Cultivating Innovation

documentary video by Don Ritter
93:00 minutes
email contact for screening or lecture

Preview of Cultivating Innovation • scroll down for complete documentary and individual sections
Academic research on digital media technology has existed in various computer science and engineering departments for over 50 years, while similar research has recently become widespread within arts and humanities departments. Many academic institutions are now devoting considerable human and technical resources in pursuit of innovation with digital media--ranging from the creation of new forms of media content to hardware and software development.

Cultivating Innovation
is a documentary about the environmental factors that influence innovation with digital media in academia. Seven full-time international academics and a management consultant--all working with digital media--discuss how the environment created by time, physical, interpersonal, and organizational factors can influence a researcher's ability to innovate. The environmental factors discussed by the interviewees concur with comprehensive studies by various psychologists who have examined creativity, innovation, and motivation in the professional workplace. (references below). The interviewees' expertise includes architecture, computer science, engineering, game design, music, digital media art, and management.

Cultivating Innovation is an idiographic study where interviewees discuss their experiences with a level of verisimilitude that would be difficult to convey through statistical methods. This documentary is intended primarily for academics and academic administrators involved with digital media research, but the findings may be relevant to innovation in any discipline.

"People will not feel motivated if they are not appreciated and organizations that think they can just hire people and stick them in a box are not fundamentally valuing these people as people. It is a fundamental aspect of the human spirit to be entrepreneurial, in other words to innovate. People want to feel valued in relationships, they want to feel appreciated."
Dr Dave Richards, Strategic Innovation Leadership Facilitator, London, UK

complete documentary of Cultivating Innovation • complete documentary (93:00)


Dr Maurice Benayoun, Professor
School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong

Dr Kellogg S. Booth, Professor Emeritus
Department of Computer Science, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Dr Christopher J. Keyes, Professor
Department of Music, Hong Kong Baptist University

Tobias Klein, Assistant Professor
School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong

Dr Miu Ling Lam, Assistant Professor
School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong

Chi Wo Leung, Associate Professor
School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong

Dr Dave Richards, Strategic Innovation Leadership Facilitator
Dr Dave Innovation Ltd, London, UK

Dr Hanna Wirman, Research Assistant Professor
School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Individual sections from the complete video below
Part 1 • Innovation and Creativity (14:00)

Part 2 •  The Interviewees • (4:00)

Part 3 • Time (15:00)

Part 4 • The Physical Environment • (15:00)

Part 5 • The Interpersonal Environment (12:40)

Part 6 • The Organizational Environment (32:00)


Don Ritter • director and editor
Yuen Ting Li • assistant editor and production assistant

Production of Cultivating Innovation, previously titled Growing Innovation, was funded by City University of Hong Kong with support from the School of Creative Media.

About the director

Don Ritter is a Canadian artist and writer who has been active internationally in the field of digital media art since 1988. His large-scale interactive artworks have been exhibited in festivals, museums, and galleries throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Ritter's conference lectures and published writings discuss the relationships between fine art, digital media, aesthetics, and ethics. Ritter held full-time and tenured professorships in art and design between 1989 and 2017 at Concordia University in Montreal, Pratt Institute in New York City, Hanyang University in Seoul, and City University of Hong Kong. Ritter was a hardware designer for Northern Telecom/Nortel and a human-computer interaction researcher for Bell-Northern Research/BNR prior to his academic positions. He currently lives in Montreal, Canada.


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