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Are you inspired by the technological developments and digitisation in the 21st century or scared - or both ? How do you feel about the following:

  • Becoming citizen in any country you wanted?  Estonia is making a start by offering digital citizenship.
  • No more boundaries between personal and professional lives? Have you got two smart phones? What would you answer to the question "Would you like to be contactable 24/7/365" have been pre-2007, when smartphones were introduced? 
  • Allowing store managers to know when you are pregnant before your family does (see right)? 
  • Flying over the Alps or into space to get fit - not in an aeroplane but on a fitness machine that has been developed by German-based innovation company Hyve?  Intrigued? Read an article in design and technology blog Gizmodo, have a look on Facebook or visit their website.
  • Living to over 100? Visit www.100yearlife.com or read: “The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity” co-authored by Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott, to be published 2nd June.
  • Being cared for by robots in your old age?
  • 10% of energy being produced being consumed by IT, as is the case in Germany?
  • Implanting a chip that prevents the experience of pain?
  • Modifying, erasing, and creating memories? Scientists have succeeded in altering memory in mice and are planning to start on humans next.

While I can see the positive side to all of the things above, I am also concerned.  I am wondering whether we are truly thinking about all the implications and consequences of any of the above. Are we considering potential dark sides of our innovations, and are putting measures in place to protect against them?  Would we actually be able to protect against the dark side in an endlessly connected world?  Is it not becoming more and more obvious that the belief that we are ‘in control’ is an illusion? 

If it is more and more difficult to control, what are we doing to ensure that levels of understanding, of human awareness and consciousness, of ethics  and morals, are keeping pace? Do we really want to delete anything unpleasant rather than deal with it, process it, and grow through it? Particularly the last two bullets give me the creepy feeling that we are speed-walking towards Matrix (see box).  Is that really what we want?  

All of this leads me to a much bigger question: what does it actually mean to be human?  What is it that differentiates us from computers, robots, AI?  Of course, I am not the only one asking this question. Julian Birkinshaw, member of the ILF Wider Community and Professor at London Busienss School has written an interesting article where he looks at and contrasts Artificial Intelligence, Crowd Intelligence, Team Intelligence and Human Intelligence. He comes to the conclusions that “The ability to ask questions seems to be one of the few remaining preserves of human intelligence.” (You can buy the article from Wiley’s website.)  If that is the case than I believe we should apply our human intelligence more!

Here one of my questions: Do we really want to continue to speed towards a future of Matrix, or can we start making decisions, big and small, that will lead us to a future of ‘Avatar’, which for me is about living with and through nature?

Of course, biomimicry is the path towards the latter. The US are home to biomimicry 3.8  and ask nature; in Germany an organisation focusing on biomimicry has been set up by Friend of the ILF Arndt Pechstein. For an introduction there is the brilliant online course designed by Friend of the ILF Denise DeLuca.  I have also just discovered that a Biomimetic Summit will take place in Barcelona 27th & 28th October this year. 

 

If you are intrigued by all this talk about AI, IoT and whatnot, here a few Events where you can hear about latest developments, and start asking questions:

Join one of the Internet of Things Events:
  • Industrial IoT Europe Summit, Hamburg, 7th & 8th June;






Insurance IoT Summit Euruope Summit, London, 7th & 8th June;





 
  • IoT Tech Expo Germany, Berlin, 13th & 14th June;




 
  • IoT Global Innovation Forum 2016, Barcelona, 14th - 16th June;





Here some Reading that might also be an interesting in this context:



And while I am blowing the trumpet for sustainability and the circular economy (again), I may as well throw in the WEconomy Index, a self-audit tool for companies to thoroughly assess their sustainable strategy developed by dutch Radboud University Nijmegen.


And finally in this Setion, good news for those interested in the book “The Art of Opportunity”  by ILF Community Member Marc Sniukas: he has been able to negotiate a 30% discount for us. Just go to Wiley's website and use the promotion code AOO30 which is valid until 1st June 2016.

Get involved 

A Professorship in Innovation
An exciting opportunity has just landed in our lap:  How about becoming a Professor of Innovation at Northumbria University (yes, that’s he one where Apple’s Jonathan Ive, IDEO’s Tim Brown and one of my favourite singers, Sting, studied!)? Northumbria University is looking for an outstanding academic to lead innovation activities at INNOVATE, an off-campus, industry focused innovation space that takes a multidisciplinary approach to the research and practice of Design-led innovation. Building on a strong collaborative track record with industry, Northumbria has set out a clear ambition for INNOVATE to be a leading global Centre of Excellence in Design-Led Innovation by 2020. For more information please click here.

 

The IET Innovation Awards

All Innovation Enthusiasts to the front: the Institution for Engineering and Technology is inviting entries for their annual Innovation Awards. We are pleased to once again be supporting the IET Innovation Awards, so if you have a new, innovative product or service that you think deserves a wider audience, enter to showcase your latest achievements. Deadline for submissions is the 8th July 2016, the awards ceremony will take place 16th November in London.

 

The Design Value Awards

These awards, organised by Boston-based Design Management Institute DMI, will honour teams that have delivered significant value through design or design management practices. The value can be expressed as positive financial gains, social impact, environmental stewardship or organisational culture change. Submission deadline 13th July, the award ceremony will take place at the Design Leadership Conference in Boston September 25 - 27.

And some more interesting events:

  • Chief Innovation Officer Summit, San Francisco, 18th & 19th May






  • PDI+I Conference 2016   London, 18th & 19th May


 
  • IIT Institute of Design Strategy Conference, Chicago, 19th & 20th May

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  • Design Thinkers Academy London, Facilitation Workshop, 25th & 26th May





 
  • INPEX - The Invention & New Product Exposition, Pittsburgh, PA, 7th - 9th June
 
  • The XXVII ISPIM Innovation Conference - Blending tomorrow’s innovation vintage; Porto, Portugal, 19th to 22nd June
Copyright © 2016 Innovation Leadership Forum, All rights reserved.


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