The efficiency mindset – appealing, but treacherous

Much of the public debate about innovation is centred on the corporate world, where share-holder value still rules supreme, and where innovation is the key avenue to keep the competitive advantage required to excel in the market. In this environment, efficiency is the prime driver. However, his mindset asks us to implement solutions quickly. The result can be too much emphasis on solutions with too little concern for the underlying problems; too much doing with too little thinking. And that has some unintended, hideous side-effects and long-term implications.

The risks of economic narrow-mindedness

It is all too tempting to judge an economy’s health simply by its growth rate. No big wonder then that many economic policies are devised with growth as their only goal. However, this approach grossly simplifies the complexity of an economy’s inner workings. Rather than searching for the one perfect signal of economic success, we should take the opposite angle and try to understand what could go wrong. Today, I’ll offer a more detailed sketch of this concept to illustrate how our own economic narrow-mindedness makes us susceptible to economic failure, i.e., how a singular focus on growth blinds us for many important aspects of economic health.

The Nature of Economies – What Jane Jacobs tells us about innovation

In ‘The Nature of Economies’, Jane Jacobs provides a view on a number of important aspects that often go unrecognised. Starting from her insights on an economy’s main processes, the control mechanisms at work, and the fitness of an economy, we can take a comprehensive look at innovation targets, i.e., the types of problems our society needs to solve.

What’s an economy – According to Jane Jacobs

Lots has been said and written about the economy and how it works, most if it in the specific terminology of economics. It took somebody with a very broad spectrum of interests, insights and ideas to develop a more natural narrative, somebody like the journalist, author, and activist Jane Jacobs. In “The Nature of Economies”, she offers a conceptual description of economies that is entirely based on the very same natural principles that govern chemistry, mechanics, and biology, and a fresh perspective on how economies thrive or fail. This post is a tribute to her work.

Rethinking value

Our values shape our views of life, of good and bad, of right and wrong. We hold our values dear as guiding stars that give us fundamental orientation. They are the long-standing core of our cultures, traditions, and beliefs. And over time, we have constructed our social, economic and legal institutions on the foundation of shared values.
However, our values have changed drastically in the historic past. And I’ll argue that they will morph again in the near future as the Digital Revolution is in full swing.