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A Framework for Contextual Innovation

There is an open secret among artists, designers, and inventors. 

While much of the outside world focuses on talent as the DNA of creative genius, the greatest innovators know that the true sources of creative breakthroughs are found outside themselves.

They recognize that lasting impact starts with a willingness to shed certainty, enter new settings, and see a familiar world in entirely new ways.

Unfortunately, the R+D cultures of many governments, institutions, and private-sector organizations are not as creatively wise and, after investing heavily in top-down research and design, fail to recognize sources of relevant creative insight and lag helplessly behind their evolving constituents and markets.


ocular guides visionary leaders and innovators away from the familiarity and comfort of meeting rooms, laboratories, and design studios to the creative insight available in unfamiliar and informative settings. We move beyond the incremental, brand-affirming biases of traditional R+D infrastructures to illuminate new sources of insight, relevance, and innovation.

By integrating immersive discovery, systemic reframing, and multi-modal insight generation, our immersive and engaging Contextual Innovation Framework offers leaders a differentiating alternative to data-driven market research and conventional design thinking.
Lincoln Maple
The Process
Topic Studio, World Economic Forum @ Spotify, New York.
OCULAR's Framework for Contextual Innovation guides leaders and their organizations to the mindsets, tools, and practices that drive competitive relevance and impact, including:
  • Situational humility
  • Systemic framing
  • Immersive inquiry
  • Propositional mindsets
  • Generative heterogeneity 
  • Iterative experimental production
  • Mutual critique and support
  • New sources of relevant strategic insight 
  • New products, services, and processes
  • New levers to consequential action
  • New organizational relevance and resilience
  • Markets for offerings that do not yet exist
  • New opportunities for competitive differentiation
  • Reshape market expectations to include social impact
  • Activate systemic literacy among staff and stakeholders
  • Stimulate creative sub-cultures and their relevance to mission
  • Reimagine R+D to include contextual sources of insight
  • Nurture resilient solutions
  • Invite the efficiencies of systemic interdependence
  • Develop evidence-based narratives for impact
  • De-risk investment in the resilience of complex systems
We welcome inquiries from those seeking programs dedicated to the unique challenges of their own organization's mission for change.
For individuals, our open enrollment programs are a great way to begin the process of building the skills and mindsets that drive contextual innovation.
Spotify Session
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