Is it possible to do this yet? #38 #cong17

By Camile Donegan:

What is innovation to me? For me innovation comes intrinsically from the collaborative building-up of an idea. An idea comes to me, and then, through bouncing it off someone else, it starts to take wings. Together, we add layers on top of the initial idea foundation,  like the construction of a lego tower.

I love the energy of that collaborative spirit - how you get caught up in the flow of it and don’t even realise you are ‘working’. Finding collaborators I can work with in this way is deeply rewarding.

Thinking more deeply on this skill, which I’m grateful to say comes naturally to me, it’s a similar energy to the ‘Yes And’ rule-of-thumb in Comedy Improv.

For those of you who don’t have context for this, Wikipedia explains it well with the following definition:

“Yes And suggests that a participant should accept what another participant has stated ("yes") and then expand on that line of thinking ("and"). It is also used in business and other organisations as a principle that improves the effectiveness of the brainstorming process, fosters effective communication, and encourages the free sharing of ideas”

Essentially to me, innovative ideation comes from a collaborative Yes-And process where ideas are built up during a creative teams’ brainstorm session.

For several years, I was blessed to work in this way with my dear friend Eoin Rogers. We connected through our shared love of Irish Mythology during a series of workshops I ran with a folklorist at the Pearse Museum in 2011. I produced a theatre show Tintéan Tales, which went on to become a radio drama, Silver Branch. Eoin was one of five writers on the project.  A very driven and tenacious writer, we worked on dozens of proposal submissions and projects together after that, initially for festivals and events and later for Virtual Reality projects.

I think back on our countless Skype sessions (he lived in the UK the last few years), where all sense of time would disappear, and we would brainstorm ideas in the collaborative manner described above, for hours and hours.

I loved the freedom of that way of thinking and working and the ideas that would build, develop and grow through this process.

During these brainstorm sessions, Eoin would often ask, somewhat breaking the flow as his thinking went from heart to head, ‘Is it possible to do that yet’. We might have been discussing live action interactivity or using a random object as a controller for a VR experience, but my answer was invariably …Yes! Not wanting to break the flow of our conversation and get too into the headiness of the tech possibilities, I chose to believe that no matter what, a way could be found to realise the tech for whatever the story required.


What was crucial for this process to lead to anything other than creative, dreamer-type conversation, was that Eoin would take notes and go on to write the ideas into a cohesive, lyrical and structured format, ready to submit.

Eoin sadly passed away after a short, intense battle with cancer a couple of months ago. I miss him but also feel him with me, driving me on, inspiring me to continue to find collaborators and work in this way. I’ve a feeling that when those collaborations and conversations do happen, in some way he will be contributing lego blocks to our idea building!

CongRegation © Eoin Kennedy 2017 eoin at congregation dot ie