The Wake County CREATEspace is a on-of-a-kind innovation lab located in the Wake County Office Building. It houses the County’s innovation team as well as several creative space areas dedicated to learning and innovation. The goals of CREATEspace are:
- To provide a dedicated innovation center, distinct from a specific department, which provides a physical and mental separation from near-term issues and work, in order to encourage and facilitate creativity, collaboration and experimentation
- To provide a dedicated space for hands-on familiarization with soon-to-be implemented technologies and/or new and disruptive technologies under testing for implementation
- To provide a training area for the development of skills for effective investigation and evaluation of innovative projects
CREATEspace is managed by the County’s Innovation Team, but it is open and available for all County employees to use as they pursue the goals mentioned above. Please Contact Us if you’d like to tour or use the spaces. Check out the video or read on for some more detail on each aspect of the space.
The Collaboratory is our dedicated space for small group work in a comfortable, creative setting. Designed specifically to be an “un”conference room for cross-departmental problem solving, brainstorming, team forming, etc. (on any topic), this space allows us to facilitate group thinks with contributors from across all County departments and our colleagues in the community and the civic tech space. Coupled with professional facilitation and the latest in tech collaboration tools, this space is designed to get the creative juices flowing and help us capitalize on the energy that goes with it.
The Thinkubator offers very small group training and skills exploration on processes, programs and implementations related to innovation and data visualization. We intentionally keep this room and the class sizes small in order to promote a “cohort” mentality. By keeping the group work small, we can help promote ongoing communication between the participants long after they leave the classroom and the course work behind.
Our DiscoTech is a hands-on demonstration area for the new technologies that we are implementing within the County and technologies that we are evaluating for use in the County. The space provides people the opportunity to test drive new tech and check out the latest available features in our hardware and software options. We use this space to acclimate our organization to major changes in hardware and software system using a methodical process of needs review focus exclusively on the needs of the departments. This means that when we do implement, people are comfortable with the changes AND they are getting the best value out of the tool because they helped design it. This area is also used for design of tangible products/experiments and collaboration with our outside partners, particularly when we are considering new disruptive technologies in order to determine their use and potential value within the County.