University of Technology Sydney

81513 Past, Present, Future of Innovation

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2024 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Creative Intelligence and Innovation: TD School
Credit points: 8 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

Requisite(s): 81512 Creative Practice and Methods OR 81540 Leadership in Innovation OR 81538 Frame Innovation
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


In this subject, students explore the nature of invention and innovation in the various fields of their core degrees. Through special projects (such as What would Buckminster Fuller do now?) students are provoked to examine the conceptual, methodological and empirical patterns of innovation leaders, and apply them to major contemporary issues. In this way, students develop insights into the cultural and social contexts of innovation in the past and present, and in the speculative future. Through the use of techniques such as scenario building, forecasting, backcasting and technology roadmapping, a diverse history of ideas is spanned to explore possible futures.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Discover, interrogate and visualise creative intelligence and innovation through studying the life of a particular person
2. Interpret, synthesise and model creative intelligence and innovation as understood and practiced across a variety of fields and disciplines
3. Develop strategies and pathways to enact these models in new contexts to address complex challenges
4. Design an alternative future system demonstrating an advanced understanding of its current state, detailing the context, resources, people and ideas that need to come together for innovation and change to occur
5. Explore methods, ideate and prototype to speculate on possible futures across a range of disciplines or fields, considering different worldviews and approaches to betterment

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject contributes specifically to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes:

  • Practice mutual, responsible value creation, including the implementation of sustainable and entrepreneurial innovation. (CII.3.1)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

The subject provides opportunities for you as a student to draw on various perspectives to identify the conditions that support innovation. You use these collective insights to develop a model for creative practice and innovation. In this subject you also examine an existing complex problem and use a range of speculative and creative methods to propose alternatives that can create positive change in the world. Finally, you examine ethical implications of your proposals from a range of perspectives.

So your experiences as a student in this subject support you to develop the following graduate attributes (GA):

  • GA 2 Create value in problem-solving and enquiry
  • GA 4 Imaginative and ethical citizenship

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject uses problem-based learning strategies that involves students in researching and developing their own / group solutions to complex problems / scenarios. In each session, students receive feedback and reflection from academics and industry professionals, whilst continuing to work on the problems / projects they are preparing and completing outside session times. This year, due to COVID-19, learning will take place in a collaborative, immersive, experiential, distanced learning environment. Students will learn from academics and professionals across a wide range of disciplines, undertaking real briefs in real-time.

Content (topics)

* Innovation past

* Innovation present

* Innovation future


Assessment task 1: Change maker's studio


This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2 and 3

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

.2, .3 and CII.3.1

Type: Report
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 40%
  • Depth, breadth and rigour of reflection and exploration (40%)
  • Effectiveness in extrapolating information from diverse fields to reveal, communicate and visualise findings about CI practice (30%)
  • Originality and criticality of questions raised and explored (30%)

Assessment task 2: Futures Innovation


This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

2, 3, 4 and 5

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

.2, .3, .3 and .4

Type: Project
Groupwork: Group, group and individually assessed
Weight: 60%


* Depth of critical and creative enquiry into the system being considered for change

* Originality, value and far-sightedness of solution(s)

* Persuasive communication of the value of the idea(s)


* Level of critical engagement with value innovation

* Effectiveness and creativity of approach to reveal insights about the proposed alternative system

* Depth of insight into personal ability to make change

Minimum requirements

Students must attempt each assessment task and achieve an overall pass mark in order to pass this subject.

Late penalties apply to all assessment tasks as outlined in the TD School Student Guide. Please consult this booklet for other useful information including Special Consideration, Plagiarism, Extension, and Student Support Services.

A minimum of 80% of attendance of classes (as outlined in the timetable) is required.

Required texts

Please see Canvas for an overview of readings