It’s that time of the year again. No, it’s not Christmas yet 🤣 . I’m talking about carnival, the legendary 5th season in Central Switzerland! 🎭🇨🇭 So what can we learn from carnival regarding innovation? 🤔

Carnival is a cultural celebration that has a long tradition. Over time, carnivals have evolved and changed in response to the changing needs and desires of the people who participate in them. What can be learned regarding innovation is(*) :

  1. Embrace change: Carnivals have always adapted and evolved in response to changing times. In order to stay relevant and exciting, it is important to be open to change and new ideas.
  2. Be creative: Carnivals are known for their colorful and extraordinary costumes. To be innovative, it is important to be creative and think outside of the box.
  3. Encourage participation: Carnivals are communal events that encourage participation from all members of the community. Like in innovation… To foster a culture of innovation, it is important to create opportunities for people to get involved and contribute their ideas and energy.
  4. Celebrate diversity: Carnivals bring together people from different backgrounds and cultures. A key driver for innovation is diversity, so it is important to embrace and celebrate differences in order to foster a creative and innovative environment.
  5. Embrace risk-taking: Many aspects of carnival, such as the elaborate costumes and daring performances, require a willingness to take risks. In order to drive innovation, it is important to have the courage to take risks and try new things.
  6. Better together: Carnivals often bring together different groups of people who work together to create a common goal. This demonstrates the importance of collaboration in innovation, as it allows people with different skills and perspectives to work together to solve problems and create new solutions.
  7. Experiment, experiment, experiment: Carnivals provide a space for experimentation and trying new things. Live your crazyness! This mindset of experimentation is crucial for innovation, as it encourages people to take chances and test new ideas, even if they may fail.
  8. Build a community/tribe: Carnivals serve as a way for communities to come together and connect with each other. This sense of community is important for innovation, as it provides a supportive environment for people to share ideas and work together.
  9. Continuous improvement: Carnivals are a yearly event that continues to evolve and improve over time. This highlights the importance of a continuous process of improvement in innovation, as it is necessary to constantly evaluate and refine ideas to make them better.
  10. Have fun: Carnivals are known for their playful and joyful atmosphere. This sense of playfulness is important in innovation, as it allows people to approach challenges with a lighthearted and creative mindset, which can lead to breakthrough solutions.

(*) list by author in collaboration with ChatGPT 🥳

Cultural appropriation

Be aware: What used to be funny may not be today. 😱

ChatGPT on cultural appropriation:

“Carnival costumes are often borderline because they are a caricature of something. This was funny for decades, only the “woke” people react angrily. Reasons? Carnival costumes can sometimes be controversial because they may be seen as a form of cultural appropriation or insensitive representation of a particular group. Some costumes can be seen as exaggerating cultural or ethnic stereotypes, which can be offensive and perpetuate harmful myths and prejudices. The rise of the “woke” cultural movement has led to a greater awareness of issues related to cultural appropriation and representation. Many people now see the harm that can be caused by perpetuating stereotypes and negative cultural representations, and are therefore more sensitive to this type of content.
Additionally, the increased visibility and representation of minority groups in society has made people more aware of the need for respectful and accurate representation of different cultures. This increased awareness and sensitivity to issues of representation is part of a broader shift towards greater cultural sensitivity and inclusiveness. It’s important to be mindful of the impact that our actions and words can have on others, and to respect the cultural heritage and traditions of different groups. In the context of carnival costumes, this may mean being more careful in our choice of costume and avoiding those that are likely to be seen as offensive or insensitive.”


We know it’s carnival. Carnival is a lot about fun. And regarding the creative and caricaturial spirit, I think we can turn another blind eye. 🤷
So be it. I am going back in time and will jump in my fancy flower-power suit. And as a family we are going to be penguins. A lovely penguin family 🐧. Hope the penguins don’t mind.


Overall, the lessons from carnival regarding innovation demonstrate the importance of embracing change, being creative, encouraging participation, celebrating diversity, embracing risk-taking, collaborating, experimenting, building community, continually improving, and incorporating joy and playfulness into the innovation process.

Featured Image: by Flavio De Roni x Dall-E (Human and AI)


Master in Business Innovation. B.Sc. Business Engineering|Innovation. Blogger. Traveller. Product Owner. Technology Strategy Manager. #ginvibes. Knight of Taste. Sports enthusiast. Foodie. Creative Kid. #iger. The guy behind inspiique.


Leave a Reply