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Educate to Innovate: Factors That Influence Innovation: Based on Input from Innovators and Stakeholders (2015)

Chapter: Appendix A: Workshop Methods and Interviewee Profile

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Workshop Methods and Interviewee Profile." National Academy of Engineering. 2015. Educate to Innovate: Factors That Influence Innovation: Based on Input from Innovators and Stakeholders. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21698.
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Appendix A
WORKSHOP METHODS AND INTERVIEWEE PROFILE

This study drew from qualitative research methods to obtain detailed data and explore the complexity of social processes. Such methods, considered inductive as opposed to deductive, help to characterize communities in a comprehensive and complex fashion and enable researchers to capture subtleties that may not be measurable via other techniques.1

A purposeful sampling strategy was used to select 60 successful US innovators identified by the steering committee and project team. The participants were interviewed by members of the project research team in open-ended conversations (by phone, video, or in person) that typically lasted between 30 minutes and two hours.

Interview questions were developed as a result of discussions between the project team and steering committee and were revised based on initial pilot interview results and feedback from the steering committee. The resulting 10–12 questions were adapted as necessary (using information from public sources about participants) to elicit more meaningful data. The interviews were designed to elicit narratives of personal experiences and perspectives on success in innovating and on educating to innovate.

The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and confirmed with the interviewees for accuracy. Use of a qualitative data analysis program made it possible to identify themes that were common among the responses and significant to the participants. The researchers then studied and analyzed thematic patterns and interconnections among them.

The initial findings of the study were provided to the workshop participants as background information for the breakout sessions.

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1 For more information about qualitative research, the following resources are suggested: Taylor, Steven, and Robert Bogdan (1998), Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods: A Guidebook and Resource, Chapter 3 (New York: Wiley); Seidman, Irving (2006), Interviewing as Qualitative Research, chapters 6–7 (New York: Teachers College Press).

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Workshop Methods and Interviewee Profile." National Academy of Engineering. 2015. Educate to Innovate: Factors That Influence Innovation: Based on Input from Innovators and Stakeholders. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21698.
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INTERVIEWEE PROFILE

Demographic information on the 60 innovators who participated in the interviews (from about 150 invitations) was obtained from public sources. Of the 60, 49 (81.7 percent) were male and 11 (18.3 percent) were female.

The interviewees were concentrated in different areas of experience and work. Figure A-1 shows the percentages of participants with experience in various sectors—academic, small business, large business, arts, federal—at some point in their career. Most (61.7 percent) had experience working in a small business.

images

FIGURE A-1 Areas of experience across entire career (percent). Most of the interviewees have experiences in multiple areas.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Workshop Methods and Interviewee Profile." National Academy of Engineering. 2015. Educate to Innovate: Factors That Influence Innovation: Based on Input from Innovators and Stakeholders. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21698.
×
Page 57
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Workshop Methods and Interviewee Profile." National Academy of Engineering. 2015. Educate to Innovate: Factors That Influence Innovation: Based on Input from Innovators and Stakeholders. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21698.
×
Page 58
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Robust innovation in the United States is key to a strong and competitive industry and workforce. Efforts to improve the capacity of individuals and organizations to innovate must be a high national priority to ensure that the United States remains a leader in the global economy. How is the United States preparing its students and workers to innovate and excel? What skills and attributes need to be nurtured?

The aim of the Educate to Innovate project is to expand and improve the innovative capacity of individuals and organizations by identifying critical skills, attributes, and best practices - indeed, cultures - for nurturing them. The project findings will enable educators in industry and at all levels of academia to cultivate the next generation of American innovators and thus ensure that the U.S. workforce remains highly competitive in the face of rapid technological changes. Educate to Innovate summarizes the keynote and plenary presentations from a workshop convened in October 2013. The workshop brought together innovators and leaders from various fields to share insights on innovation and its education. This report continues on to describe the specific skills, experiences, and environments that contribute to the success of innovators, and suggests next steps based on discussion from the workshop.

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