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Ichigo Ichie
…Actually it’s two words,“Ichigo Ichie”


We asked Yoko Akama, Associate Professor, Communication Design, RMIT University, Melbourne to reflect on a question inspired by the theme of Æffect issue 2 – “What borders do you cross in your practice or business in order to innovate?” In addressing our theme of Borders, Akama refers to Ichigo Ichie, a zen-teaching capturing an idea that is also central to innovation management – one opportunity, one encounter.


It’s the activity of treasuring the moment, a readiness to participate in transient moments, being ready to cross thresholds in the encounters of everyday life, through “relationships, spaces, places and cultures.”


As we cross the threshold of the second and third decade of the 21st Century, the discourses and feelings of the border itself, permeates everything we do, from physical identity to digital identity, from the tangible nationalisms of the political life to the lived internationalisms of friendships and commerce, both online and offline.


Borders, and the worlds they create around them, are spaces of uncertainty and opportunity, lines of exclusion and connection. As researchers in Innovation Management working with many disciplines and different kinds of knowledge, we are always drawn to what education experts call, “liminal” spaces, zones of transition and learning. They’re difficult spaces to work in, because the learning they generate changes our ways of seeing and thinking, our practices and goals. A skill of the innovation manager is in recognising not just those difficult, transient moments of learning, but in seeing the new tools and insights they offer.


This issue highlights some of the learning from the often multi-disciplinary experts who work across border spaces, and who have developed new practices and upcoming features  include: Maria Smith of Interrobang, a multi-disciplinary architecture and design practice; to Terry Irwin and Gideon Kossoff, pioneers of Transition Design; to the Reverend Dr Andrew Goodhead, Spiritual Care Lead at St Christopher’s hospice; to Justinien Trebillion editor of the award-winning Migrant Journal.


And look out for our quick reads, essential insights from experts in business, design, culture and politics, to help you navigate and grab hold of the opportunities waiting to be encountered on the borders of your practice and organisation. Ichigo Ichie.


Æffect Team

To get in touch with any of our researchers about their work please direct message Æffect on Instagram | LinkedIn