Elevating the context.

Peter Jones Transformation Design, Wu Wei

Elevating the context. How can design research move from an anthropocentric unit of study to a planetary / ecological focus? (Not entirely of course, but just to try on the question). Relating this Einstein’s famous quote: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Conside the clarity of columnist Saskia Sassen of Princeton who wrote about the global financial crisis: A Bad Idea: Using a Financial Solution to the Financial Crisis “It is almost irrational to give finance the instruments to do more of what has brought us to the brink. The prior bailouts each contributed one more element to the unsustainable leveraging we have now reached. The high level of financializing of our economy is reflected in the relation of financial assets (which is to say, debt) to GDP. It has now reached 450% to GDP, according to the recently released McKinley report. Further, the complexity of this inverted financial pyramid is almost impenetrable. An example is the incapacity of the Treasury to estimate the cost of rescuing AIG — first estimated …

Transformation design opportunity: US financial system

Peter Jones Wu Wei

In our fields of practice (consulting, design, innovation) the “elephant in the room” that people ignore is that of the impact of the current market transformation of financial systems, large banks, and global investment banks. And mortgage packagers and guarantors. With AIG, we are seeing the implosion and bailout of the world’s largest insurer. And before that, Fanny Mae. The systemic impact and necessary transformation of Wall Street and US and international financial regulation, will be undergoing seismic, whole systems changes this year. Because financial services and banks don’t want a total run on their assets, they withhold transparency until it’s too late. These players waited till the inevitable disasters occurred, and apparently they had no real Plan B’s. So we are currently witnessing perhaps the most historical “transformation” of industries and firms we may ever see in our careers. Innovation, we should realize, is value free. Not every innovation is good for its market. Joseph Stiglitz just said: “One thing that is now being understood as a result of this crisis is the information asymmetries of globalization. In Europe, …

Open Letter to the Next US President

Peter Jones Wu Wei

From Bernard-Henri Levy, in Huffington Post: In just fifty days you will be, in theory, the most powerful man in the world. I say “in theory” because your first challenge will in fact be your country’s decline in power. It’s been so long that we have been hearing about this decline – and now it has finally happened. He is speaking of global American influence and soft power. American cultural evolution – the kind of cultural innovations that led to jazz, the art in MOMA, and creative breakthroughs in science – has been battered by the conservative culture wars for nearly two decades now.  The cultural creatives Richard Florida suggests will save us? They actually keep a pretty low profile in the age of government-manufactured fear. We create our own culture, locally. The larger landscape of ideas in the US? Well, I guess people can read the damn blogs. I remember when the (almost O’Reilly conservative) Time magazine reported on US cultural innovation as if the creative culture was something to celebrate. After 20 years of institutionalized, deceitful pontifical moralizing …

Toronto’s perfect getaway – NY Times Traveler

Peter Jones Transformation Design

The Frugal Traveler finds Toronto more expensive than years ago, but shares a wonderful weekend with readers, filled with our kind of city exploration and good eating. In fact,  Matt Gross walks our local neighborhoods, visits Kensington Market, and the New Yorker heard about and dines at our favorite Vietnamese place, Rua Vang Golden Turtle. The Times picture of the hot dog stand at Queen West and Spadina belies the vibrant cool of this very intersection. Most of the city’s design firms are within 3 blocks walk, the fashion district across the street, the best Queen West clubs a block either way, and Chinatown 3 blocks North. We’ve had coffees at the Lettieri (behind the hot dog stand) many times with friends. The Frugal one explores on foot, and finds the mix of cultures from one street to the next exhilarating. These are real communities within the city, with ethnic restaurants and shops interspersed with the typical Big City coffee shops, boutiques, and clubs. As I walked north, Ossington became more Vietnamese (billiards, video stores), then Portuguese (banks, sports bars) …