MISC Magazine Interview

Peter JonesDesign for Care, Media Ecology, Strategic Foresight

Interview with Dr. Peter Jones Thanks to Dustin Johnston-Jewell, Strategic Foresighter at Idea Couture and SFI MDes grad student, for the terrific interview and publication in IC’s MISC magazine. While MISC is Idea Couture’s own curated and published magazine, it has very high design values and a good range of authors, from within the fast-growing Toronto innovation firm and from outside. It extends their thought leadership by putting a printed and online journal on the street where they can curate a huge volume of ideas while scanning and managing trends. I was happy to do the 90 minute interview with Dustin, who edited and wrote much of it for the online MISC (and a shorter version in print if you’re lucky enough to get the exclusive journal). A brief excerpt follows: With the advent of biotechnology, genomics, and human-centric patient care, the healthcare industry is going through an era of …

Appetite for Disruption

Peter JonesHuman Values, Innovation, Media Ecology

The goal of a startup is no longer just user engagement or viability. A “preference for disruption” is celebrated, without reservation, whether a small or big business. (Only recently were reservations even fussed over – Jill Lepore’s critique of Disruption culture was published the week after this conference talk, June 23.)  She states (without critical analysis of causation): “Ever since “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” everyone is either disrupting or being disrupted. There are disruption consultants, disruption conferences, and disruption seminars. This fall, the University of Southern California is opening a new program: “The degree is in disruption,” the university announced. “Disrupt or be disrupted,” the venture capitalist Josh Linkner warns in a new book.” As an ethnographer of innovation practices, I have always appreciated Christensen and his contribution to theories of change. I also observe the trend signified by Lepore, the increasing meta-narrative of “disruption is good.” Disruptive innovation is not …

Reproduction of Disruption

Peter JonesMedia Ecology, Strategic Innovation, Transformation Design

How Innovation Regimes Reproduce Culture Media Ecology Association, Toronto, June 20, 2014 “We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us”  John Culkin, SJ (Usually attributed to his friend, Marshall McLuhan) We live in a technogenic culture – a society that generates ever more technology, whether necessary or not. Mainstream culture celebrates the economic value of technological ingenuity, and worships innovation. Our desires become captured and entranced by the tools of tech. In this post-age of ubiquitous smart-things, everyone now “owns technology,” or gadgets – whether a smartphone, stack of computers, soon personal robots.  For the first time in history perhaps, there is little differentiation between generational ownership – children, the elderly, very poor people – all have similar gadgets. There may finally be little or no cachet to having the latest hardware or gadget. The desirable commodity has become the capacity to produce technology. The capacity for mass …

To hate on the Internets, Click Here.

Peter JonesMedia Ecology, Strategic Foresight, Strategic Innovation

In the current Guardian, American novelist Jonathan Franzen writes “What’s wrong with the modern world?”  Franzen retrieves cranky German polemicist Karl Kraus from the 1930’s to buttress a literary critique of the cultural evaporation accelerated by Big Capital solutionist appropriation of the Internets. Perhaps because there are so few public techno-critics in literary culture in the 21st Century, Franzen seems to own this space for an epic rant (and new book) that pierce our culture’s enamoration with all things interactive, online, gamified, and ultimately, trivial. In the face of the scale of real-world problems faced by our civilization, Franzen is warning that our distraction with the entertaining and trivial, and our failure to invent beneficial alternatives,  is costing us our culture: “… the actual substance of our daily lives is total distraction. We can’t face the real problems; we spent a trillion dollars not really solving a problem in Iraq …