At Interior Design’s inaugural Innovation Conference, held at NeueHouse on February 5th, Becky Wang, CEO and co-founder of innovation and content studio Crossbeat NYC, offered some advice on how to inspire the next generation of innovators. Here’s a hint: It involves slumber, stories, and a lot of data.
Wang is an expert in creative data marketing. She got her start working in financial technology, which provided the foundation for her data-driven background. She argues that data can help marketers create ideal interactions with their customers, and this begins with model-makers.
In the search for what brings inspiration to model-making Millennials, Wang’s company collaborated with VisionLab and Nexalogy to create a value trends matrix similar to the Millennial reports all over business press, but with a twist. Rather than searching for trends in the data, Wang wanted to find Millennial values, their stories, and the emotions that drive them.
This is what she found: Their guiding principle is wonder. Millennial innovators are learning to let go of their past mistakes, prioritize rest, and avoid information overload, rather than letting the time they live in define their values.
“As a designer, I think forgetting is a critical process in creativity,” Wang says. “It allows us to let go and have a sense of wonder.”
For example, growing up in financially troubled times of the early 2000s, Millennials learned that generosity matters. But innovators aren’t simply putting others first, saying “I did my part” and walking away. They value mutual enrichment, or interaction that benefits all. Wang also refers to it as strategic generosity, and it is reflected in local craft, shared spaces, and symbiotic living.
All of the values have implications for workplace design, according to Wang. She called the audience to think about what they can do to inspire wonder.