The Naming

It's a bit premature since we don't have written down anything that describes what we have in mind and coming up with a name before there's a shared sense of mission is usually not a good idea, but here's the result of a quick brainstorm session just the same.

Comments: want to keep it open-ended? don't limit it to "thinking about Mills' future? keep open possibility that it is a seed of new educational programs (that is, not only thinking about ourselves). Capacity to connect and co-brand with other campus activities and programs.

The iLab @ Mills: where innovation is a liberal art
Leave "i" ambiguous. It's slightly techy, means Apple to some. [ SFUSD is going there.
Mills Innovation Lab and Learning Space
Mills Innovation Learning Laboratory Space
Mills Innovation Lab and Learning Studio
Mills Innovation Learning Laboratory Studio
(M.I.L.L.S.) Putting "learning" and "laboratory" together may be too ed-school in connotation
Mills Innovation Laboratory
The Innovationgarten
The Idea Garden
The innovation farm
The Idea Farm
Prototyping Center
The Box's Outside|
The Extra Box
(this is Latin for "outside the box")
FutureMills Venue
The Watch This Space Space
The Tomorrow Room
The Tomorrow Today Lab
The Forwarding Center
The FabLab @ Mills
though it's not a FABrication lab which is what this means)
The Twig Factory
The Eucalyptus Room
You Calypt Us Room
Majoring in the 21st Century (TM, Dan, though)
Innovation Space
Innovation Lab
Ideas Lab
Concept Lab
Perspectives Lab
Mills Workshop
futureMills Workshop
Mills Ideas Workshop
Ideas Testing Lab|
Daughters of Invention
Conception Lab at Mills
The I U @ Mills
Innovation? Idea? I? Eye? Users? You? University?

STUDY: The Underlying Noun

Are we naming the space or the activity that happens there or what the activity does for the institution or the people who work there, go there, participate in activities there?

…Center (we have never really resolved what a "center" would be at Mills - but usually it is more an activity unit (with program and personnel) than space)
…Space (exceedingly generic, a pro and a con, vague but also vaguely futuristic)
…Zone (the Future Zone? The Innovation Zone)
…Hall (usually a building)
…Academy (could be one if we wanted but probably not quite right for a space per se but see Plato's Academy (good liberal arts connection but probably the antithetical intellectual impulse))
…Institute (it's not one - this has specific meanings in the academy)
…School (at Mills this refers to something else)
…Face, Base, Prism

The Program

If we imagine an active program of workshops, classes, an academic major, a graduate degree, what might the space be called as the home of such things? Eventually we might craft an institutional piece that all college entities are enhanced by and can sell as one of their features (e.g., "the innovation in biology" program, the "poet as entrepreneur program," etc.)

The Program in Innovation at Mills
Mills Innovation Academy
The Innovation Academy at Mills
The I U at Mills
Mills I U
The donorname Innovation Academy at Mills
The I School at Mills
The Academy of I at Mills
(the program in) Technology, Entrepreneurship, and Design (at Mills)


Where innovation is a liberal art
The Future is Now at Mills
Speeding down many roads to destination future
Where tomorrow starts today
From inspiration to innovation to implementation for a better world
Innovating for social justice
Designing tomorrow on the basis of the day after tomorrow.
Designing for tomorrow's tomorrow.
Seeing through walls to make the world a better place.

Signs and Posters

I hear and I forget.
I see and I remember.
I do and I understand.
Think User Centered Encourage Wild Ideas
Stay Focused on Topic Iterate, Iterate, Iterate Build prototypes: let reality talk back.
Iterateiterate Any sentence that starts "I can't…" must end with "yet." Don't design tomorrow on the basis of yesterday.

“The patterns are simple, but followed together, they make for a whole that is wiser than the sum of its parts. Go for a walk; cultivate hunches; write everything down, but keep your folders messy; embrace serendipity; make generative mistakes; take on multiple hobbies; frequent coffeehouses and other liquid networks; follow the links; let others build on your ideas; borrow, recycle; reinvent. Build a tangled bank.”
― Steven Johnson, Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation

For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate.
Margaret Heffernan

Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power to that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared.
J. K. Rowling

We are a party of innovation. We do not reject our traditions, but we are willing to adapt to changing circumstances, when change we must. We are willing to suffer the discomfort of change in order to achieve a better future.
Barbara Jordan

If you look at history, innovation doesn't come just from giving people incentives; it comes from creating environments where their ideas can connect.
Steven Johnson

We know that the nation that goes all-in on innovation today will own the global economy tomorrow. This is an edge America cannot surrender.
Barack Obama

A key ingredient in innovation is the ability to challenge authority and break rules.
Vivek Wadhwa

“There is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.”
— Martha Graham

"I want to put a ding in the universe." - Steve Jobs

"You must do the thing you think you cannot do." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Don't be afraid to take a big step when one is indicated. You can't cross a chasm in two small jumps." - David Lloyd George

65. "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

"After years of telling corporate citizens to 'trust the system,' many companies must relearn instead to trust their people - and encourage their people to use neglected creative capacities in order to tap the most potent economic stimulus of all: idea power." - Rosabeth Moss Kanter

"Genius, in truth, means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way." - William James

"I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones." - John Cage

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." George Bernard Shaw