Burns Night Debate 2013

24 Jan 2013 | ICG News & Announcements


‘This house believes that research does actively promote and encourage creativity and innovation’

Andrew Smith takes the Chair as Caroline Noon, Vivid Research, and Lucian Camp, Lucian Camp Consulting take clear sides to kick off the ICG Burns Night celebrations.

Some say that many excellent ideas are thrown out following research? Anything that is too radical or ‘out there’ often fails at the research hurdle as it pushes consumers beyond their comfort zones – and that researchers themselves are too hide bound and blinkered to think beyond the confines of traditional methodologies and interpretations. Research simply serves to stifle and dismiss good ideas (and takes a long time to do it!).

However, others contend that research is critical to identify the ‘golden nuggets’ amongst a plethora of alternatives, unerringly focusing in on those ideas which have potential irrespective of whether they push the boundaries – and build upon these to create something truly innovative, differentiated and that has had a significant impact on sectors, brands, communications etc.

How are emerging trends in the research world affecting how we approach innovation? Can digital research solutions really evaluate creative work and give informed and intelligent feedback to clients seeking new and interesting approaches? Can consumers and clients themselves be ‘creative’ and generate innovative and cutting edge solutions to business and communication problems as the much vaunted co-creation methodologies claim – or is this ‘utopia’ simply an empty promise?

This debate between research and innovation has existed for years – but is well worth revisiting given current developments in research approaches and technologies and in a world where companies are competing in a fast paced, multi-channel and economically challenging environment and need to gain every ounce of competitive advantage and differentiation that they can. We are delighted to welcome two very experienced and opinionated practitioners to this ICG debate:

Arguing that research can and does promote creativity :
Caroline Noon of Vivid Research

Arguing that research is simply a blunt instrument when it comes to creativity : 
Lucian Camp, Lucian Camp Consulting

In the chair :
Andrew Smith

Caroline Noon presents the argument for the motion:


Lucian Camp argues against the motion:


ICG members provide some lively questions and further debate:


Robin Shuker addresses the Haggis.