What is the Imaginaseum?

Imaginaseum is a place where faculty are invited to exercise and share their imagination.  Imaginaseum aims to encourage the enhancement and promotion of the academic quality of the University of Illinois Springfield, targeting the first pillar of the university’s Strategic Compass: World Class Teaching and Learning.  Academic quality is a function of the quality of the curriculum, the quality of the faculty, and the quality of spaces designed to produce the deepest learning opportunities we are capable of providing our students in and out of the classroom.   Read more about Imaginaseum

Imaginaseum Sessions 2019-2020

2019-2020 Cohort Model

Imaginaseum was introduced in the fall of 2018 to encourage faculty to experiment with experiential-based teaching methods and redesign the space from which their students learn. A cohort model will be created in fall 2019 where participants move through Design Thinking modules creating new experiential teaching methods for their classrooms during the fall semester. Cohort participants will launch their new action-based approaches during the spring semester and meet with cohort members throughout the semester to share feedback and discuss iterations to their approaches. They will also report out to their departments and university staff on their experiences, methods, success, failures and recommendations at the end of the academic year. The program will kick off with an all-day boot camp at UIC’s Innovation Lab in September.  Each cohort member lead monthly Imaginaseum events with regional industry partners that will include UIS faculty and corporate employees. These partnerships are aimed to further develop programs focus on human-centered customer/stakeholders – students, employers, community, peers, etc.

2019-2020 DRAFT Schedule

September (tbd): All-day boot camp kick-off at UIC’s Innovation Lab

September 26, 9:00-11:00 AM: Design Thinking: Designing Innovative Teaching and Learning Strategies

October 24, 9:00-11:00 AM: Empathy and Define: Understanding the User and Defining the Problem

November 21, 9:00-11:00 AM: Ideate, Prototype, and Test

February 27, 9:00-11:00 AM: Redefine, Iterate, and Test

March  26, 9:00 -11:00 AM: Launch and Feedback Loops

April 23, 9:00-11:00 AM: Innovation Team Presentations


If you are interested in learning more and/or joining the 2019-2020 cohort, please contact me!

Bruce Sommer
The Innovation Studio
Director of Economic Development and Innovation
UHB 4074

Convener: Bruce Sommer

Mr. Bruce Sommer holds an MBA from the Whittemore School of Business at the University of New Hampshire and a B.S. from Illinois Wesleyan University.  He started his research career at the Center for Venture Research where his work focused on the impact of technology commercialization and emerging business start-ups.  He has created and sold three of his own companies and invested in and helped develop over 30 different early-stage businesses.  Bruce is the managing partner at NextGen Ventures, a venture capital fund and accelerator focused on nascent technologies.  Locally, he is the co-founder of Innovate Springfield and Sangamon CEO, non-profit business education programs endeavored to build economically strong communities through individual empowerment and new venture creation.  Bruce has worked with inventors, entrepreneurs, faculty and institutional leaders from around the world assisting in ideation, design, and execution of a variety of applied innovations.

A Starting Point

Teaching and Learning Labs at UIS: Workforce Readiness and Revitalization of a Liberal Arts and Sciences Education. Read about the promise and the opportunity – collaborate in creating labs that will allow UIS to transform teaching and learning, support scholarship, and create greater impact in our service to the region and state.

Presidential Initiative to Celebrate the Impact of the Arts and the Humanities – a new system-wide funding opportunity aimed at highlighting and celebrating the public good flowing from the arts and the humanities. (Deadline has passed)

Academic Revitalization – Fall 2017 presentation

Look back to Imaginaseum 2018-19 sessions and presentation materials