In the News today:
Earthquake, tsunami, meltdown, economic crisis ….
Peak oil, political unrest in oil producing countries, verging civil war in Libya, economic crisis….
These events have led me to revisit two of Thomas Homer-Dixon's books:
The Ingenuity Gap – explores the inadequacy of current expertise – the widening gap between our need for new approaches to solve our complex problems and the available supply of new ideas and approaches.
The Upside of Down – investigates how we can respond to converging energy, environmental, political and economic stresses that lead to a breakdown of order in a country, region, or globe. How we keep the breakdown from being catastrophic? How we use the breakdown for creative bold reforms of our societies?
If you are concerned that we've released forces that can't be managed; that the experts don't always know what's going on; that it can happen here; and that it's already affecting us. Then we have to close this ingenuity, creativity and innovation gap.
We need a culture where innovation flourishes. Beyond the laboratory, research project or think tank. Around the family table, in the classroom, coffee shop, laundromat, social network. Within non profits, government and business.
This means unleashing everyone's creativity. Removing the barriers and obstacles to innovation. Investing in new ideas. Supporting the best ideas to grow. Spreading the ones that work.
Also worth reading: Homer-Dixon's essay: When Wise Words Are not Enough. Download When_wise_words_are_not_enough