Innovating for a better future
Throughout history, humankind has been able to develop ideas to improve daily life. Fire, the wheel, the computer or the Internet are a few examples. At the time of their introduction to society, these ideas were innovative.
Innovative people have always existed and they are those who can see and think beyond the obvious, observe the details that are ignored by the majority and imagine how to suppress needs.
In changing times, we often hear conflicting voices saying that the new ideas do not make sense or that they will never be hold. But these are the ideas that potentially can make the difference.

To be innovative, we can start by having ideas, imagining possibilities, establishing relations… What about you? Are you an innovative person? In a world where innovation, especially the technological one, happens at a fast pace, which problems are there to be solved? What do you consider necessary creating? Can we change anything in order to turn things more efficient? Today we will be innovators!

Watch the video What is innovation? with an explanation of what innovation is.
Let's create a product that you imagine it can be useful nowadays. You will follow the guided creation process explained in the “Process” section. You will start by analysing the existing needs or thinking about needs that can be created on consumers.

In small groups, you will decide which ideas will be worked. Then you will see if these ideas have ever been developed and, if not, you will develop a vision for your products. Later on, you will develop products design and make its prototype by hand. And, of course, you will name your creations in a catchy way! You will also need funding for your products’ production, so that will be your last quest.

The activity will end with the presentation of the products to all groups and a debate on their innovativeness, feasibility and potential success is expected.
1. Identify needs

We want you to create a successful product! So you need to invent something that people really need. In this first step, you will individually identify products found necessary and that do not exist yet. Look around you, think about your daily life, whether at a personal and/or professional level, and identify something that would ease some of your daily tasks. Make a list of three ideas. Get inspired by these videos: The innovation of innovation and Innovation - it's not rocket science

2. Share ideas
It's time to start working together and to have the opinion of others about your ideas. In groups of three, formed randomly, share the ideas you had. Briefly, deem your opinion about the pros and cons of each idea, until you get to one which reaches most consensus on the possibility of implementation and success.

3. Research the market
It is important to know what has already been developed in the product area you have chosen and if your product does not really exist (at least in the WWW). Is your product original? Discover it by browsing products with characteristics similar to yours, using a search engine like Google. If the product already exists, opt for another idea. If you need tips to improve your searches, watch the video How to google like a pro!

4. Write a product vision and description
Put in writing the vision and the description of your product. You can use a word processor such as Microsoft Word or Google Sheets. What specific need does your product suppress? How will its design be? How will it be used? Keep in mind that products must be practical and try to solve the need that it fills thinking from different perspectives; for example, think about the most appropriate target audience (age, socioeconomic status, education level, hobbies...). Make the necessary changes to achieve the ideal product. Write your product vision according to Geoffrey Moore's product vision template

5. Draft the prototype

Now that you have imagined the ideal product, you cannot forget that image matters. Draft the design of your product using a pen/pencil and paper or using drawing software as Illustrator or Inkscape. The draft can be based on the aspect of a product that already exists and you introduce something new on it or it can be something brand new! Look at things in a different way but never forget that it has to be functional!

6. Make the prototype
It is important to get an idea of the product appearance in 3D, even if it is a non-working version of your invention, as it may help you to review any aspect related to design. If the product is too large, build it to scale using, preferably, recycled and/or recyclable material, like paper, cardboard, plastic or glass. Build it under one of the methods shared in Prototyping: learn eight common methods and best practices

7. Name it
Now that you have the product, you must give it an appealing name so the target audience can identify itself with the product. You may play with words and find a catchy name based on these tips: How to name a product - 10 tips for product naming success

8. Get funding
Imagining that no member of your group would have enough money to start the production of this product, browse the Internet for ways of funding it. Could it be participating in competitions? Crowdfunding? Do you have any innovative idea about doing it? You can find some options, for example, in Innovation European Council (EIC) Pilot. Choose the financing solution for your product you find the best.

9. Present the product
Prepare a presentation about your product to your colleagues. This can be done using software like PowerPoint, Prezi site or any other tool you consider proper, digital or not. You can even make an advertising video or a demonstration. What really matters is that your product vision is explicit and that you catch the others’ interest!

10. Receive feedback

After the presentation of your products, the remaining groups will give their opinions on them. Within each group, state your views on the points for and against each product. Tip: put yourself in the shoes of the products’ users and think how they would react when faced with it for the first time. Each group should choose a spokesperson who will pass their group’s thoughts to all.

11. Rethink your product
Do the necessary transformations to your product after the feedback received, even if they are small, reflecting them on the prototype and in the final presentation that you have developed.

12. Debriefing
After each group made their presentation, it’s time to decide which was the most innovative product. Debate it, focusing on the following questions:
- Which product do you consider the most necessary?
- Which product can be more successful?
- Which product would you really like to try?

Now make your votes - the "old" show of hands method is enough - and decide which product wins the award as the most innovative!

Evaluation and Learning Outcomes
After the completion of this webquest, learners will be able to:

Knowledge Skills Attitudes
· Fundamental knowledge of what innovation is
· Fundamental knowledge of information search, analysis and selection
· Advanced knowledge in Google search
· Fundamental knowledge of product vision, design, prototyping and naming
· Fundamental knowledge
of presentation techniques
· Basic knowledge on how to get to a consensus
· Research, analyse and select information from Internet resources
· Create the vision of a product based on Geoffrey Moore's template
· Design a product hand-made or using software
· Make a product prototype using recycled materials
· Identify different types of funding opportunities for innovation
· Communicate ideas clearly
· Follow pre-determined steps in a creative process
· Contribute to getting to a consensus
· Adjust communication style to different kinds of audiences
· Use constructive feedback to improve ideas
Innovating is a creative process. The aim of this webquest was to enhance individual innovative ideas using teamwork and to understand the importance of external feedback for a team to improve its own ideas.

With this challenge, we expect you have developed skills related to product innovation, including research, the establishment of a vision, developing sketches and prototypes, choosing a name for your innovation and getting the funding you need to move forward with the objective of creating a successful product.

Now go and use your new abilities!

“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them,
 and pretty soon you have a dozen.”
John Steinbeck