A big draw: WID Image Lab

Letting kids and adults draw
A big draw: WID Image Lab
A big draw: WID Image Lab

When was the last time you drew something? For most, it was probably high school. Lynda Barry, director of the Image Lab at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, is looking to change that with her Saturday Science Drawing Jam for Kids–a public drawing event for kids and adults at WID.

“I was curious about how kids tackle big questions, like what is the difference between the mind and the brain? What is a germ?” explains Barry. “There is something about picture-making that seems to set those same conditions for intuition and insight. It worked for the parents too, if they were willing to try drawing.”

Barry also curates a gallery within the Image Lab and created the Stealth Sculpture Project in the upper floors of WID for students, faculty and alums. She installed the sculptures in the off hours so they just seemed to appear. “I was interested in how the scientists might ‘use’ the sculptures as thinking devices. Art can function in a completely different way when it’s presented as a pondering device.”

What is social innovation?

According to Stanford University’s Social Innovation Review, social innovation is a “novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable or just than existing solutions” and benefits primarily society as a whole rather than private individuals.

It includes these elements:

Increasing employment, productivity and economic growth

Justice, fairness, environmental preservation, improved health, arts and culture and better education

A social innovation:

Can be a product, production process or technology (much like innovation in general), but it can also be a principle, an idea, a piece of legislation, a social movement, an intervention or some combination of them.

Recognizes the fundamental role of cross-sector dynamics: exchanging ideas and values, shifting roles and relationships and blending public, philanthropic and private resources. Innovation blossoms where the sectors converge.

Can’t be understood, let alone solved, without involving the nonprofit, public and private sectors.

The M List
Madison Magazine‘s M List is a who’s who of organizations and individuals who are having an impact on our local culture and economy. In its third year, the M List recognizes those making strides in the area of social innovation. Last year’s list of innovators were in the food industry. The original M List, in 2013, honored the technology sector. The 2014 M List honored “Foodtastic” entrepreneurs and innovators.

Click here to return to the 2015 M list.