Discovering Innovation @ The BiGYEC


On Wednesday 20th November, the BiGYEC welcomed Chris Dymond, Director of programming and partnerships at Crossover Labs, who came to talk about innovation, inspire BiGYEC members to think about what innovation is, and also explain what exactly innovation is and how it happens.

At Crossover Labs, Chris helps to bring together creative professionals from diverse disciplines including film and TV production, animation, games, theatre and interactive design to form new interdisciplinary collaborations and generate ideas for projects. The company is also responsible for curating the ‘Interactive At Sheffield’ programme each year at Sheffield Doc/Fest. Chris also works with businesses in the local area, including Sheffield Hallam University and Creative Sheffield, where he offers intensive workshops on innovation.

After Chris’ presentation on innovation, all 30 young people at the event got the chance to take part in a competition, working in teams to create a product or service which solves a problem. These teams then gave a presentation showcasing their product/service ideas to Chris, who asked each team questions about their innovation and gave them feedback.

There were lots of great ideas from all the teams including: solutions to help bakers cut chocolate, tagging technology to help people find lost objects, a groundbreaking suspension system for bikes built into the wheels, and finally the winning idea – a business that loans out ready-made businesses with all the back-office operations managed for the franchisee. Each of these solutions were forward thinking – it is great to see Sheffield’s young people rising to the challenge of solving tomorrow’s problems.

Chris said:

“The idea that we are turning out a whole bunch of people who have those skills and talents to go about developing ideas, collaboratively in teams and turning ideas in to products, I think that’s really great!”

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SONY DSC Chris Dymond - Director of Programmes&Partnerships at Crossover Labs