Contrarian, Spiritual, Strategic Innovation

Peter Jones Human Values, Social Innovation, Transformation Design

We often speak of social innovation as if we’re applying the principles of business and product innovation to a social product. However, there are significant differences in how we treat service markets and how we participate in communities where we (and participants) have a democratic stake. They are both social systems, but markets are organized around price and supply/demand signals. Social systems are organized around a shared meaning – at least normatively, if not typically in their design. What we call social innovation is (historically) a new practice area, and the start of a very long term trend. Those working in the many areas of socially-desirable services and practices might recognize the breadth and diversity of the field, that so many types of service and innovation can be considered social innovation. I do have a real concern that social innovation is becoming as hyped as much as everything else touched by People with Jobs on the Internet. As with “Design” and the very word “social,” I believe societal participants must claim their ownership and responsibility for the long-term vision of …

Synergetics: Buckminster Fuller Revival

Peter Jones Dialogic Design, Innovation, Transformation Design

Southern Illinois University Carbondale recently held the Synergetics conference, a symposium revival of Buckminster Fuller’s work, faculty, and former students at his last major home institution. Invited speakers included former Design students and faculty Bill Lunderman (Colgate) and Larry Busch. Invited speakers included me, Jennifer Rice (Fruitful Strategy),  and Steelcase’s Melissa DeSota.  Keynote was Thomas Zung, Fuller’s architect collaborator and archivist. This year they are also saving domes and putting a large one up at his former residence, and recovering his legacies. placing our current sustainability thinking in line with his lifelong dream of a world that works for everyone. A slide in my talk  Collaborating for Complexity credits Fuller as the first philosopher of Thrivability, the reach beyond sustainability that we strive for in socially systemic innovation. Collaborating for Complexity: SIUC Synergetics View more presentations from Peter Jones In Critical Path Fuller said: “The success of all humanity can be accomplished only by a terrestrially comprehensive, technologically competent, design revolution. This revolution must develop artifacts where energy-use efficiency not only occasions the artifacts’ spontaneous adoption by humanity, but also …

Wiki Government: Engaging Citizen Intelligence

Peter Jones Information Ecology, Transformation Design

The US Government is looking for input on a proposed ExpertNet platform to interrogate the open community of citizens for knowledge and expertise pertaining to – well – anything that may be required to know in the future! This sounds like a great idea and we would love to propose a concept for such a national knowledge conversation system. But my first question comes up, how would your expertise really be used? What is meant by “feedback”? What are “government questions?” The goal of ExpertNet is to enable government officials to search for and communicate with citizens who have expertise on a topic, giving them the opportunity to participate in a public consultation relevant to their areas of interest and know-how, and pose questions to and interact with the public to receive useful, relevant, and manageable feedback. Draft Concept for Government-Wide “ExpertNet” Platform and Process To Elicit Expert Public Participation in Response to Government Questions SUMMARY: With this notice, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) requests input, comment, and ideas from the public on a draft concept for next-generation citizen consultation, namely a government-wide …

Design Leadership for Problem Systems

Peter Jones Social Innovation, Transformation Design

The design industry grew rapidly in the 20th century, by satisfying the massive and growing needs of consumer products, industrial systems, and a business ethos of growth, fueled by advertising. I observe a significant change occurring in the language and outlook of people in the design fields, especially apparent in my adopted home city of Toronto. A new ethos is emerging in this new century, one that stands on the shoulders of many who have long argued for systemic change. Citizen designers and interdisciplinary leaders are guiding clients and peers toward sustainable design and progressively toward a social transformation agenda. And this shift in values, or perhaps the predominance of actions consistent with values, co-occurs with the devastating upheaval in economic fortunes among those heavily invested in the previous century’s perspective and commitments to growth. Yet in the gritty reality of everyday work, the vast majority of working designers and design educators are training for, skilled for, and planning on a future led by corporate projects. Many of us owe our livings in a creative, dynamic profession to the overabundance …