Ana Bilandzic

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Areas of interest: innovation, social innovation, coworking spaces, makerspaces, hackerspaces, spatial and social precursors to innovation

Research Associate and PhD Candidate (Urban Informatics Research Group, QUT Design Lab)
Master of Science in Business Administration (Philipps-University Marburg, Germany)
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Economics (University of Passau, Germany)

Ana is a PhD candidate with the Urban Informatics Research Group at the QUT Design Lab. Her research focuses on innovation spaces to identify and investigate the impact of precursors on innovation. Her background is in Business Administration with majors in Market-based Management, and Innovation and Information. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Passau and her Master of Science degree from the Philipps-University of Marburg. During her master and bachelor studies, she gained from national and international internships, working student positions and studies in Germany, Croatia, and Sweden. Since she has started her PhD at QUT, she tutored at the School of Design, and engaged in research assistance and research associate work in collaborations between QUT and industry or government.

Thesis Title: The rise of Casual Creative Environments: Towards a socially embedded view of innovation precursors and processes

Many entrepreneurs, politicians and policy makers often advocate for the innovation model and outcomes of Silicon Valley as they cherish tech-focused start-ups and innovations for making our lives more efficient and effective. However, such model and its outcomes tend to neglect societal and environmental issues that need to be urgently tackled, e.g. climate change. It has been criticised for a culture that promotes class division and an overly confident class of entrepreneurs and innovators. The most extreme example and entrepreneurial scandal in Silicon Valley is Theranos, a start-up that claimed to reinvent blood-testing against all (scientific) odds and put patients’ lives at risk. Should cities really try to replicate such an innovation model and culture? How may alternative approaches facilitate and advance innovation processes and outcomes?

The focal settings for Ana’s research are Casual Creative Environments, an umbrella term she uses for new, emerging spaces that facilitate innovation such as coworking spaces, maker and hacker spaces, living labs, innovation hubs, and creativity labs. Casual Creative Environments are predicted to become “game changer[s]” for remote working and “harbor[s] for entrepreneurship.” Deeper knowledge on precursors to innovation (e.g., community set-up, diverse skills, networking events, and knowledge sharing) in Casual Creative Environments is needed to develop guidelines for improved managerial and policy practice, and mitigate issues of existing narrow innovation approaches. For instance, it can inform approaches to innovation that are more inclusive, and create social and environmental impact. Therefore, Ana’s research aims to examine the precursors to innovation and their influence on innovation processes and outcomes in Casual Creative Environments. It poses and addresses the overarching research question:

RQ : What are the precursors to innovation in Casual Creative Environments, and what are their impacts on innovation processes and outcomes?

The research is divided in four cycles and reflects on secondary data derived from desktop research and primary data from observation sessions and interviews with managers and users of Casual Creative Environments. Brisbane with neighbouring City of Logan and the Sunshine Coast serve as case studies for the research.

Principal Supervisor: Professor Marcus Foth
Associate Supervisor: Professor Greg Hearn

Estimated Completion Date: March, 2021