NDSU Extension Innovation


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Why "Innovate NDSU Extension"?

Giraffe Tongue
Photo by Hilary Bertsch. Used with permission.
By now, you've probably heard about Innovate NDSU Extension, but you may be thinking, "Why?" "Why do we need to innovate?" "Why do you think this event will even work?" "Why  do giraffes have black tongues?"

We'll answer at least two of those questions below, but first, in case you haven't heard about it.

Innovate NDSU Extension is your time to imagine, design and create. All NDSU Extension employees are invited to this fun and energetic event. You'll work with a small group of your colleagues on creative solutions to the complex challenges facing NDSU Extension and the people we serve. It will take place Monday, October 17, from 12:30 – 8 p.m. CT at the Wanzek Center for Scouting in Fargo, ND. The cost is $25 (snacks, beverages, and pizza included) and you can register as part of your 2016 NDSU Extension/REC Conference registration.

O.K., here we go.


Why do we need to innovate?

Ohio State Extension Innovate Feedback
Feedback from the 2016 Innovate Extension event at Ohio State University

The lives of the people we serve and the challenges we face as a nation are becoming more complex. If Extension is going to help people address challenges like climate, energy security, food safety and obesity in a rapidly changing world, we need to continually adjust and change. We need to innovate.

The Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) has recognized our need to innovate. They've formed the Extension Task Force on Innovation. eXtension is focusing on innovation, creating an Innovation Lab and supporting events like Innovate NDSU Extension.

NDSU Extension Service director Chris Boerboom saw the need to innovate in 2015 when he formed the NDSU Extension Service Innovation Team. This team works to increase the use of innovative tools and techniques in the NDSU Extension Service for learning and programming.

Why do you think this event will even work?

One reason we think it will work is that it has worked before. In May 2016, Ohio State University Extension put on an Innovate event. They had more than 140 participants, who came up with 22 ideas, projects, prototypes and concepts.

The feedback from the participants illustrated that the event was a success.

Based on the success of that event, eXtension is supporting similar events around the country, including Innovate NDSU Extension.

Why  do giraffes have black tongues?

According to reference.com, "...it is believed that the giraffe has a black tongue in order to protect the tongue from the sun because it spends a large part of their day reaching out with its tongue for food, as noted by Smithsonian. Without this dark color, it is believed that the giraffe's tongue might become sunburned."

Do you have all your questions answered? If not, earn more about Innovate NDSU Extension, subscribe to the NDSU Extension Innovation blog for updates or contact , or .

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