The Key to Growing Innovation Ecosystems Is . . . Love?

Perhaps it’s just me.  I find that spending close time with loved ones over the holidays—snuggled in warm homes barricaded against cold storms—often makes one reflect on the big questions…

What makes humans human?  What makes things valuable?  Why do we form families, communities, organizations?

These are fundamental mysteries about human nature.  Perhaps less obviously, however, they are also fundamental questions about business.  We rarely connect these two notions, yet human nature and business are intimately bound.

If we dig just a little below the surface, we discover that the secret ingredient of innovation ecosystems—and thus the key to catalyzing systemic growth everywhere—is nothing less than love.

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What Can Children Teach Us about Innovation? Everything, Says Stanford Design Researcher

When most people think of design, they usually think of industrial design… which includes objects like forks, furniture, phones, and appliances.  But what happens when we take the underlying principles ofdesign thinking and apply them to other, more abstract concepts?

For instance, can we think about how to design startup companies?  Or how to design entire innovation ecosystems?

Ade Mabogunje of Stanford’s Center for Design Research has been a pioneer in tackling these questions for over a decade, and what he has discovered might be surprising.  (Full disclosure: I’ve been working with Ade on numerous projects, including recently the Rainforest Architects, a new course on how to design ecosystems.)

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