ACT-NOW! The Innovation Journey+ / A First Brief Description for Reflection


Dear all - this is the very first attempt at the proposal summary for the foundation grant request - the below will need to be reduced to a 1/3 page and we can move content as necessary in the template version on Google Drive we are working on.


We are a consortium of <…> organizations from higher education, research, industry and SMEs in <…> countries across the world that aspires to accelerate the achievement of Horizon Europe Goals for Pillar 2 “Global Challenges and Industrial Competitiveness” for “Health”, “Inclusive and Secure Society”, “Digital and Industry”, “Climate, Energy and Mobility”, and “Food and natural resources.” (See,and%20innovation%20missions%20to%20increase%20the...%20More%20).  On this path we also intend to accelerate achievement of the Robert Bosch Foundation Goals with an emphasis on Education, specifically Active Citizenship (see 

Based on the world-premiere sponsored by the University of Padua and the Open European Network for Enterprise Innovation at the Galileo Innovation Week in Padua, Italy in October 2020, we plan to conduct a world-tour of the play-in-a-day „The Innovation Journey“ supported by an “Ideation in a Day” workshop which brings together business with a diverse set of innovators and angel investors to address specific challenges addressed by Horizon Europe Pillar 2 Goals. A play-in-a-day is is a drama-based leadership development offering where participants meet at 9 am, prepare a stage play based on a simple plot and script, and then perform in front of an audience in the afternoon / evening. 

The two-day events will be hosted by consortium members as part of major face-to-face events in their region (i.e. the annual Galileo Innovation Week in Padova, Italy). Business organizations will be invited to apply to present specific relevant challenges they are addressing. Students will be invited to apply for joining the Ideation and Play-in-a-Day workshops. Angel investors will be invited to apply for accelerating presented ideas based on an innovation diffusion acceleration model developed by the consortium.

The basic plot can be summarized as follows: 

“The Innovation Journey” is based on the story “A REALLY REALLY GOOD IDEA” that is about helping “really really” good ideas grow to their greatest potential and dedicated in memory of Debra Mae Amidon and based on her “In Search of Innovation - A Book for Children and Leadership Executives” (2005). “The Innovation Journey” builds on her dream and exemplifies its spirit. 

“There was once a really clever white mouse called Wow. Wow often had good ideas. One morning he had a “really really” good idea! All excited he scurried to share it with his best friend Smile who said “This really is a “really really” good idea! I love it!” Wow became even more exited and scurried on to show the idea to his other best friend Blank. Blank said “You´have got to be kidding. I just do not get it. What a silly idea!” Tears rolled down the face of Wow and he thought about letting go of his idea.

But, deep in his heart, Wow knew it really was a “really really” good idea. He could almost see it grow and change the world. So Wow drew a picture of the idea and showed it to his family. He showed it to his WHOLE family – even the cousins twice removed who lived by the old apple tree in the backyard. Some cheered; some laughed. A few said “Huh?” They could not see how his idea shone the way he could. Wow wondered how he could help them see it shining too?

Wow knew he needed a better picture to show how the idea could work. So he spent one whole Saturday adding to his picture until it was a lot clearer and showed it to everyone again. But, as it turned out, it was only clear to those who could imagine using the idea themselves. But Wow wanted to draw his idea so that EVERYONE could love it the way he did. But how could he do that? His youngest sister Spots was willing to help. She said, "Red will get their attention; but do not make it all red. Add some Green – it makes things grow. And blue - blue is deep, like the sky." 

Now red, green and blue his picture looked better to some of his other friends. One said, “I wish I had made this idea.” Another even tried to steal the idea, turn it into something different and keep it for himself. But Wow held on to his idea.

Wow showed the picture to his neighbour Antsy, the artist. Antsy said “Try adding yellow. No, add gold – yes, star-gold, it will warm the heart of people. Build a nest around it in shades of purple – violet to fuchsia so that people will know this idea is alive.” the picture turned into a kaleidoscope of colours.

And so Wow took the idea – now wearing a rainbow of colours – to every mouse he knew and even mice he did not know. Now, when the other mice saw the idea they clapped and said “Yes, yes! This is a “really really” great idea. We love it!” 

EVERYONE loved it... well, almost everyone. The three grey mice who lived behind the garbage cans groaned “Cute idea, but believe us, it is not really worth much. Cannot see any value in it." Wow felt “really really” sad again. Wow felt so sad that he thought “Maybe I need to let go of this idea. Maybe it is not a “really really” great idea after all.” Wow let go of his idea. 

But just as he let go, an amazing thing happened. Other mice started to notice the idea and talk of its possibilities. The idea began to grow into a sparkling picture that twinkled when the mice talked about it. The idea grew brighter whenever it was discussed. Wow realised that the idea had to grow in other people to truly shine.

Now the idea was ready to show to the world. And mice came from all around to see it sparkle. Some thought “Maybe it is a magnifying glass or a crystal…” Others asked “Can you make one for me?” “Me, too!” shouted one of the grey mice. Wow wondered “How could I make so many images of my idea? How could I truly share it with the world?”

Wow had another “really really” good idea. Wow invited everyone he knew and everyone he did not know to bring a mirror and capture the idea for them. When they gathered together the colours flashed back and forth and his idea became the idea of many. All the mice shouted, "Now WE CAN innovate the world!" And Wow finally knew it was a “really really” good idea.

What is YOUR “really really” good idea?"

We are conducting these events because we deeply believe that our skills in accelerating the innovation journey from ideation to market success can significantly help achieve the Horizon Europe Pillar 2 goals faster and more sustainably. The events will (a) Simulate: Simulate the journey of an innovation from idea to market success and help participants understand its variables and their interdependencies (b) Enable: Enable participants to act their roles confidently, professionally and collaboratively (c) Empower: Enable participants to understand what capabilities are needed by in order to innovate sustainably (d) Permit: Clarify what behaviors the stakeholders of the innovation journey must be empowered to perform without explicit permission (e) Accelerate: Identify game-changing variables (and constellations) and actionable interventions to disruptively accelerate the time from ideation to market saturation (f) Build: Rapidly create high performing teams by presenting them with a “mission impossible” to be solved in a day and then presented to a live audience (g) Demonstrate the crucial role of diversity and creative ignorance in the discovery of innovative solutions suited for sustainable implementation and (h) Plan: Plan and simulate scenarios for successful and rapid deployment of innovation activities throughout a target user group.

We seek grant funding to support delivery of the events. Grant funding is calculated at a flat rate of €<…>k per event to finance organization and marketing, cover travel and lodging, feed the ensemble, and for dissemination and exploitation. Additional funding will be sought from organizations participating in the event and such supporting the larger face-to-face event the Innovation Journey+ experience is embedded in. Consortium members hosting events have included Letters of Intents from businesses intending to submit challenges, higher education institutions willing to solicit student participation, and angel investors interesting in funding the diffusion acceleration of ideas generated.

After 12-18 months the participants of all individual events will come together at the London Shakespeare Globe Theater for a three-day event as a “grand finale”.

While there are competitors in the field of ideation workshops/techniques and play-in-a-day drama-based education, the consortium has not identified any previous work in using these techniques specifically to accelerate the diffusion of innovations in conjunction with a Shakespearean play script that distills decades of research into an experiential event that leaves a lasting impression on the participants.

Events will be designed to be Covid-secure based on the relevant guidance in the area they are conducted in. An online version will not be offered since ACT-NOW! builds on leveraging all human senses to ensure a lasting learning experience with relevant sustainable behavioral changes.

Further resources: 
P.S. If you are interested in learning more please visit us at, our LinkedIn Group at, our blog at, our Researchgate project page at, our Sourceforge page at  and our Facebook page at You can also follow us via Twitter: @owschwabe (#innovationweb) and the LinkedIn Group page


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