What is Connected Ink? Why is Creative Chaos so important? Why do we continue asking questions?
How Connected Ink is perceived differs among Wacom’s team members. Nobu Ide, President and CEO of Wacom, believes that each of our thoughts is one aspect of the Connected Ink polyhedron. Are you wondering what other aspects exist? Here is a peek into one of these elements, ignited by a spark among the team members.
The first team member is Heidi Wang. Heidi has played a key role in the planning and operations of Connected Ink back when it all began in 2016. As Senior Vice President of the Ink Division, she and her team are central drivers of new innovations and experiences when it comes to developing software technology. How does Heidi see Connected Ink?
*Connected Ink is an event that Wacom has been organizing since 2016 for the purpose of exploring new directions in art, human expression, learning, and the technology that supports them by asking questions.
You have been involved in Connected Ink since day one. What kind of initiative is it?
Heidi: At the time, I was involved in the development of software technology and had a strong vision to connect with partners closer to Wacom. We started Connected Ink for exactly that reason – to bring our partners together so we could share our mutual visions and achievements.
When we set our sights on Creative Chaos in 2020, it represented our ever-evolving efforts to connect with a wider range of partners, not only in the manufacturing and technology industries but also in the areas of education and creative communities. Over the past few years, we have also added the aspect of integrating more social values with Wacom’s commitment to “Life-long Ink.”
How is Connected Ink connected to Life-long Ink?
Heidi: In my personal interpretation of Life-long Ink, it is about what Wacom can contribute through our technology, products, and experiences. This is not only about growing Wacom’s business, it is also deeply connected to what Connected Ink means to me: delivering real value for humans. For example, together with our partners in education, we are constantly discussing how we can develop our technology, products, and experiences to help children have better learning environments and become more creative. Another important topic is how we can make this type of education accessible for more children, regardless of their economic circumstances.
Connected Ink can serve as the point of connection or as a complementary platform. A space where, together with our partners and communities, we can bring our message to the public with very tangible projects and outcomes. We believe in humans and that’s why Wacom sees Connected Ink as a platform for delivering the Life-long Ink values that we want to put out into the world.
What does Creative Chaos mean to you?
Heidi: It is something very positive. I believe that innovation only comes from chaos. And in the context of Connected Ink, Creative Chaos is something magical. We would like to help facilitate that, through Connected Ink, people with different perspectives and backgrounds meet and find something meaningful together. This is what Creative Chaos means to me.
Can you share one of the magical moments that came out of Creative Chaos?
Heidi: One story that immediately comes to mind is the performance given by the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra and LIMITS in 2020 when we started Creative Chaos. This was the first real magical moment for me because it was a collaboration between two different worlds: classical music and speed drawing. I just kept saying “wow!” over and over again as the music and drawing were happening at the same time. Another magical moment was how our business partners positively reacted and appreciated that Wacom isn’t only interested in talking about business.
What do the questions mean for Connected Ink?
Heidi: It’s like energy for me. I personally believe that questions at Connected Ink are not about finding answers, but rather seeking motivation. These questions are supposed to open up a shared dialogue. I believe that questions give us energy and motivate everyone to connect to the questions with the overall purpose of contributing to – and becoming part of – this Creative Chaos.
On the other hand, some people are trying to look for the answer.
Heidi: That’s right. It's very natural that we think differently, and that is the beauty of humans. Connected Ink welcomes all types of people. There may be people who come to find answers, some who think they don't understand, and others who don’t resonate with the event. We are all different and we should respect those differences.
What attracts you to Connected Ink?
Heidi: It's a meeting full of surprises. Every year we have new people, new sessions and new ways of expression, which makes it surprising and exciting to me. The process is the same every year, but the outcome is always different.
Another reason is that Connected Ink is an initiative that we are building together with many team members across regions and divisions. It’s an opportunity to learn about – and acknowledge – our team members’ passion and hard work. It feels electrifying to me and our team members that we get to do this together.
How do you see Connected Ink in the future?
Heidi: I expect it will be more about connecting with team members and having more of a regional flair. Connected Ink started with the traditional event format and we have been learning from each of these experiences. We will continue improving it so that everyone can focus on how enjoyable Connected Ink is, both for those who participate and those who plan it.
It also shares a lot of connections to Life-long Ink. I would like Connected Ink to be able to give equal chances to communities to raise their unique voices, ideas and expressions that they otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to share.
What does Connected Ink mean to you?
Heidi: I love it like my own child. I have been helping grow Connected Ink from its inception. It is also a nice way to end the year, an opportunity where we can acknowledge the year’s hard work with our partners and community. Connected Ink has become increasingly important for both Wacom and me, which gives us the energy to move forward.