Innovation – Our force for change

Innovation has become a major buzzword of our time, often with almost mystical properties ascribed. This essay is my attempt to demystify that buzz – in 500 words.

Gaining insights

What happens when a sudden insight strikes you? The cognitive psychologist Gary Klein wanted to understand exactly that “light bulb moment”. What do we think, how do we think in such a moment? What leads us to having an insight?

Exploring the adjacent possible – Next steps

Steven Johnson investigated the types of environment that nourish fledgeling innovations, and presented his analysis in “Where Good Ideas Come From”. In his conclusions he explores the available data on about 200 of the most important good ideas of the past 600 years and derives some insightful advice for fostering innovation in the 21st century.

Exploring the adjacent possible – Conditions for success

What makes innovation flourish? Which types of environment let new ideas thrive? Science author Steven Johnson delves into exactly these questions in “Where Good Ideas Come From”. Here’s what he found.

Exploring the adjacent possible – What we should expect from technology

As innovators, we build our future progress on our predecessors’ past achievements thanks to humankind’s unique capability of social learning, of sharing experiences and ideas. Today, we rely heavily on computers, databases, and the internet to facilitate and accelerate whatever we do. And that includes our social learning capabilities and our creative skills. Hence it’s high time to critically assess technology’s impact and to formulate our expectations: How do we employ technology to support our innovative endeavours? What do we demand? And what can we realistically hope for?

Exploring the adjacent possible – How we make progress

We have everything today that we need to shape tomorrow. All the ingredients for our future are available to us in the here and now. That is the very essence of progress: the future flows from the past, we shape it on the foundation of the past. We “only” need to find out how we can best combine the available ingredients to get the next task done. That’s what we call progress. And we can make progress in different ways …