Professionally and personally, Nathan Klassen is involved with innovation.

This Friday evening (Apr. 8), he will be discussing it in the context of community at an in-person session of Cochrane Ideas.

It's open to all interested people and is being held at King Solomon Lodge, 120 Centre Ave., starting at 7 p.m.

Klassen is a senior manager for CP Rail's Innovation & Business Transformation group. He's also one of the founders of Cochrane Innovations.

Drawing upon his learning and experience, he will provide insight into key contributors to the successful release of innovation at a community level, including real-world examples.

Klassen says innovation isn't prescriptive like a baking recipe, but there are some key mindsets, characteristics, and behaviours that allow for its release.

While tech companies like 4iiii, Garmin, and mcThings come to mind when we hear the word innovation, it has a much broader application.

"I've said it all along that there is a lot of innovation already happening in Cochrane. I think as we lay the foundation for Innovate Cochrane, there are some key thoughts that I'm having about what do we want Innovate Cochrane to be and to do in the community. This will be a little bit of a precursor, the DNA of Innovate Cochrane."

Questions and a group discussion will follow. Klassen says this in itself is a key part of innovation.

"Some of the content I'll be presenting is how do we make space for other people's thoughts, other people's experiences? When we do, that's one of the key ways we'll see bigger outcomes, so that will definitely be part of the evening."

Innovation Cochrane is currently finalizing its nonprofit organization status, confirming its board, and establishing its first physical location.

"We have a first space in the community that we're about to launch within the next week or two, so that's very exciting as we wait for The Station to be finished."

He says more details will follow within a few weeks.

Cochrane Ideas meets monthly to discuss a broad range of relevant topics.

Guest speakers and discussions over the years have focused on economic, social, environmental, political, historical, biographical, creative, artistic, personal, gender-based, religious, and spiritual topics.