Patterns in Innovation: Bottoms Up Activism


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Last week, I immersed myself in the wonderful Business Innovation Factory community by attending the BIF-8 conference in Providence, RI. I always find great case studies to pursue at this event, so stay tuned! For my overview “trip report,” I stepped back and squinted to discern the patterns and common themes that I took away from this rich tapestry of storytelling and conversations. A few things really pop out:

  1. People of all ages are building networks (physical & virtual) to make a difference in their world. Despite the economic malaise (or because of it) there’s an abundance of grass roots social movements at the local community level and across the country tackling everything from building playgrounds, to reducing gang violence, to improving the lives of homeless children, to bringing peace of mind to the mentally ill.
  2. New forms of institutions are turning up to take the place of the ones that no longer work—for diplomacy, for education, for healthcare, for citizen-led government, for city-planning.
  3. Customer-led, customer-engaged, citizen-led movements and organizations are where most of the action is. We’re moving beyond social networking to social working.
  4. We now know enough about how to create customer-engaged business models and how to support social movements that we’re entering a meta-model era. There are now “platforms for participation” with online tools and structures that can be used as a foundation and/or a model by business and social entrepreneurs.
  5. The biggest boost to our economy will come from life sciences, as our next generation of programmers creates new bio-fuels and new healthy pathways and we tap the power of the human brain to overcome physical disabilities.
  6. To increase our happiness quotient, we need to counter the seduction of our ever-present electronic gadgets by focusing on the present moment, indulging in physical face-time, and experiencing life as we do music.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Patricia Seybold
With 30 years of experience consulting to customer-centric executives in technology-aggressive businesses across many industries, Patricia Seybold is a visionary thought leader with the unique ability to spot the impact that technology enablement and customer behavior will have on business trends very early. Seybold provides customer-centric executives within Fortune 1 companies with strategic insights, technology guidance, and best practices.


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