Agency can only exist within a given context, and the same applies to agents themselves. These concrete environments or abstract situations can take many different forms, that are introduced here.
With the 'target list' of natural and artificial agents in mind, and focusing on their common characteristics, I can now propose a working definition of agency. At its core, agency is the ability to act. And that action has certain qualities: it serves some purpose, it has a direction towards some utility. Today, I'll offer a short defining phrase and then unpack its meaning piece by piece.
Socio-technical systems as artificial agents
This third group of artificial agents sits somewhere between organization and technology, as a blend of both. To understand the agency of socio-technical systems, it is helpful to remember that they belong to the complex adaptive systems. They are open, dynamic, and nonlinear; and they exhibit emergence and resilience.
Studies in innovation – An initial curriculum
In order to frame the concept of innovation literacy, today I’ll try to sketch a curriculum for “Studies in Innovation”, focussing on “How to think about innovation?” My story line will build on three guiding questions: What is the world around us made up of? How does that world behave? And how do we act in this world? While I'll keep my focus on the needs of innovators and policy makers, I believe the essence of this little programme should be of interest to a wider audience.
How change begets more change
Back in 2002, Carlota Perez published an original, daring and bold concept that describes our long-term social development. For her, technology, economy, and society each play a vital role, each of them by itself drives change, as much as it is driven by the changes of the others. Here’s a very initial introduction to her thinking.