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Entrepreneurial design – and the design thinking context
The focus of the entrepreneurship summit 2010 has been entrepreneurial design and I think the concept is convincing. Concept? Maybe there are more than one concept around under this name. Just found it linked to design thinking in a certain manner, as you can see on this page and nice video from Stanford Graduate School of Business Extreme Affordability Journal. Affordability is a central term here – since the process seems to target the “bottom of the pyramid“.
Since I was in touch with design thinking (DT) I am totally fascinated with the method. In this year I met the practitioners and “activists” at different places e.g. Potsdam HPI or the IA-Konferenz 2010, Köln (see post: “Are we Innovation Architects? Service.Design.Thinking, #IAK10“). Hey, I just realized my (subjective) “trend feeling” about DT and found evidence at Google trends:
Prof. Faltin’s stance
I found the interpretation of the term “entrepreneurial design” in the context of market dynamics quite plausible. In his keynote Prof. Faltin talked about the difference of a (complete functional) automobile and the Otto engine (as an essential technical component of a car). In this perspective the automobile is the entrepreneurial design, which enables the Otto engine to be sold. One could say it this way: Only with the automobile structure build around the Otto engine the engine is “networked” with the needs of the people. Making the explosion engine beneficial for the need of mobility. This at the same time transforms people to (automobile) customers, i.e. a new market emerges.
Maybe, that there is a whole concept cloud around “entrepreneurial design”, or that this all is just one design thinking cloud – I for my part find the Otto engine example of Prof. Faltin graphic, maybe paradigmatic.
Insight: The “Apple success” is based simply on … entrepreneurial design
Now think about the Apple success story. The competitors are shocked again and again to see that Apple wins the market with devices, that are build on components some not being state of the art. The success is based on entrepreneurial design, i.e. networking the companies ressources with the users needs, making the device a “node in the behavioral network” of the customer.
Three posts about ecological singularity and the avalanche of change
Eco-Singularity – core concept, strengths and challenges
In part II a first approach has been accomplished to define the concept of “eco-singularity”:
Eco-Singularity definition (from Part II)
Eco-Singularity is the event, when our (growing) capacity to solve the totality of anthropogenic problems is superseded by the volume of the (growing) totality of anthropogenic problems. (Part II)
The definition’s strength is that it meets the intuition, that there is a race between the problem elements of the system (total biosphere) and the solution elements of the system (total biosphere). There are some challenges of the concept – find more about it in the appendix beneath.
Scenarios and insights: Will we have the innovation avalanche we need to survive our own technology?
I will unfold the main scenarios in some future post. For the moment the most important insight is, that there is a high uncertainty concerning the “innovation race of mankind”. Some more insights in no special order:
- Industrialization 1.0: With the global spreading of technology and industrial production the consumtion of natural ressources is growing and environmental pollution is increasing – as everyone knows.
- Industrialization 2.0: We find the secondary technologies to avoid unwanted effects nearly everywhere on the globe: filter technologies to avoid emissions, sewage plants to keep the water clean, recycling infrastructure etc.
- Only deeds count: The extent of neutralization clearly is dependent on the technology, innovation generation, effectiveness and especially the actual application of the technology.
The two avalanches: Problem system and solution system interacting
- Dynamic picture: There is a race of the two avalanches – and this is a more complex picture than thinking about the “limits of growth”. “Limit thinking” is right to point to the fundamental fact, that the planet’s material ressources are … limited.
- Do not underscore the innovation factor: We are part of a naturally limited system, right. But technological innovations of all kind can shift the limits dramatically. E.g. when re-cycling valuable ressources, what is done routinely, the same atoms can be used again and again. It is a different question, whether this is done to an adequate extent and whether it is possible in a energy- and cost-efficient way.
- Disruptive innovations are needed: With China, India, Russia and Brazil (the socalled BRIC nations) increasing their metabolism with nature we find that the Industrialization 2.0 standard efforts are not capable to compensate for the “problem input” to the biosphere. The resistance to some (rather weak) CO2 treaty is a good indicator of the mismatch. Probably we need disruptive innovations to reach the goals. We then might come back to some sustainable metatboilism with our biosphere – if it is possible anyway.
The message: Think innovativeness beyond technological innovation!
If you realize the trouble we are in, you might be a bit discouraged. Everyday some 130 species are extinct for ever – this is 1.000 times more than the natural extinction rate, i.e. 100.000%. Every acre of land which is deforested, will cost us so much more to re-forest … and so on.
But there is reason for hope: The creativity of the human being and the human culture is incredibly huge! Today we see the investments of hundreds of billions in the technological sector of innovation. We have to seriously add other sectors of innovation:
- Social innovation: New ways of working, sustainable lifestyle, happiness driven “social layout”
- Political innovation: New ways of opinion-forming, decision making, politcal representation
- Economical innovation: New sustainable business models, new ways to create value chains
If you look around you will find a lot of signals and drivers of change.
- Social innovation examples: Crowdsourcing, Coworking places, “transition towns” …
- Political innovation examples: netbased debate, Liquid Democracy platform, civil society, (weak signal of “new civil dissent”: “Stuttgart21 protests” in Germany) …
- Economical innovation examples: (macro)wikinomics, microfinance and microwork platforms …
Together with convergent innovative technological solutions we might be witness of the birth of some new socio-economical “blueprint” leading to global sustainable society – before selfmade “eco-singularity” is winning against ourself.
Update! 2010-11-02 – Thank you very much Ralf!
There are more and more people, who understand the core problem. Yesterday somehow marginalized by the “leaders”, today they are literaly entering the stage: E.g. Leaders listening to thoughtleader Otto Scharmer at World Economic Forum, China 2010
Update: Great, here is the embeddable version of the video (skip to the 8th minute for Scharmer):
Update! 2010-11-04 – Wolff Horbach (Business Blog innovativ.in) has done an interwiew
Wolff Horbach (Business Blog innovativ.in) asked me about my analyses and theses, thanks a lot!
Wolff Horbach helps people and enterprises to understand the dynamics of … happiness, Everyone wants it, nobody really knows and understands it. Isn’t it a goal and a ressource at the same time? He has writen a book too (German), find more about it here: Faktor G - Glückliche Mitarbeiter. Glückliche Kunden. Glückliche Unternehmen.
Challenges of the eco-singularity concept (in the perspective of hard science)
The definition’s weakness partly lies in the “limits of measurement”: How to measure “problem volumes” and “solution capacity”? There is a overwhelming complexity in both parameters. We have intuitions that a problem A (having cancer) is “bigger” than a problem B (having cought a cold), and that a solution A (teaching safe driving) has more capacity than a solution B (teaching to avoid traffic controls). This means that some “soft” metrics should be possible. There is a first list of complexity issues:
- (a) the vast amount of options,
- (b) causal interdependency of choices (combining two optima sometimes leads to a suboptimal global solution),
- (c) value dependency (the moral value coordinates determine the rating and ranking of problems and solutions)
- (d) self-referentiality and non-linearities
There might be some more intricacies, but we can set all this aside for the moment since the concept at first is useful to understand the “big picture” of global technological history. It will be useful as a kind of world view or cognitive tool even if the details of the defining features have to be worked out.
- 2010-11-01 Some minor changes in spelling, hyperlinking some words. adding second graphics
- 2010-11-04 linking the three posts
Three posts about ecological singularity and the avalanche of change