Congratulations to all who participated in the Ideation activity at the 2017 Extension Annual Conference.  The winning idea received 35 votes from attendees:

Use augmented reality and gamification to teach emergency prep and response.  It is difficult to train our brain to respond when we haven’t experienced the event.  

Idea proposed by: Jamie Davis, Lauren Grand, Patty Driscoll, Carolyn Ashton, John Baggot, Virginia Bodeau, Lena Hosking, Lynette Black.

This group wins registration scholarships to attend the upcoming eXtension Designathon in Portland in February 2018.


The quick Ideation exercise generated many other fantastic ideas.  Scroll down for some inspiration from your peers:

Fridge Hero: 1.) App scans bar codes of foods in fridge. 2.) Suggests Food Hero Recipes. 3.) Provides tutorial videos “how to”.  4.) Food safety (food beyond expiration date or how many days still safe).  5.) Manual entry. 6.) Engage younger audience.  Table: Mary Stewart, Becca Colton, Ann Bloom, Angel Robb, Lisa Greene, Raeann Van Arsdall, Auyie Treadwell.

Work Place Wellness: throughout the day increase physical activity, spend more time outdoors. Be a role model for others- Extension office to County offices.  Research supports and increase activity, increase mental health.  App to build to remind/instruct PA with examples of ways to implement.  Table: Sally Bowman, Roberta Ropeletto, Amy Derby, Kelli Watcherson, Mike Knutz, Jeanne Brandt, Shana Withee.

Inter-Generational Housing Connections: 1.) Connecting older adults (alumni) who wish to stay in their homes with young students who cannot afford housing. 2.) Extension Gerontology (CPHHS)/ aging students will get education from the Gerontology Conference. Experiential learning opportunity.  3.) Decreased loneliness and improved mental health or both older adults and students.  4.) Relieve financial stress and improve student success and economic vitality.  Table: Jenny Rudolph, Jessica Linnell, Patrick Proden, Bridget Washburn, Brenda Draper, Sunita Vasdrew.

Create Virtual Reality Tours for use with Google Expedition. Tours would relate to Oregon and OSU and could be used to advertise programming or support programming.  Table: Melanie McCabe, Jon Gandy, Trisha White, Roxie Applebee, Andrea Leao, Didgette McCracken, Shanna Northway, Elissa Wells.

OSU Academy: Farm to table curriculum, school partnerships, and/or charter school, focus on underrepresented students. Table: Becky Munn, Christina Diaz-Toledo, Emily Henry, Amy Young, Jennifer Oppenlander, Ruth Jones, Ana Gomez-Diazgrandes, Anna Browne, Ann Harris.

Continuing Education Program for County Employees: In partnership with/AOC.  Use County collage as model.  Ethics, Leadership, Clientele services, Multi-generation workplace, diversity and equity, work/life balance.  Table: Willie Riggs, Dave Hansen, Denise Askey, Charle Beyger, Jivy Johnson, Bob Parker, Nicole Strong, Tim Deboot.

Homeless Awareness Day-OSU wide (all colleges) statewide event: Student experiential learning, sensitivity training, needs assessment. Table: Mary Corp, Sam A., Michele W., Signe, Bill B. Gail, Patricia, Brooke

Virtual Reality Interactive Publications: Learn by doing, virtually hands on, mistakes can be redone to learn how to do ‘it’ right, experience a variety of environments in comfort of your own home. Table: Robin Gullaway, Petz Schroeder, Vanessa, Marica Dickenson, Brian Tuck, Dana Martan, Carole Smith, Dushu Johusa.

Master Conservationist Program: Intergenerational pairing of youth and elders, systems level thinking about waste streams, life cycle of resources, can include many aspects such as: gray water recycling, repurposing marine debris, county office repair fairs, zero waste cooking, tool Shania (community), making your own personal care products. Table: Jenny East, Kim P., Anne H., Chris Branum, Gail Wells, Amerie L., Noelle Mills, Susan D.

Engaging in change: using our community based resources, connections, access to youth through 4-H to rebuild civic society-youth engagement in the local government, economy, and society. Hard decisions are made every day as local places adapt to and plan for change.  This program would use innovative methods to expose youth to the fabric of their local community in new ways.  Table: Mallory Rahe, Steve Renguist, Chip Bubl, Molly Engle, Jack Breen, Sue Hunt, Pat Willis.

One Oregon Pen Pals: urban rural exchange using technology (coast, eastern, urban, etc.). Classroom credit for culture, sociology, etc.  Topics core learning, share daily/weekly edited videos between pals (learn new skills, foster communication), compare contrast experiences.  Table: Deb Warnock, Bretcher Dursch, Shannon Caplan, Jenifer Cruikshank, Vince Adams, John Williams, Ann Murphy.

Sustainable Gardens: provide triangle space to demonstrate the entire process for clean, healthy, environmentally, friendly, gardening practices and food production. Provide an app showing process from seed to preparing to preserve for each crop.  Table: Linda Jones, Joyce Senior.

Gamified Augmented Reality (Experience Connecting Outdoors and Health): Partners (USDA F.S./Oregon Outdoor Rec, local business/ Sierra Club/ Community colleges. Students as co-designers/teams in locals regions (social, shareable, discoverable, engaging, incorporate aspects for accessibility).  Earn rewards and share achievements.  Call on existing extension expertise in forestry, natural resources, and econ. Development Ag, education technology, physical activity/health youth development, senior/aging population. Captive audiences: outdoor schools, 4-H.  Table: Cheryl Kirk, Siew Sun, Rich Roseburg, Allan Dennis.

OSU Branding translated into customer service: Trend of the public requires a step up in customer service. Training improvement for staff and faculty, customer service, social media interface, office environment, consistency from one of to another, dealing with challenges to program philosophy or research, positive first impressions.  Table: Squire Stien, Bondi Williams Moore, Hein Lynn, Kelly, Mike, Jan, Kristen, Wendy.

Resources to live-agriculture, water, food, housing, energy, traveling road show with OSU student developed tools and curriculum- interactive and innovative displays/games (experienced learning). What are the impacts of our life decision, electric powered vehicle or solar trailer-Electric/solar covered wagon.  Table: Victor Viegas, Lisa Gillis, Joy Jones, Nancy Kersha, Lisa Mckibbin, Wayn Jardune, Troy Dawning, Rita Bauer.

10 Ways to be diversity champions at work: Topics to develop with stake holders and add action items with local input. 1.) input 2.) Market 3.) Welcome 4.) Inclusive lesson 5.) Inclusive activities 6.) Participants share strengths 7.) Music (?) 8.) Culture klatch (weekly/monthly learning support) 9.) Advisory board- stakeholders 10.) Become member community boards.  Table: Sandy Reichhuber, Rachel Werling SOREC, Debbie Sayer, Olivia Davis, Karen Zimmermann, Patty Skinkis, Glenda Hyde.

Technology kits for “tech augmented” education with support for early adopters to ensure accessibility for all. Drones to access remote locations, GoPros attached to instructors so learners with limited mobility/disabilities can “stay” with the group-viewed from iPad with audio.  Table: Emily Anderson, Jason O’Brien, Jordan Maker, Maureen Quinn, Liz Olsen, Norma Kline, Sonia Reagan.

Mindfulness education (integrated into programming). Table: Michelle Sager, Rachel Suits, Sergio Arispe, Susan Coleman, Sara Runkel.

Hands up-build up: Cross generational programing, learning labs, capturing the richness our own elders, connecting youth with seniors, problem solving, meeting need for homeless. Table: Sherry, Karie, Honor, Pamela, Traci, Robin, Melissa, Keely, Tracy Krauss.

Google maps: include Ag info as you drive to describe locations. Table: Melanie, Jon, Trisha, Roxie, Andrea, Didgette, Shanna, Elissa.

Young farmers and fishermen with tech know-how collaborate with older farmers and fishermen to gather their wisdom and then distribute it via podcasts, YouTube, etc. Table: Phillip Brown, Bryan Major, Jung Kwon, Jovana Kovacevic, Mylen Bohle, Victoria Binning, Amy Garrett.

Food Waste Program: App that calculates food waste in homes, app that tells how to use your leftovers (recipes), repurpose food (alerts to where to take or where to go get food left at conferences), education that tells you if food is salvageable or to compost, integrate into Mastergardner and other programs. Table: Carol Tollefson, Katie Ahern, Weston Miller, Patty Case

Extension as model workplace: Extension offices model ideal workplaces and are aspirant venues from which government profit and nonprofit enterprises can learn best practices. A divers office (backgrounds, disciplines, partnerships), resources extension is multi-source, extension offices live values in their daily interactions, extension offices provide service/experimental learning opportunities for students.  They will learn what a workplace should look like.  Table: Wiley Thompson, Kaci Buhl, Toni Stephan, Lauren Gwin.

Crowd shaping: tool to collect data via technology for needs assessment and hold community meetings, listen to needs, discuss solutions, data captured and evaluated to measure risk and reward against available resources on the spot. Table: Clatsop office.

Extension Siri. Table: Alex Levin, Gordan Domec, Christy Lucas, Pami Monnette, John Punches.

AR Community College transfer tables: Mayor specific courses, transfer deadlines, admissions deadlines, transfer advisor contact.  Table: Dawn Liuerman, Sara Runkel, Michelle Sager, Sergio Arispe, Susan Coleman.

Thank you to all of the participants, creative coaches and judges who attended the 2017 Innovate Extension event!

During the event, teams were led through warmup creativity exercises and then worked to develop an innovative idea for Extension.  After the work session each team pitched their idea.  Think Shark Tank but for the work place!

Hard at work on their “Tool from Year 2217”

View more photos and videos from the event on Twitter #InnovateOSE.

Thanks to Michele Wilfred (Creative Coach from Univ. of Delaware) for live streaming the final idea pitches on her Facebook page.  Check out the recording here:

Link to recording:

Event Outcomes 

$5000 award: Teams Turquoise & The A-Team independently developed related ideas and won a combined funding award to build an “Innovation Gym”.  Their idea focuses on developing & sharing innovation skills among Extension colleagues.  (Turquoise: Jeff Choate, Ana Lu Fonseca, Weston Miller, Alice Phillips, Tim Stock, Siew Sun Wong. The A-Team: Alisha Atha, Mike Knutz, Kelli Watcherson)

Best Team effort award: Team Emerald (Jennifer Alexander & Kaci Buhl)

People’s Choice for Best Pitch award: Team Emerald (Jennifer Alexander & Kaci Buhl)

Best Creativity Exercise design & pitch award: Team Notions in Motion with the Nutriscan 5000 (Vince Adams, Shannon Caplan, Emily Henry, Melanie Mitchell, Jennifer Oppenlander) See their pitch here.

Several teams independently developed ideas that could be combined into powerhouses of innovation.  These teams were invited to combine their ideas for greater impact and apply for the newly announced O&E Innovation Awards which can provide a larger level of funding than was available for the Innovate Extension event.

Team Tourism, Team OR Master Naturalist & Team Innovation Bridgers all developed ideas focused on the overall theme of increasing engagement with Oregon’s natural resources and how Extension can provide deep, meaningful education.  (Team Tourism: Jon-Paul Bowles, Frank Burris, Jared Delay, Marcus Hinz, Pami Monnette, Miles Phillips, Mary Stewart. Team OR Master Naturalist: Glenn Ahrens, Jamie Doyle, Ann Harris, Dana Martin, Jason O’Brien, Brandy Saffell, Carole Smith, J Rachel Werling, Brad Withrow-Robinson. Team Innovation Bridgers: Emily Anderson, Daniel Leavell, Maggie Livesay, Jenna Mendenhall, Renee O’Neill, Susan Sahnow,  Patrick Willis.)

 Team Indigo & Emerald both proposed developing a version of a rapid/quick response system for responding to emerging situations.  (Team Indigo: Sam Angima, Lynette Black, Amy Schmid, Gail Wells.  Team Emerald: Jennifer Alexander & Kaci Buhl)


Presenting final pitches at the end of the work session

Thank you again to all who participated in Innovate Extension!

What will we be doing on May 23rd?

Being innovative. Spending an entire day thinking of creative solutions to our often complex challenges in Extension. Perhaps even putting together the most non-traditional funding or idea proposal you have ever created.

Here is an overview of the event timeline:

  1. Team work session  = brainstorm ways to update programs, ways of teaching/working, or just think of creative solutions to Extension challenges. The sky is the limit!
  2. Team “pitch” development. Using what resources are available to you during the event, your team will create a very brief presentation – or “pitch” – of your best idea, solution, or even prototype.
  3. Voting! All teams and others in attendance (including Scott Reed, Lindsey Shirley and other administrators) will vote for the winning team(s) based on the pitch session.
  4. The winning team(s) will go home with awesome prizes – including potential funding to turn their amazing idea into a reality! And all participants will take home some cool swag items.

Ready to register?

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!  Deadline to sign up was 4/10.

Want to know more about Innovate Extension? Check out the FAQ for all the details.

What is Innovate Extension?
Innovate Extension is a one-day event being used across the national Extension system to promote innovation among Extension faculty & staff.  The goals of the event are to:

  • Provide a day-long work session for innovative program planning.
  • Provide a fun environment conducive to creative thinking.
  • Inspire teams and individuals to update programs, change the way they work, or develop solutions to organizational challenges.
  • Provide Extension staff an opportunity to present new ideas and solutions to colleagues and administration.

When & where is the 2017 OSU Innovate Extension event being held?
Tuesday May 23rd
8 am-4:30pm
The LaSells Stewart Center on OSU Campus in Corvallis.

Who is invited to participate?
ALL Extension employees are highly encouraged to participate.  Please check in with your supervisor before signing up to ensure release time and travel expenses.  Registration is limited to 100 participants.

How much does it cost to attend?
This year’s event is free this due to the generosity of our sponsors, OSU Extension and the eXtension Foundation.  Travel expenses to Corvallis are not covered by the sponsors.

What does the agenda look like?
The day starts at 8 am.  Breakfast and lunch will be provided.  Participant teams will form up and meet their Creative Coaches.  Teams will be coached on and practice idea generation, project design, budgeting, and will develop a short pitch for the team’s idea.  Each team will present its idea pitch to a panel of judges & other participants.  Your team’s idea could be selected for funding!

How do I register for the event?
Registration is open through 4/10.  Space is limited to 100 participants so sign up today!

Do I need to sign up with a team to participate?
Nope!  Anyone who is interested in innovation in Extension is encouraged to apply.  TYou may sign up as a team or you will be assigned to a great team.

How do I sign up with a team?
We recommend that teams consist of 5-7 people: no more than 10; no fewer than 5).  Innovation is sparked from new ideas & viewpoints. Strive to make your team as diverse according to program area, work style, geographic area, job duties, and more. Choose a team name and have each team member use the name when signing up, so you can be identified as a team.

Do I or my team need to have a project idea in mind?
No, not at all.  During the Innovate Extension event you and your team will work through all stages of idea generation.  Your team will also be assigned a “Creative Coach” who will provide guidance and support.

I need a hotel room for the night.
We reserved a block of rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn.  Participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements.

Who is organizing this event?
This event is brought to you by the OSU Extension iTeam: Linda Brewer, Alan Dennis, Brooke Edmunds, Sandy Reichhuber, Patrick Proden, Victor Villegas, and Siew Sun Wong, along with Jeff Sherman (O&E) and Lindsey Shirley (Extension).  Support for this event is provided by OSU Extension and the eXtension Foundation.

Help, I still have questions!
Contact Brooke Edmunds (Innovate Extension event coordinator)

eXtension Foundation Logo
Are You an Extension Innovator?
Submit Your Concepts Now for 2017 Innovation Grants
eXtension Foundation, Inc., the U.S. Cooperative Extension System’s national resource for advancing innovation and providing professional development for Extension professionals, is seeking initial abstract proposals for prescreening for 2017 Innovation Projects funding.
Proposal Deadline is Friday, December 19th, 2016, 5:00 p.m. PST.
The Innovation Projects initiative is part of the eXtension Foundation’s mission to support experimental projects that will drive opportunities to adopt innovation in the greater Cooperative Extension System. In the 2017 round, we will award up to 10 grants of up to $10,000 each to recipients for a one-year period. Recipients will also receive support of their project from eXtension’s Innovation Lab.
To be eligible for this funding, you must be an Extension Faculty Member, Specialist, Educator, Agent or Staff Member of an eXtension Foundation Premium Member Institution.
The submission process for prescreening requires a brief abstract describing the initial project concept, plus applicant contact information. Finalists selected during prescreening will then be invited to submit expanded, complete proposals for 2017 Innovation Projects grants. All proposals will be submitted online for both the prescreening and final application processes.
For full details on 2017 Innovation Projects proposal requirements and to access to the online abstract proposal submission form, please visit
Please direct any questions about the 2017 Innovation Projects initiative or the proposal process to Jamie Seger, or Jerry Thomas,