Innovation

  • The book industry is fine

    So is the print industry slowly dying and transitioning towards the internet? When one looks into the numbers a little deeper, a different story emerges. While overall print sales fell, the numbers were skewed towards those pesky paperbacks. Adult mass market paperback sales fell 30 percent compared to a fall for hardcovers of only 11 percent.

    Much has been made about the death of print media, from newspapers losing print readership to bookstores struggling with book sales. The rhetoric has slowly turned to doom and gloom as publishers and newspaper giants talk of a coming print media apocalypse....

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  • Universities and the Death of Cloistered Knowledge

    People involved in higher education reflect on change often and at length but outside of the institutions themselves, we are not talking enough about what the university is, what it might be, and what it should be. One recent response to these questions was put forward by Don Tapscott in his book Macrowikinomics. Along with reflections on industrialization, education, media, and the public square, Tapscott singles out universities as institutions that are in need of substantive reconsideration.

    Universities are changing too slowly to survive in their current form. I recognize that most of them will outlast me but within the more expansive rhythms of history and institutions, the forms we are familiar with today will be curiosities from another tim...

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  • Inspiration may be instant, innovation is less so

        This article on Frog Design's website (Slow Innovation: good ideas take a long time to perfect) is a good reminder for those of us who have a penchant for raging against the painfully, painfully slow rate at which innovation takes root in human systems. Unless there is catastrophic disruption (which gives rise to other kinds of problems that are even slower) most of the important changes we experience and for which we are working, will not be instant hits.   Even more sobering, there are aspects of social/cultural change that are quite likely more sluggish than our adoption of new technology.

    Reposted from the Cardus After Hours blog (RIP).

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  • The Social Economy in Canada

        Yesterday The Guardian published a brief article that highlights the importance of the third sector (the social economy), identifies the challenges that arise from defining the third sector, and suggests some possible ways forward. Cox contemplates whether the variation and blurring may, in fact, be a great strength:   Perhaps the most useful aspect of the article is the link that connects to the Third Sector Research Centre.

    Reposted from the Cardus After Hours blog (RIP).

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  • Here come the web thinkers

    One organization I follow closely, however, is Biro Creative—a Vancouver-based web agency and the brainchild of a couple of ex-Adbusters staffers. Flanked by EchoDitto, a strategic online communications team, they dedicated the better part of this past year researching what factors really separate "the Obamas, the 350s, the Bosta Dobbs and their ilk and from the rest."

     

    One of my 'hats,' as a media r...

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  • Ideas Take Time

       

    Today, we are a mostly impatient lot. We have trouble waiting five minutes for a coffee and fume if a flight is late. It is difficult to imagine that we might have to wait decades for something. In the world of ideas, things don't always move quickly. Most ...

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  • Social Entrepreneurs Don't Eat Pie-in-the-Sky

    If you want to get a better sense of what this is about, there is a ten-minute video developed by the Skoll Foundation which gives a good overview of what 'social entrepreneurship' looks like. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    People with lots of ideas are often labelled as being heavy on vision but light on ground-level plowing. The social entrepreneurship movement is gaining credibility because it has become a fertile soil where vision and action meet. It has been an effective ...

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  • Fevers of Innovation

    It was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

    I've been hunting for wow-factor organizational practices since 1996. That was the year I was elected to a senior executive board tasked with mapping out a ten-year plan for 110 non-profits. Some of my fellow members thought that part of our work was a tad ...

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