The Five Characteristics of Successful Innovators – Harvard Business Review

We are also notoriously bad at evaluating the merit of our own ideas. Most people fall trap of anillusory superiority that causes them to overestimate their creative talent, just as in other domains of competence (e.g., 90% of drivers claim to be above average — a mathematical improbability). It is therefore clear that we cannot rely on people’s self-evaluation to determine whether their ideas are creative or not.

Yet there are relatively well-defined criteria for predicting who will generate creative ideas. Read more here:



Rainforest Rev: Killing Innovation and Fresh Business Ideas

October 29th, 2013
Your Business Model Is Killing Innovation
By Henry Doss, Chief Strategy Officer of T2 Venture Creation, from Forbes
How do you make an innovation focus work inside of an existing business model? The answer: by merging “culture rules” with “business model”. Growing an innovation culture is a long-term and rather complex thing, but here are three quick ways you can begin influencing your business model through innovation.  First, people. Develop ways to encourage trial and error and iteration, and then lead supportive conversations about failure.  Then… Read more here.
Out of Fresh Business Ideas? Try This.
By Victor W. Hwang, CEO of T2 Venture Creation, from Entrepreneur Magazine
It happens to all of us: one minute we have so many fresh ideas and the next minute, the well is dry. As a leader, your goal is to instill creative confidence by making your team comfortable enough to stretch outside their comfort zone. Operate from the standpoint that there are no bad ideas, just early incarnations of good ones. Focus on process, because process equals substance. Innovation isn’t a rational endeavor. It takes a lot of effort, risk and failure. Without joy in the process, why bother? Read more here.

Contagious Entrepreneurship: People Who Know Entrepreneurs Are More Likely to Become Entrepreneurs, Kauffman Foundation Survey Shows
Kauffman Foundation
How to create more entrepreneurs in the innovation ecosystems? The study is to test whether entrepreneurship is an imitative behaviour and, if it is, whether increasing people’s exposure to growth entrepreneurs can lead to the creation of more entrepreneurs with massive knock-on effects for the economy. The research showed that knowing an entrepreneur is possibly a significant factor in whether a person runs their own business. Read more here.
Raising start-up cash in the 21st century
PBS NewsHour
How can economic policies help grow more innovation ecosystems? New potential uses of ‘crowdfunding’ – raising a large pool of money from many small contributions online, could be a key to spurring economic growth and job creation. Thanks to the bipartisan JOBS Act entrepreneurs will soon be able to use this method. Read or watch the video here.
Darwin’s Business Conference At NYU Stern
Evolution: This View of Life
The conference focused on the possible applications of evolutionary thinking for business and business ethics and why they matter to business.  Much of what organizational management amounts to is trying to shape the norms and institutions of quasi-tribal groups so that they work better. It is now well established that cultural evolution is a fundamentally Darwinian process, exhibiting incremental descent with modification, semi-random innovation (trial and error), competition among ideas, selective survival and other Darwinian features. Read and watch the videos here.
Square founder hopes to turn St. Louis into the Silicon Prairie
MarketPlace Public Radio
Jim McKelvey founded the mobile payment company Square four years ago with fellow St. Louis native Jack Dorsey. Square couldn’t find the programmers they needed to grow, so the company set up headquarters in San Francisco. To keep that from happening again, Mckelvey is starting an apprenticeships program. McKelvey is confident he can transition the city from its industrial roots into a tech-hub. Listen more here.
Detroit residents work to engage the community with signs of hope, resurgence
PBS NewsHour
How do you rebuild an innovation ecosystem?  Detroit residents are hoping to breath new life into their communities, despite the city’s filing for bankruptcy earlier this year. Neighborhoods are working to attract developers to rehab blighted buildings, create new jobs and assist would-be buyers and renters. Read or watch the video here.
Italy’s Emerging Food & Ag Tech Startup Ecosystem
There’s a global movement of entrepreneurs developing technologies that help preserve and reinvigorate local food ecosystems. They’re creating everything from sensors and software that help farmers improve operation to online marketplaces that allow farmers and food artisans to sell direct to consumers. So it should be no surprise that this movement has made its way to Italy, a country with great respect for its culinary traditions. Read more here.
Down and out, the Irish turn to tech
MarketPlace Public Radio
By now, what went wrong in Ireland is a familiar story — a burst housing bubble, a bailout, an economic crisis and record unemployment. But on the banks of the Liffey, the river that runs through Dublin, is a burgeoning technology sector that many people in Dublin hope can help pull the country out of its doldrums. Many of the world’s largest — mostly American — tech companies have their European headquarters in Dublin to take advantage of Ireland’s super low, 12.5 percent corporate tax rate. Listen more here.

Raising start-up cash in the 21st century – PBS NewsHour

A report on new potential uses of ‘crowdfunding’ – raising a large pool of money from many small contributions online. Thanks to the bipartisan JOBS Act entrepreneurs will soon be able to use this method. Supporters think the it could be a key to spurring economic growth and job creation. But is it a good idea for investors?

Creating an Ecosystem

CityStateBiz.  The innovation and business news.
By  on October 16, 2013
Traditional neoclassical economics looks at an economic system and in theory, predicts that inputs of land, labor, capital, and technology will result in value outputs.  Solid theory, yes, but we all know it is not that simple.  In reality, the presence of those inputs does not just equal the output.  A + b does not equal c.  There are faces behind those inputs in the form of landlords, engineers, investors, and scientists that make our equation a little more complicated.  All of these individuals are biological living systems with different thoughts, emotions, personalities, and needs. 

So what does our equation look like now? More like 2(a + b) x 7(c + d) / (e x 5) = f.  Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally! It might be time to brush up on our middle school algebra lessons and revisit the PEMDAS method for solving this order of operations.  (By the way, submissions for a killer New Leaf version of the PEMDAS acronym are now being accepted).

These concepts all stem from a book called The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley by Victor Hwang and Greg Horowitt.  The authors are experts at the intersection of venture capital and global development who propose a new theory to explain the nature of innovation ecosystems.  They recognize the value in human networks and emphasize that available resources are not enough to form an efficient system; rather, the manner in which these resources and individuals interact and work together is what makes a network viable and successful.

So how does this perspective relate to the culture we are creating at New Leaf?  We recognize that, like a rainforest, our community has a diverse set of inputs in the form of talent, ideas, and skills that, if integrated properly, have the potential to create some pretty awesome things.  So we are establishing our culture so that it provides the outlets for these human networks to flourish.  We believe we can create our own thriving rainforest in the Centre region.  It will be our job to build connections and relationships that transcend various disciplines, generations, and sectors and contribute to a diverse innovative ecosystem that avoids the pitfalls of social barriers.  The secret recipe of Rainforests is about people and how they interact with each other. 

Read more here…

China’s Growth Trajectory Depends on Political Calibrations – The Wall Street Journal

Xi’s Plans to Shift From Growth-at-Any-Cost Strategy as Big a Factor as Economic Conditions

BEIJING—Chinese President Xi Jinping‘s plans to shift the economy away from a growth-at-any-cost strategy means that China’s GDP rise over the coming year will depend as much on political decisions as on economic conditions at home and abroad.

After China said Friday that its third quarter GDP growth accelerated to 7.8%, year over year, from 7.5% in the prior quarter, Chinese officials said the country would have trouble sustaining the faster pace. Read more following this link…


Rainforest Rev: The New Economics of Innovation Ecosystems

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The Latest News on
Innovation Ecosystems


The New Economics of Innovation Ecosystems

By Victor W. Hwang, CEO of T2 Venture Creation and Ade Mabogunje, Co-Creator of Rainforest Architects and Advisor of T2 Venture Creation

Stanford Social Innovation Review 

Today we can see the early outlines of a new economic model. Based on our work studying the dynamics of innovative communities like Silicon Valley, we have discovered certain themes common across several disciplines. As is usually the case, many of these ideas come from non-economic fields, such as biology, psychology, sociology, design, business, and law. Their discoveries point to an emerging framework. It is one that recognizes the full range of human interaction as a tool to explain how innovation ecosystems flourish. This topic matters a lot. Global economies are grasping for new ways to operate more inclusively, create jobs, raise productivity, and elevate standards of living. Read more here

Meet The Social Entrepreneurs Completely Disrupting The World Of Philanthropy

The Huffington Post

Breaking through the traditional ways of thinking allows entire ecosystems to develop around problems like environmental cleanup, revolutionizing higher education and even fighting human trafficking. Connected citizens share their concerns about, and interest in, a particular topic (in conversations made easier through social media and the internet). Market demand grows. Enterprising contributors converge to meet an unfilled gap in the market and…a new ecosystem is born. Read more here.

The Myers Briggs States of America

The Atlantic

This research offers potentially new insights for economic development, specifically for understanding the geographic clustering of talent and innovation. The study suggests “part of the reason why certain regions of the United States are economically vibrant may have to do with the psychological characteristics of residents.” This helps explain the innovation ecosystem in places like Silicon Valley, San Francisco, New York and Boston. Read more here.

Cities are the Innovative Labs for the Future

Metropolis Magazine

Design can foster innovative approaches to our cities’ changing needs and create new innovation ecosystems. Innovative cities globally scale at different levels with policy and design choices. San Francisco’s TechShop points the way toward the future as part of the innovative 5M development — a relationship eco-system that allows art and tech people to meet and work together in co-working spaces. Read more here.


Silicon Valley or Demand Mountain?


Everyone wants to know how to build the next Silicon Valley: an innovation hub that draws talent and capital, and that creates jobs, companies, and whole new industries. Developed-country governments scramble to subsidize technology that could be the Next Big Thing. But most of these well-meaning schemes are missing an essential ingredient: demand. Demand for innovation in specific areas of technology has been the common force behind all high-tech hot spots, as well as the most important inventions.  Read more here.


Chilecon Valley: Entrepreneurs very welcome

PBS News Hour

While United States immigration policy makes it difficult for immigrant entrepreneurs to get visas to set up shop in the United States, Chile is welcoming them with open arms. Through an initiative called Start-Up Chile, the country is aiming to be the high-tech hub of South America. Read more here.


A tale of two ecosystems

The Economist

In a way comparing Berlin with London is unfair: the ecosystem in Germany’s capital is much younger than the one in London. Berlin has always had its fair share of conventional technology companies, but the cluster of internet firms is only about five years old. Compared to that tech toddler, London is a teenager: some date the beginning of Tech City back to the first internet boom in the late 1990s. The leading firms in each city are thus in different stages of development. Read more here.


Pressing ahead with an innovation ecosystem

Gulf News

To be successful, innovation requires strong state support and a facilitative ecosystem. The state, or the government, has a key role to play in innovation strategy. First, economic returns to innovation are uncertain, and therefore, cannot be left to the markets alone. Second, inter-generational equity is important for the GCC nations. They must find the right balance between the interests of present and future generations, for besides being uncertain, returns on such investments take a long time to materialize. Third… read more here.

Watch out, Wall Street: report says tech is now NYC’s second-largest sector

The Verge

New York City’s economy has traditionally been dominated by finance, real estate, and media. But tech may be taking hold as a staple of the private sector, according to a new report.  The study gives some clues as to how New York pulled off what many other cities are desperately attempting to do: invent a tech startup scene. “New York City rapidly reinvented itself as a world-class, urban tech / information hub, uniting tech startups with world-class publishing, media, design, and entertainment companies,” the study concludes. Read more here.


The Philippines’ startup scene: maturity is a matter of time

Tech in Asia

The Philippines’ strong economy plus the growing support from tech incubators in the country are good signs for budding domestic startups.  Philippines posted over 7 percent growth rates in recent quarters, and that the economic climate and large Filipino market present an opportunity “to create and foster the growth of more world-class tech companies.” Can we now say the Philippines’ startup ecosystem is no longer in its nascency? Read more here.


The Myers Briggs States of America – by The Atlantic

This research offers potentially new insights for economic development, specifically for understanding the geographic clustering of talent and innovation. The study suggests “part of the reason why certain regions of the United States are economically vibrant may have to do with the psychological characteristics of residents.” This helps explain the cluster of innovative and creative activity in places like Silicon Valley, San Francisco, New York and Boston.