


We have collected some statements from the participants in the training for DIVA operators, who will provide assistance within DIVA HUBs in applying for the DIVA public tender for pilot projects, and support during the pilot actions. They will be the link between business and artists.

The training was very informative. All Challenge Lab methodologies were excellently presented, especially the interesting explanation of the use of Art thinking in the creation process.

It was short training by time, but overall interesting. Especially I liked the learning material regarding Emotional intelligence (J.G. Johnson) that we received to study in advance. Then I liked the idea of trying something new every day, the idea of a learning journey that is happening in our life. I realised the importance of creative thinking, and I think that more public funds could be used efficiently for this purpose.

The participants of the workshop acquired knowledge and skills in the field of a new method of artistic innovation and other skills, which are highlighted as important in innovation at the crossroads of art and culture cooperation with other sectors (economy, technology, education). The training was supported both theoretically and practically, and the participants received extremely useful material before the workshop. In the first part, the participants gained knowledge of the Art-thinking and Design-thinking methods, which showed in a very good way the specifics of both and the differences between them, as well as the novelties and advantages brought by the newer method. We then became aware of the importance of communication skills in the collaboration of entrepreneurship with cultural and creative industries. The biggest novelty and therefore the biggest contribution was the last presentation, dedicated to the process of the Art-thinking method, which was presented to us step by step.

Personally, I believe that the use of tools for the development of creative solutions according to the method of Art and Design thinking has a great opportunity to connect the business sector with the artistic way of thinking and acting. Creating synergies will contribute to many competitive advantages and opportunities for growth and development, especially in the period after the COVID-19 pandemic.

We learned that transnational cooperation is required for CCIs and SMEs. Both parties have to learn to work together to tackle market challenges. Looking at the social and climate changes, new products and services will be required and new markets and industries will emerge.

Thanks to my economic background and business innovation experience, this has been another opportunity to try to apply the Art thinking and Design thinking methodologies to my business support activity. The application of the ChallengeLab methodology to a concrete business idea has been an interesting exercise.

Even if I’m already experienced in most of the tools that have been discussed, this training added something new to my background and knowledge. The art thinking approach is not so much explored in the business innovation world even if the potential is high and the possibility to be applied in an “unusual” context is relevant. The "Ten phases of the innovation cycle" has been quite an amazing game that for sure will be useful both in professional life and as an operator in the DIVA Hubs.

I really enjoyed the training. Both Art Thinking and Design Thinking open up new, interesting perspectives to boost innovation in SMEs. Having been involved in EU-funded projects dealing with enhancing open innovation processes in SMEs by means of favouring their uptake of research results (including through supporting matchmaking and cooperative projects between enterprises and R&D centres), I really look forward to DIVA’s call for pilot projects to see how what I have learned during the ‘train-the-operator’ course can be put into practice.