Cities, companies, and innovation – An emerging narrative

The work of Geoffrey West and his team is truly fascinating. In their cross-disciplinary research on complex adaptive systems, they looked for common underlying principles that could be applicable to biological systems and social systems alike. Of course I’m particularly interested in West’s observations on social systems like cities and companies; and the different roles they play in innovation. Today, […]

Cities, companies, and innovation – Prologue

It’s rather rare that I’m immediately fascinated when I hear about an idea for the first time, but Geoffrey West’s 2011 TED talk about The surprising math of cities and corporations really stunned me. A theoretical physicist and former president of the Santa Fe Institute, West’s quest is for a genuine science of cities, based on universal principles, with quantifiable […]

No future for employment?

Every now and then you come across a truly eye-opening piece of writing that you just need to share with as many people as you possibly can. For me, such revelation came with Derek Thompson’s A World without Work, published in the July/August issue of The Atlantic. So don’t be surprised that this post is shamelessly advertising Thompson’s thorough […]

The effects of decentralisation in the innovation landscape

The decentralisation of resource flows has significant effects of the roles of the innovation protagonists. Even though the innovation landscape itself essentially remains unchanged, the interactions across that landscape evolve toward unprecedented dynamics. The innovation landscape is shaped along two axes: problems that demand for a solution, and ideas for potential solutions. Within that landscape, we then find four different […]

How decentralisation enhances our innovation capacity

A few months ago, I started to take a deeper look into resource flows and how their patterns evolved over time. What the emerging flow patterns for information, energy, and material all have in common is the strong trend towards the decentralisation of distribution networks, which over time led to a genuine democratisation of access. As a result, today everybody can […]