Education is the key to everything, says Georges Sand.

On The Go Georges Sand
On The Go Georges Sand

On The Go Georges Sand

On the go is your weekly innovation story inspired from elsewhere.

I happen to live where Georges Sand was born and spent most of her life. I just finished reading her novel “Mauprat”, which takes place just a few kilometres away from me, but 200 years ago. How did this place look like at that time? Honestly, I presume pretty much the same as today… “a savage sadness” as Georges Sand puts it, landscapes which will not necessarily be beautiful to most people but hold a specific beauty to you.

“A savage sadness” would perfectly describe the novel “Mauprat”. It is the very long story of a once outlaw who was granted freedom, security and love for saving a young lady from his fellow thieves, and being educated by this young lady. I say it’s very long because it’s written in 19th Century style, which I do appreciate, but seriously, it’s a lot of words.

Nevertheless, the very last page, on top of a handful of passages in the second half of the novel, is full of philosophic, religious, social, political, revolutionary thoughts from the author (bear in mind Georges Sand was a woman writing under a man nickname). It brings a complete different view to the story and actually propulses it centuries ahead.

 

“Education can and must find a solution for everything; that is the core issue, defining an education that answers individual and specific needs. General and common education seems necessary, does-it necessarily mean it should be the same for all?” (…) “Until the problem of defining an education common to all of us, while adapted to each of us, make sure you correct each other. You ask me how, my answer will be short: by loving each other”.

 

She also has this interesting thought a few pages earlier in the voice of the main character, Bernard, who has now become an old man telling long stories about his life close to a fireplace.

 

“Seek to find a honest, severe friend; and don’t love the one who flatters you, but the one who corrects you.”

 

I believe this is somehow a good way of living while accepting others imperfections. Maybe there’s something we need to change in ourselves, maybe the fact that others challenge us with a different standpoint isn’t negative, but pushing us further. Bernard Mauprat symbolizes this society I suppose Georges Sand would have liked to live in, where people would share knowledge and evolve because they care for each other, because they learn from differences, and eventually leave “savage sadness” to create some sort of beauty of their own, but together.

While I’m not sure whether we managed to build such a society two centuries later, I am definitely certain her thoughts are still inspiring. At least I hope they were for you.

 

Have a nice week-end.

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Posted in On the go, Uncategorized

Ladies first? Women and Innovation, the latest trends

InnoTrends Women and Innovation

InnoTrends is a monthly trends analysis by innovation segments.

This month has been a lot about how to better integrate female workers in the IT industry. Three main events for that: Silicon Valley’s top companies unveiling the massive women shortage among their resources and assets, triggering a range of supportive programs to increase the number of girls to follow STEM related degrees at universities and schools, and a whole lot of women prizes, including youngest Nobel Prize ever, Malala.  

A shared sense of emergency

InnoTrends Sense of Emergency

InnoTrends Sense of Emergency

Fighting Clichés

Press and Medias

Press and Medias

In Les Echos, Julie Le Bolzer explains how Valérie Rocoplan tried to investigate professional stereotypes on women at work. She mentions emotivity, lack of availability and authority as being the main clichés. She argues that women are workers as any others, with different backgrounds and set of experiences and skills. As a way to develop feminine presence on boards, she advises ladies to create their own management style. Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, committed an impactful communication mistake when allegedly advising women to wait before they ask for a pay rise, as Julien L. from Numerama explains. He then apologised via Twitter to publicly recognise that the inequalities between men and women at work had to end. As Le Monde reminds, only 29% of Microsoft employees are women. Kathie Johnston from The Boston Globe reminds how personal attitudes related to men-women relations at work were strongly impacted by clichés. It creates “fear of being offensive” for men, or being told “they’re hard to work with” as women. Sarah Ellison, senior economics lecturer at MIT said about the research she co-authored on diversity and workers happiness: “they liked the idea of diversity more than they likes actual diversity”.  The diversity issue isn’t spread evenly across sectors and company size, as explains Naomi Shavin from Forbes: “Larger companies with revenues promote more women, but globally, the percentage that do so is still only 49%, and in the US, it’s 44%”. In London, the issue has led Mark Boelat from The Guardian to highlight KPMG’s comments on women at work: “Technology companies with more women in their management teams have a 34% higher return on investment.”

Challenging metrics

Innovation Experts

Innovation Experts

Ann Stars from Innovation Policy reminds that in poorer part of the world, women are still struggling to find health services during pregnancy and for their newborns. A great part of these women isn’t able to access family planning advice or medication. “Various UN bodies have been working intensely over the past year to mold the post-2015 development agenda. It is encouraging to see that, thus far, sexual and reproductive health has been included in most drafts and discussions related to the Sustainable Development Goals.”, concludes the author. For his part, Roberto Baldwin from The Next Web reminds that diversity with a great D remains a challenge, with ethnicity as another driver. “In addition to being 71 percent male, the overall company is 60.6 percent Caucasian, 28.9 percent Asian, 5.1 percent Hispanic/Latino, 3.5 percent African American/Black, with the remaining 2 percent identifying as multi-racial, American Indian/Alaska Native and Hawaiian/Pacific Islander.”

Changing the game

Schools and Institutes

Schools and Institutes

Francesca Dino from the Harvard Business Review explains how training for diversity proved less efficient than “efforts that established responsibility for diversity (such as diversity committees and diversity staff positions) were more effective and were followed by increases in diversity”. The efforts leading to attracting more women in IT industry would even have to challenge current rules, as Nigel Nicholson from London Business School explains: “We will never get more women into leadership so long as we persist in organising in ways that suit the biases of the competitive boys currently gaming the system, even when it’s not the best way to run things.” Lynda Gratton, her colleague from London Business School, explains how “To truly embrace diversity we must first be able to appreciate difference.”

Design Mindfulness

Research and Consulting Firms

Research and Consulting Firms

Albert Allen Bartlett from McKinsey explains in following interview for Tom Peters how  “the greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.” To overcome this shortcoming, explains further in the interview the importance of using both technologies and face to face meetings to get to know talents inside companies, not only through video conferencing but also by meeting “the human part”. He adds that women have a distinctive trait of “knowing how to do the workaround” that few men can deploy and sees benefits in including more women in teams to shortcut ideas that take a long time to roll-out and explain. To maintain organization flowing together, details in communication, finding the right allies and developing sustainable growth are key.

Getting things right

InnoTrends Getting things right

InnoTrends Getting things right

Philanthropy

Schools and Institutes

Schools and Institutes

The first solution is to look closer, as Jacki Zehner from the Stanford Social Innovation review explains: “To apply a gender lens is to deeply examine how culturally entrenched gender norms affect women and men differently, and then take these distinctions into account when identifying both the problems and the solutions. Applying a gender lens is about more effective philanthropy.” Shira Mor, from the Harvard Business Review, thinks that women can succeed only if they managed to combine their personal and professional personalities “not as in conflict, but as fundamentally compatible”. Could sport be another workaround to integrate women on the C-suite? Nanette Fondas reveals on HBR blog that a study conducted by EY Women Athletes Business Networks shows “women executives who once played competitive sports, in college or elsewhere, prefer to hire other people with athletics in their background”. Indeed, women are getting organized to offset current trend. Wharton University explains how in the midst of Silicon Valley women sharing experience and looking for constructive solutions, Vivek, who worked on a research on women and IT, could hear “a very positive message overall, and I’m hoping that they will inspire thousands of women now to take their rightful role in the innovation economy and to save the world.” Joan C Williams explains on Harvard Business Review how we should use bias interrupters to intentionally change cultural behaviours towards women. As she says, “First, bias interrupters are based on objective metrics, whereas cultural initiatives tend to rely on earnest conversations. Second, interrupters are iterative, so they allow companies to try small interventions and then scale them up. Last, interrupters build change into the basic business systems that perpetuate bias, so they are less likely to disappear when a new CEO decides that diversity is not an imperative.”

Unlocking girls’ greatness

Innovation Experts

Innovation Experts

Innovation experts report on outstanding initiatives that are taking place in the world to enable more girls to attend school. TED mentions in particular the testimony of Malala Yousafzai’s father relating how important it is that all children in the world attends school, young girls in particular. Young girls like his own daughter, Malala, whose life has been threaten just because she wanted to go to school. Another Nobel Prize winner, Leyma Gbowee, tells about her life transformation and her will to unleash potential of girls around the world. In a recent video, Malala Yousafzai herself encourage young girl to learn coding during the Europe Code Week organised in October.

Filling the gap

Press and Medias

Press and Medias

According to Selena Larson from ReadWrite, the BRAID program will help filling computer science classrooms with more young girls by providing 15 universities “$30,000 a year for three years to implement programs similar to the one that helped Harvey Mudd achieve 40% female enrollment in computer science classrooms. Facebook, Google, Intel and Microsoft have committed to funding the program”. Michael Carl from WND reports on a research that highlights the link between freedom of religion and women freedom. Upon Malala Yousafzai win of Nobel Prize, the president of the Swedish Committee that awarded her this exceptional distinction reminded in Les Echos that “children need to go to school, instead of being financially exploited”. In following article for Fast Company, Samantha Cole introduces five women entrepreneurs who share their best advice for young girls to pursue their career. The five advice share a common belief: we can only be successful if we accept to be who we are. And for some of us, it means being a lady. Even universities play the new game, as reports Lindsay Gilpin from Tech Republic. She mentions that “ For the first time since the school has been keeping records, there were more women than men (106 to 104) enrolled into an introductory computer science course for the spring 2014 semester at University of California Berkeley. The class changed the name from “Introduction to Symbolic Programming” to “Beauty and the Joy of Computing,” and female enrollment increased by 50%.” Once filled with knowldege and sure of who they are, all women need to do is to step-up. Nancy Vonk, on Fast Co-Create, writes that “Stage fright or any other barrier to the kind of visibility that means the advancement you deserve can be tackled today. Step one is knowing that life’s not fair. Let’s all get over it, and get what we want.

Market changes

Customers and Influencers

Customers and Influencers

Rules of markets have changed as well. As Valeria Murgich explains for Merca2.0, “40% of console games are women players and one out of five Wii players are aged 45-64 years old.”

Inspiring for STEM

Science and Technology Experts

Science and Technology Experts

In order to encourage young girls into STEM subjects in schools, associations have started “coding parties” in Washington DC. As Lauren Mafeo reports for The Next Web, “These programs, as well as the Made with Code parties, are an extension of a six-week summer camp that is hosted in partnership with Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu and Lockheed Martin. And the nonprofit also offers SHE-E-O Career Days, where their girls “speed network” with women in STEM careers. Thus far, more than 100 girls have networked with women at companies like Cisco, NASA, Exxon, and more.”  

Ladies who went first

InnoTrends Ladies who went first

InnoTrends Ladies who went first

Business Intelligence

Companies

Companies

Antivia software has presented a list of the most influential women in business intelligence. Among them, you’ll find: Mico Yuk, Founder and President at Everything Xcelsius ; Jen Underwood, Founder and Principal Consultant, Impact; Piyanka Jain, CEO of Aryng Consulting; Yvonne Jones, Data Integration Director at Shire Pharmaceuticals; Claudia Imhoff, Founder and President of Intelligent Solutions. The full list is available here.

Women entrepreneurs

Innovation Experts

Innovation Experts

Innovation experts also share their best women contacts among entrepreneurs and IT partners. On the entrepreneurs list, Norman Rozenberg from Project Eve, mentions:

  1. “Barbara Lynch Gruppo: Ask anyone who lives in Boston and he or she will rave about chef Barbara Lynch’s namesake company, which operates some of the city’s most prestigious—and profitable—restaurants and bars. Since opening her first eatery in 1998, the steakhouse No. 9 Park, Lynch has continued to draw crowds and critical acclaim, both in Beantown and beyond.
  2. LearnVest: LearnVest, which offers financial planning and budgeting guidance, was founded in 2009 by Alexa von Tobel. The certified financial planner (C.F.P.) has guided the company to success over the past five years, as she has raised more than $70 million in financing and spearheaded initiatives that have led to explosive growth in its customer base.
  3. Rent The Runway: Co-founders Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss dreamt up the concept behind Rent The Runway while they were classmates at Harvard Business School. On a trip home to New York City, Hyman was inspired by her sister’s frustration at not being able to afford a designer dress for an upcoming wedding. Rent The Runway was born of that need, as the company allows its more than 3.5 million members to rent dresses for a much smaller fee than they would normally cost at retail.
  4. Eventbrite: Eventbrite is an online ticketing service that lets organizers plan, set up, and market various events. Co-founded by Julia Hartz, the company also lets users buy and sell tickets on the platform, which has both processed billions of dollars worth of ticket sales and expanded into more than 175 countries. Hartz, who serves as the company’s president, has played an instrumental role in Eventbrite’s success, as she oversees its growth and in-house strategies”.

About women in tech, Craig Newmark posted below names on his blog Craig Connects:

  1. Kelly Hoey, @jkhoey, is a strategist, speaker, startup board member and angel investor focused on social/digital and the human motivations which fuel innovation. A connection-maker, networking strategist and expert community builder, Kelly is known for her leadership in building valuable professional networks, understanding the dynamics of engaged communities and the “how” of raising visibility, online and off.
  2. Women Who Hack, @WomenWhoHack, are casual get togethers for women who want to hack on projects with or around other women. All types of projects (software and hardware), languages, platforms and experience levels are welcome. Their goal is to support local women hackers (and aspiring hackers) by providing a safe, welcoming environment in which they can connect with and learn from each other. They’re based in Portland, OR.
  3. Kimberly Scott, @COMPUGIRLS, is the Founder of COMPUGIRLS, a culturally responsive technology program for adolescent (ages 13-18) girls from under-resourced school districts in Phoenix and Colorado. Kimberly is also Associate Professor of Women and Gender studies at Arizona State University and an Affiliate Faculty in George Mason University’s Center for Digital Media Innovation and Diversity”.

Talents and prizes

Press and Medias

Press and Medias

The list of successful women and young girls goes on in press and medias. Some names stand out as being a little more well-known, but all deserve to be mentioned as contributors to women success in science, biology, peace and fight for education, mathematics, finance and technology in Africa. The Guardian presents 5 talented women in Open Source, including “Carol Smith, Google, a California State University graduate with a journalism degree. Carol Smith manages Google’s Open Source Programs, including the Google Summer of Code, a global program that pairs student developers with mentors as they work on code for various open source software projects around the world”. Elaine Burke from Silicon Republic presents “8 inspiring girls making an impact on STEM and education”, among which “Ciara Judge, Sophie Healy-Thow and Émer Hickey, champions at the 2013 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition for their project, Combating the Global Food Crisis: Diazotroph bacteria as a cereal crop growth promoter. ” Amar Toor wrote an article for The Verge which mentions Malala Yousafzay life who “survived and went on to become a global advocate for the education of women. In 2013, she delivered an impassioned speech to the United Nations in New York, and created the Malala Fund to help empower young women around the world.” Bahar Gholipur from Live Science presents Mirzakhani who won the Fields Medal along with 3 other mathematicians, the most pretigious prize for this science. “This is a great honor. I will be happy if it encourages young female scientists and mathematicians,” Mirzakhani said in a statement. Mfonobong Nsehe from Forbes reports on “Africa’s richest woman, Africa’s wealthiest woman taking banking empire to Namibia”. He explains how “Isabel dos Santos has reportedly been granted a provisional license by the Central Bank of Namibia to launch a local subsidiary which would operate as a banking institution in the country and trade under the name, Bank BIC Namibia Limited.” In Africa again, Ethel Cofie from CNN relates the story of hundreds of women who changed a pan-Africa meeting for Women In Tech Africa into a Twitter conversation. As Ethel explains, “Twitter conversation with the hashtag #WtechAfrica had the reach of 74,502 and 195,209 impressions on Twitter connecting female technologists all over Africa ably supported by one of our speakers Enyonam Kumahor.”

Digital talents

Research and Consulting Firms

Research and Consulting Firms

On the 30th of september, the French consulting firm Econocom has awarded 5 women with the Excellencia Prize. As a way to promote digital initiatives and highlight talents, the prize is supported by Econocom, EPITA (a French engineering school), Femmes du Numérique (Women in Digital), and Syntec committee.

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Posted in InnoTrends

Interoperability creates boundless creativity

Interoperability and boundaries

Back when I was still working for my former employer, I used to develop concepts and market requirements for interoperable projects. “Interoperability”, a long word which holds the charm of a lengthy story. It’s meant to bring technologies to connect to each other, ultimately connecting people behind. It’s meant to build new breeds of networks. Relations that could never exist before. A language agnostic world of communications. So if we bring all these people together, where do you think this story ends?

 

Connecting to one another

Interoperability and creativity

Interoperability and creativity

What happens if we suddenly unleash the power of world connectivity, establishing contacts beyond frontiers and timezones? We enable the world to talk, to listen, to enhance, to reshape the story. We create a giant talent pool, mobile, data-rich, connection-rich, content-rich. Is our story going to be richer?

 

 

Bringing more people on our side

Interoperability and customers

Interoperability and customers

With more connection the story gets a little more moving, appealing enough to create a reaction. This is the result of adding perspectives and collaboratively refine them. All it takes is creating the community by leveraging their common denominators. First joiners are the hardest to get. But they also turn out to be the most valuable. That’s because they’ve witnessed us in the warzone, on product launch, on first contact, first presentations, first contract, on first processing. And they still paid the bill. With them we have defined our stickiness to market. The more people we engage, the more people will engage, the greatest your responsibility over them will be. It’s our sense of commitment.

 

 

Building new______

Interoperability and change

Interoperability and change

Changing from within, being “the change we want to see”, being an engine of change. Platforms that enable networks and applications to interact and foster innovation with endless perspectives catalyse change. This is how we enable people to go further: bridging seperate worlds and pushing limits.  In these infinites lay the common beliefs we share with customers. It’s our sense of conviction.

 

 

“This is a revolution”

Interoperability and growth

Interoperability and growth

The “snowball” effect drives an exponential growth. When properly driven it allows us to “migrate” stars to cashcows and “divest” strategically from legacy to invest in future. Customer engagement creates a new story. The platform becomes the customer voice, flexible, adaptative, open and reliable, partnering with leaders and market makers to enrich technological possibilities. Partners and customers co-create and to get the widest possible impact, the widest new “snowball” to go and transform again.

 

 

Freedom as a mindful choice

Interoperability and boundaries

Interoperability and boundaries

We bring benefit to the maximum followers, optimise to create value-added services for niche opportunities. The new business models generated by partnerships and customer focus has opened new ways of understanding and working, those that improve operations while creating common values. We now know what makes us move as a community. The platform is our experience, interlinked with our own seperate worlds but bringing together the assets that generate higher value when combined with external knowledge and expertise. Boundaries and data protection have become intelligent, secure and transparent enough to sustain growth. There are boundaries. The difference is we choose which they are and why they’re here.

 

 

Some of us will to spot on new niche opportunities and figure a way to make it a mass market via a shared platform. The Internet for instance keeps enabling this. Successful platforms seek to follow the same logic. By connecting to one another, we collectively decide to change, we collectively drive that change, we collectively create values. We choose to build intelligent boundaries that protect progress and individual assets to focus on shared ideas and co-creativity. So where does the story end? Truth is it never ends. In due time, we will create a new story. All it takes is making sure we’re part of it.

 

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Posted in On the go

Privacy, sharing 2.0 and synergies that save more than money

The Big Picture

The Big Picture is monthly PESTLE analysis that provides you with an outlook on innovation. Today we look at Legal and Environment. This month articles on Politics and Economics, Society and Technology are also available.

Privacy and sharing, the two antagonisms of Legal2.0

The Internet has thrown us in an virtual environment of virtual freedom, opinion variety and sometimes conflicts. Information and data that can be used either for good or bad purposes. It leaves us with the responsibility of judgement, which is a great, if not the most important one. How do we, as one global community interacting on one global platform, draw the line between good and bad, that is sharing freely and protection our freedom of privacy?

What can we share and how?

Privacy and Sharing

Privacy and Sharing

Sarah Cannon has published an article on HBR where she specifically points at regulation as being a barrier to sharing economy: “However, rather than rolling out the red carpet, city governments have resisted many of these new entrants issuing subpoenas and cease-and-desist orders. Just in the last month, Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission issued a cease-and-desist order on Lyft and Uber operations. The companies face fines of $1,000 per day, and 23 drivers face civil and criminal charges. Regulation is often the most significant barrier to future growth for sharing economy firms.” AirBnB and Uber have shown in the recent weeks how difficult it is to develop a sharing economy with regards to local, global, national, regional laws that necessarily affect their business. Raphael Minder from The New York Times reminds the amount of the difficulty for AirBnB to launch in Europe: “In July, the house-sharing start-up received its first fine in Europe, of €30,000, or about $38,500, for violating a 2012 law introduced by the regional government of Catalonia, whose capital is Barcelona, that forbids renting individual rooms for tourism purposes”. Further in his article, he highlights the contrast with cities such as Paris or San Francisco which have enabled AirBnB to operate in their cities and enter local tourism market.

Isn’t it the nerve of the discussion, as Ron Miller asks in his article for Tech Crunch. According to Ron, “The two businesses have obviously hit a nerve though and that’s likely because they’re starting to be more than an irritant to established businesses in each of their industries. Uber has received $1.5B in funding so far on an otherworldly valuation of $17B. Whether that number is right or not is subject to debate, but if you believe one number tossed out there, the total available worldwide taxi/limo market is valued at $100B. That means that Uber is already at 17 percent of that number in terms of its projected valuation. Airbnb meanwhile has raised in the neighborhood of $795M and reportedly has a valuation of around $10B, not quite as hot as Uber, but consider that according to a Fast Company article from earlier this year, the company “boasts 550,000 listings in 192 countries, and will soon surpass the InterContinental Hotels Group and Hilton Worldwide as the world’s largest hotel chain.”

A crowded discussion

Privacy and Sharing

Privacy and Sharing

One way to lower this barrier to market is to proactively go ahead of regulators and have a transparent and clear definition of what a business aims to do, with identified and validated benefits for all stakeholders, as Sarah Cannon suggests. DigitalEurope, a group representing major IT’s in Europe, has followed this advice and went on a meeting with Council of the EU to discuss the reforms needed to protect and reinforce EU data protection law. According to Peter Sayer from Computer World, “The current Data Protection Directive dates back to 1995, and the reform is aimed at reinforcing consumer confidence in online services, updating the rules to take account of new technologies, and potentially saving businesses €2.3 billion (US$2.9 billion) a year through reduced administrative burdens.” Members of DigitalEurope, which include companies such as Apple, HP and SAP, criticise the new proposed laws as being complex (and therefore costly).

These efforts to drive relations prove difficult, but that may be because EU and other regulations have a lot on their plate. As Menno Weij explains for Big Data Startups, in The Netherlands, “governmental plans for SyRI (System Risk Indication) caused some panic, since this system is meant to enable governmental institutions to detect fraud easier by using, amongst others, data mining and profiling.” In the UK, William Thomson explains in Power Admin that “The legal framework regulating the big data business model is based on existing principles of intellectual property, confidentiality, contract and data protection law.” He argues that a better model would be the one as posed by the Association for Computing Machinery Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct: “prohibiting use of computing technology in ways that result in harm to any of the following: users, the general public, employees, and employers. Harmful actions include intentional destruction or modification of files and programs leading to serious loss of resources or unnecessary expenditure of human resources such as the time and effort required to purge systems of “computer viruses.”

A crowded priority list

Privacy and Sharing

Privacy and Sharing

At the same time, Tara Terregino from The Street reminds that “the European Union’s competition authority is opening a formal investigation of Amazon’s European corporate income tax practices”, showing blurring limits of legal and economic difficulties. Other urgencies: Dave Lee from BBC News reports on Internet giants attending EU anti-extremist meeting to discuss the challenges posed by terrorists’ use of the internet and possible responses, internet-related security challenges in the context of wider relations with major companies, and ways of building trust and more transparency. Last but not least, BBC News mentions Europole’s difficulty to track cybercriminals, with the borderless activities and globalised actions required to track international experts, time and efforts needed. “We can still cope but the criminals have more resources and they do not have obstacles. They are driven by greed and profit and they produce malware at a speed that we have difficulties catching up with”, quotes BBC News.

 

Let the crowd decide

Privacy and Sharing

Privacy and Sharing

Who’s to decide? Jonathan Brandon, from Business Cloud News, mentions a survey from CSA that “suggests increasingly strong support is starting to emerge for harmonising privacy laws towards a universal set of principles as well as facilitating a global consumer bill of rights that builds on themes regarding data sovereignty and other principles set out in the OECD guidelines. Many respondents felt the United Nations could play a pivotal role in fostering some sort of global consumer bill of rights for data privacy”. Should we expect such a political change to happen or should we define a “bill of rights 2.0” (http://www.ddhn.org) ourselves, as some already did according to Les Echos?

 

Synergies that could save more than money

AirBnB and Uber get one thing right: sharing means less costs and greater reach, even though complex difficulties. Same goes for environment. Sharing resources, knowledge, findings and enabling technology to find its right place in overall efforts leads to result. As a proof, the ozone layer is starting to recover, mentions Live Science: “an evaluation, conducted by 282 scientists from 36 countries, credits much of this recovery to international action that phased out the production and use of ozone-depleting chemicals”.

Getting the right picture of climate change

Saving More than Money

Saving More than Money

Scientists need the right tools and data to analyse climate change and recommend actions that can continue lowering our negative impact on environment. In some areas, data inacurracy remains a challenge. As Anne M Starck found out for R&D Magazine, the level of temperature in Southern hemisphere has been underestimated, as the set of data used until now is largely outdated. The underestimation has impact on budget and policies rolled-out to protect oceans. This is the reason why the EU Commission had launched the COMBINE project, in order to provide accurate modelling to better estimate climate change and results are being shared with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The good news is they can count in technology support, but they’ll have to wait a little. As a way to better measure the amount of carbon contained in forests, a Lidar-based satellite from NASA called GEDI (Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation) will be ready in 2018, as Michael Franco from CNET reports. GEDI will be able to scan tropical and temperate forests with a bouncing laser technology that has a fine enough scale to estimate carbon content in canopies both horizontally and vertically. This accurate picture will enable to understand how deforestation is devastating environment. Other projects to monitor ocean temperature, clouds and hurricanes are also under development or will be starting soon.

Learning from others

Saving More than Money

Saving More than Money

Sharing also means witnessing change and perhaps bringing our own brick to the wall. Emerging economies, as business strategist and author Navi Radjou explained to Mark Hillsdon from The Guardian, “There is a growing awareness that there needs to be a new model for both producing and consuming that focuses on doing better with less,” he explains. Brazilians call it jeitinho, the Chinese zizhu chuangxin, the Kenyans jua kai. Tellingly, there’s no such word in English. The closest we get is “make do and mend”, which doesn’t quite have the same kick.” Companies like Microsoft and their Digital Green initiative, the MIT and Tata Center for Technology and Design have become involved to deploy new innovation that would learn from and help emerging economies develop “frugal innovation”.

Some argue we critically need to look elsewhere. Clive Hamilton, professor of public ethics at Australia’s Charles Sturt University and a prominent critic of geoengineering, argues in an interview by Olivia Boyd for Innovation Policy that “in a way the greatest risk is human hubris, our penchant for persuading ourselves that we know the answers and we have all the necessary information, we can intervene and take control of the earth. Another nightmare scenario might be one where an attempt by one major power to engineer the globe’s climate system attracts a hostile response from another major power, who doesn’t take kindly to competing for control over their weather and it escalates into a military confrontation.” With the clear need of democratical move to include people in discussions and projects, he hopes “the nascent environmental movement in China would take an interest in geoengineering because I think it’s going to be a dominant political question in China in several years time. I’m sure if China did go down the geoengineering path it would try to present its actions as motivated by the need to protect the interests of vulnerable people across the developing world.” Jenna Nicholas from Stanford Social Innovation Review mentions how foundations also help understand the divest-invest impact needed for sustainable projects. “At the UN during Climate Week late last month, more than 70 foundations in collaboration with individuals, universities, faith-based groups, schools, hospitals and cities from around the world—representing $50 billion—announced that they would divest from fossil fuels and invest in new energy solutions.”, he reports. From his point of view, “To slow climate change, according to a recent Ceres report, we need to close the clean investment gap with a “clean trillion” dollars invested every year, from now through 2050. If all philanthropic institutions deploy a portion of their assets toward renewable and clean tech, and other sustainable options, we can participate in closing that investment gap and help scale industries.”

The positive impact on economies

Saving More than Money

Saving More than Money

Cost efficiency, job growth and research excellence, these are the outcomes for all. Bloomberg quoted the latest report from the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate to explain how “Countries can expand their economies through emissions reductions in cities, land use and energy”. They explain that several countries including the U.K. could save over $3 trillion by investing in better connected cities, restore world’s degraded land to feed 200 million people and raise farmers’ income by $40 billion a year, and phase out $600 billion of fossil fuel subsidies while investing 0.1 percent of GDP in research and development in low carbon technologies. The PlantingSeedsBlog refers to a report that details how “the biobased economy is, in fact, growing and it offers great potential for increased job creation in numerous sectors across the U.S”. After mentioning a new contract with USDA BioPrerred to further investigate the impact of bio-based products on the economy, they explain that “The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) has estimated that U.S.-based jobs for the renewable chemicals sector will rise from approximately 40,000 jobs in 2011, which represents 3%-4% of all chemical sales, to over 237,000 jobs by 2025. This employment level would represent approximately 20% of total chemical sales.” On the energy side, Vincent Champain from Le Monde explains in following article that the Long Term Observatory (Observatoire du Long Terme) is favoring a German-French energy space. They argue that by exchanging sustainable projects (for example sun energy in South of France and wind energy in other German regions), energy would be more cost-efficient.

What about us?

Saving More than Money

Saving More than Money

Put together, all this knowledge could enable us to adapt to climate change. On R&D Mag, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory takes us through the ACME project that involves 8 US national laboratories, academic institutions and private sector into “accelerating our progress towards actionable climate projections to help the nation anticipate, adapt to, and ultimately mitigate the potential risks of global climate change”.

Innovation is also about global food security. Joanna Roberts from the Horizon magazine EU reports on the EU-Funded YIELD project that which uses “groundbreaking applications of modern genomics to stabilise and increase the yield of processing tomato hybrids, which are used to make ketchup and sauces”. She quotes Dr Julia Cooper from the University of Newcastle who explains how “The high yields we now achieve in crop production are beneficial because they’re feeding the world’s growing population but it’s coming with this decline in efficiency. That means that all of the nutrients that the crops aren’t taking up and using to produce yields are causing damage to the environment.’ Dr Cooper said the project’s work is important in working towards global food security.”

Green innovation may just be about living. As Ben Schiller from Fast Co-Exist explains, the health co-benefits of cutting greenhouse gas emissions could save 3,500 American lives a year. He mentions a new paper from researchers at Harvard, Syracuse and Boston universities that explains how Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania would mostly benefit from deploying emissions reduction measures.

 

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Posted in The Big Picture

“Big Innovation Now”? A parallel reading exercise

Big Innovation

On the Go is your weekly innovation inspired by elsewhere.

 

Sometimes “elsewhere” is not very far. Today, it’s just next door. Because of the critical economic, technological, social, cultural and systemic impact of Big Data, it is important to understand what mechanics lay behind, and actually, also beyond. There are free resources to get started with Big Data analytics and tools, the one I’ve chosen to explore is O’Reilly “Big Data Now”, available for download on the iBook Store. After going through a few lines, you can start reading a parallel discourse describing an inspiring world of innovation. Because it’s parallel, it looks very close. At hand. Could it be called… Big Innovation?

 

What is Big Innovation ?

Big Innovation

Big Innovation

Big Data is the concept of exceeding data from existing infrastructures and systems that need to be analysed in a new way

Big Innovation is innovation that is too complex or too new to be analysed and rolled-out with existing strategies. It requires a new approach. It requires “No-SQL”, Non-Standard. It is Meta-Consumer, Meta-Markets, Meta-Needs led, and it has a language that changes as the world, environment, cultures evolves. It has Meta-Impact. And it requires Meta-Changes.

 

Big Data requires agility, acceptance of experiments and failures, will and entrepreneurship

Big Innovation requires agility, acceptance of experiments and failures, will and entrepreneurship shared as a team. As much as Big Data requires specific skills and scientist background to be managed and optimised for success, Big Innovation requires new set of capabilities and organisation to spur. Big innovation enables you to take part of the discussion, and it enables you to learn how to take it forward.

 

« In an agile, exploratory environment, the results of computations will evolve with the detection and extraction of more signals. »

In an agile, exploratory environment, the results of  Big Innovation will evolve with the detection and extractions of more market signals. It enables you to build strategies based on changing needs, it enables you to adapt.

 

” Big Data is messy because of the high cost of data acquisition and cleaning, it’s worth considering what you actually need to source yourself.”

Big Innovation is messy because of the high costs of transformation, it’s worth considering what you actually need to meet customer needs. It’s worth knowing who you are, what you want and can achieve based on your unique values to market before you create your own Big Innovation.

 

How does Big Innovation work ?

Big Innovation

Big Innovation

« Data must be broken out of silos in order to be mined, and the organization must learn how to communicate and interpret the results of analysis”

Innovation must be broken out of silos in order to be successful, and organisation must learn how to communicate and execute Big Innovation strategies to market. The skills will encompass statistical analytics and computer science, but also storytelling, vision setting, value communicating down to end-user. There are no big math behind that. It mainly is your heart talking.

 

« Driven by social, mobile, and cloud technology, there is an important transition taking place, leading us all to the data-enabled world that those companies inhabit today. »

Driven by social, technological and economical changes, there is an important transition taking place, leading us to Big Innovation. How will technology, retail, communication, banking, education, science and markets co-create the future?

 

« The key trait is to make an organization’s feedback loop entirely digital. That is, a direct connection from sensing and monitoring inputs through to product outputs.  »

The key trait is to share innovation feedback loop instantaneously. A direct connection from sensing and managing customer needs through to product ideas. Instantaneous changes, universal customisation that makes sense.

 

It obviously isn’t just about Big Data, nor is it just about Big Innovation. These stories are so closely linked, it looks natural and instinctive to mix them. There may be other parallel stories. There may even be a parallel story that is only yours. I encourage you to try and play parallel reading of this book.

 

Have a nice week end.

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Posted in On the go

We Are Innovation, because we rethink creatively

We Are Innovation

Innovation starts with creativity. Throwing ideas in and learning to select those which go to market. Learning to create the selection path. Learning to teach it to others. Learning to learn. Creativity is boundless, innovation draws its boundaries: technical, financial, market and trends, resources. Creativity helps pushing those boundaries further.

 

Throwing ideas in

Throw ideas in

Throw ideas in

It goes beyond brainstorming sessions, as Lisa Bodell from Strategy & Business suggests. There are tools and ideas that can take the debate further, what you need is the right skills and people to find the right type of questions, the right type of answers. They are not closed, definitive answers and plans. They participate to the debate on how to best drive to best results, they are part of a whole culture of productivity, as reminds KC EFEANYI from FastCompany. Throw yourself in as well, don’t hold back, engage a culture of innovation as suggests Soren Kaplan in following article: become intentional, give up control, allow yourself to step back, define your own meaning, informally recognize efforts (on top of formally) and talk with symbols. “Those who intentionally curate the innovation symbols of their companies essentially curate their innovation cultures”, the writer says.

 

Learning to select ideas to go to market

Tell your story

Tell your story

Creativity reflects in your story to market. So make it a good story. It starts with you, your belief, your confidence, as Tim McDonald explains in the Huffington Post: “We can start to become more productive and more creative through embracing ourselves for who we are”. If you are engaged in the strategy you roll out, your teams, your organisation, your customers will hear the full story and validate its sense. Or not. If not, then adapt your story, allow customers and partners in, work together on identifying the gaps. They may just as well be the sweet spot, the opportunity gap that will lead to breakthrough innovation as defined by Nate Hirshberg on Explore B2B. “Companies need to be set up to encourage, recognize, support, and implement great ideas if they want them to succeed in the market”, comments Annabel Kalmar from Business & Strategy.

 

Learning to create the selection path

Rethink Your Models

Rethink Your Models

Why should we assume all processes are always OK for everything forever and ever? Be honest, a lot can be improved to deliver a better story and product to your customers. After asking questions, re-assess known answers. As Norbert Haenhel from Business Model Innovation explains, rethink your business model by learning from others, competitors, partners, other industries. He suggests for example that you imagine your organisation led by another leader. How would processes, teamwork, organisation be different? Would they be better for you? Robert B Tucker from Innovation Excellence remarks, “winning firms are those that don’t get trapped into conventional wisdom. Their leaders make it job one to challenge assumptions. They take time regularly to rethink”.

 

Learning to teach it to others

Share your story

Share your story

“To sell your idea to executives, buyers, and users, you have to change not only what they think, but how they think. Without the right mental model, they won’t see the problem, understand the benefits, or make the change” writes Mark Bonchek on HBR Blog. He explains how understanding today’s picture to better answer tomorrow’s need by using transitioning plan can help shift mentalities to they accept change. Once the transition plan is defined, again, pitch the right story, become a “culture maker” and not a “culture breaker” as Mary Marshall explains for Project Eve. Focus on positive, don’t hide negative, but learn to turn downsides into constructive objectives, as Glenn Brooke suggests on ASmithBlog. Let people ask questions and answer them openly, using experience and knowledge sharing, as did Rundall Munroe in following article from The Economist. As a former NASA roboticist, he took on to answer his student’s question, whichever they may be, using his knowledge and the Internet, having fun, transmitting knowledge and fun.

 

Learning to learn

Learn to relearn

Learn to relearn

You will have to. First because technological changes will go faster, also because market conditions will affect the way we work, finally because your future job may even not exist yet. Contently talks about the “Hyphenates” when describing freelancers that need to learn five jobs at a time to thrive in business. Either we’ll end up all being freelancers, either we’ll need to create new organisations and business models. So “hyphenates” skills will be useful to all. Learning can also be favored by working environment, so people see, talk to each other, or take time to be at home and think in a quiet, familiar space. Greg Lindsay has listed a series of flexible working places that are being used to spur innovation and creativity as well as productivity. The list can be found here. Think of practising your passion, as M. McMillin explains in this article from Rebecca Greenfield. Find inspiration elsewhere and look at problems differently. Learn that even when doing uncreative and boring tasks, you develop your creativity as your spirit will fight to stimulate new ideas after he’s being asked to stand still and repetitive, as suggests David Burkus on HBR.

 

Many experts align on the idea that creativity can be taught. I’d argue it doesn’t have to be so complicated. Maybe it’s just about giving people the freedom to be and act like who they really are, not just like what we’d expect them to be. If organisations worked this way, no one would ever be surprised by how creative other people are. We’d all be creative. In fact, we all are.

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Posted in Why we are innovation

People Centricity In The Age of Robots

People Centricity in The Age of Robots

The Big Picture is a monthly PESTLE analysis to give you an overview of innovation over last month. Today we look at Society and Technology.

People centricity

People Centricity

People Centricity

Defining who we are and our identity evolves with time. As complex as it may be for individuals, it also proves to be a challenge on a nation wide basis, as the recent events in Hong Kong have shown. This “identity crisis” as Zwen Wang names it for the TIME is different from interest crisis, people cannot be forced or bribed to change who they are. People themselves are defining it. And we should encourage them to do so. As Alan Iny from BCG explains, we need to teach children to test and experience their ideas, learn to go through failures and build sustainable victories, manage doubt and uncertainties. In following article, he explains “the intellectual starting place to create and evaluate multiple scenarios is doubt”. In following article from Forbes, Jordan Shapiro mentions how “Education becomes the structure within which narratives of personal and collective identity are contextualized using the intellectual structures and academic skills that we’ve inherited from preceding generations. But we need to make sure that these tools are also aligned with learning outcomes which prioritize human dignity rather than haste, consumption, and algorithmic metrics”.

This also how we teach them to say “NO” and grow with external feedbacks and remarks that will be seen as constructive building points rather than negative grades. As Dionne Lew mentions on her blog, we need to be “insatiably curious, read constantly including from opposing views, be ready to tolerate discomfort”. Yes, discomfort is also a part of who we are, how we behave, how we make decisions. They arise in tensions and conflicts that can have serious impact on a country level, and they need to be managed on a multi-cultural basis to be better driven.

Why? Because people want to know who they are in the whole wide world. In following article from IESE business school, Carlos Sanchez Runde explains how “in the global context, managers often have to negotiate a delicate balance between following their conscience and following the letter of the law in different countries”. The lack of systematic understanding of cultural values and individual identities too often lead to conflict. The upside is greater value to share together. Follow the example of Ibrahima Sarr, a Senegalese coder, who used his dialect structure to translate Firefox into Fulah, “spoken by 20 million people from Senegal to Nigeria”, as The Economist reports.

After all, our system is calling for change, and we should see this as an opportunity. Dorie Clark from Forbes how “awesome” it is that “job security is dead”, because it provides us with more opportunities to “relearn to learn”, and ask ourselves the right questions. This way, as Mark C Crowley has found out in following article, “traditional beliefs about how best to motivate human beings continue to be the key reason why 70% of the working population is disengaged”. We should instead focus on what they desire as workers, to enable real change in companies, consider fatherhood, diversity and men/women equality, and appreciate difference, as Lynda Gratton from the London Business School remarks.

We should focus on individual needs for another reason: we do not want to go wild. Do we? Several voices are rising to claim the “Capitalism has gone wild”, and they count Julia Kirby from HBR among them. She says that “if we start to think about indicators that society needs, what creates innovation, we can start to spring capitalism out of its excesses”. Alex Nicholls from Saïd Business School is following the same idea, and he claims that “timidity is not the way forward”. From his point of view, we shouldn’t just focus on competition but more on innovation. “Let’s see the social economy re-engage with the ideas, heroes and heroines of its past and set out an alternative vision of society that is values-driven, bottom-up, proud and stroppy” is his conclusive call. With such obvious changes needed, conscious capitalism has emerged as a way to have a better impact on the world. It focuses on cultural values and inspirational leadership to build businesses that care as much for their employees and customers as it does for their impact on the planet, as Susann Cramm from Strategy & Business highlights.

 

In the Age of Robots

In the Age of Robots

In the Age of Robots

As The Economist points out, annual robot shipments has risen from 50 million in 1992 to 175 million in 2013. Where are they going? Automotive is the first choice, with around 70,000 sales in 2013, followed by Electronics with around 40,000 sales. The vast majority of robots are heading to China, around 35,000 of them. No surprise until then. Here it comes: “for every robot deployed, there’s 3.6 jobs created to install them. As there will be 200 million shipments around the world in 2014, that’s 720 million new jobs” created by robots, for humans. Really? Well, there is a disagreement. When asked, 42% of experts said yes, and 58% said no.

Here’s someone who says yes. In following article, Abel Fernandez argues that when a society makes a technical innovation, which leads to industrial innovation, it has always and will always find a way to improve its own wealth, by creating and innovating in new services and products that could have never existed before. As the writer concludes, we are in the second half of Moore’s law, and from now everything is possible.

For example, decision making might be programmable in the near future. As Michael C Mankins explains for HBR, “Advanced analytic models can incorporate the experience of an organization’s best decision makers, helping to eliminate alternatives that are less viable than others and focusing the evaluation on the most promising courses of action.” This would allow (or force?) enterprises models to change and develop new skills, which in the long term will transform society. Why wouldn’t it be towards a positive future?

As we move the second half of the famous rice chessboard that relates to Moore’s law on exponential growth, computers can now also learn exponentially developed skills. As The Economist explains, “The next phase, many are predicting, will be defined by computers that no longer need to be explicitly programmed but instead learn what it is they need to do by interacting with humans and data”. Experts and scientists are currently developing neuromorphic chips that work by mimicking neurons and synapses in the brain. “Stanford University, Handerberg University, University of Manchester, ETH Zurich lead the field. But companies like IBM and Qualcomm also have very promising neuromorphic chips in R&D”.

Does it mean that computers will be able to think? Hard to say, or more precisely, hard to prove, as Antonio Regalado from the MIT explains. He interviewed M. Koch, chief scientific officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, on the possibility that computer may eventually become conscious. Koch answers in this analogy: “you can make pretty good weather predictions these days. You can predict the inside of a storm. But it’s never wet inside the computer. You can simulate a black hole in a computer, but space-time will not be bent. Simulating something is not the real thing. Consciousness is always supervening onto the physical. But it takes a particular type of hardware to instantiate it”. As we are still far from understanding where how human intelligence is built from a biological point of view, there is no point in wondering how we could code it.

What if we would? There are slightly more pessimistic approaches developed in cybernetics. One of them is called “singularity”. “In terms of the technological singularity, it is the point where technological advances are happening at such a fast rate that it becomes impossible for contemporary humans to comprehend or understand. Simply put this means that computers will understand the world and its technologies better than humans. At this point we’ll be left behind and the world will become AI-centric”, explains Martin Butters from MarkITWrite Tech. According to him, some scientist fear that machines take control and improve by themselves up to the point they think humans are “redundant”. Maybe because we’ve turned out to actually damage Earth more than we protected it, as the article suggests. That’s of course in the eventuality that machines also learn to judge. Any reason why they couldn’t? Hey, this is Moore’s law.

So now is time to act. As Horizon shared in this article, E.U has granted financial support to projects “developing computer algorithms that harness information to augment human memory”. Jessica Leber, from FastCoExist, explains “IBM scientists announced in a publication in the journal Science last week that it has developed an ultra low-power computer chip, named TrueNorth, that thinks like a human brain, complete with 1 million programmable “neuron” connections”. The Wall Street Journal mentions that according to BCG, “Spending on robots is exploding worldwide and is projected to hit $67 billion a year over the next decade. According to the report, annual spending on robots will reach about $27 billion next year and more than double to nearly $67 billion by 2025.”

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Posted in The Big Picture, Uncategorized
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