Where did growth come from?

… or more precisely, where did the idea of growth come from? That’s one of the questions I’ve been fascinated with for a long time. And reading Joel Mokyr’s recent A Culture of Growth, I feel like getting closer to an answer. Before and after the Industrial Revolution With the benefit of historical hindsight, and at a […]

The multitude of technology choices

Usually we do not realise it, but our relation with technology is far from simple. Not only at the macro-level, such as the interactions between social media and society, but also for every individual. Today I’ll try to cast some light on our personal technology choices: How do we as individuals pick the “right” technology? What influences our […]

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 – The crucial interplay

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been pondering over the observations of Geoffrey West and his team. 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: What do animals and plants, companies and cities have in common? West’s key findings In this quest for […]

Cities, companies, and innovation – Why companies will die

Geoffrey West started his scientific career as a theoretical physicist before he shifted his attention to complex adaptive systems. He focused on interdisciplinary research with a specific interest in the commonalities that social systems share with biological systems: Could it be that cities or companies actually follow the same underlying principles like plants or animals? Is London a great big whale? Is Walmart […]