Think Bigger. Aim Higher. Go Further.

Tag: artist

What Is An Ingenesist?

Eric Rosenblith 1920-2010

I have been putting off writing this blog post until I could find a simple answer to the question “What is an Ingenesist?”.  I invented the term “Ingenesist” to capture the creative, intellectual and social nature of human ingenuity without falling back on current definitions and the silos that perpetuate them. Something has gone wrong with the world and the solution could not be found in the current world view – I needed a new word for my work.

Ingenesist comes from the Latin (ingeniare), French (ingénieur), and Spanish (ingeniero) word for Engineer.  These words, of course, were created long before an engineer was defined by such alphabet soup as BSME. MSCE, IEEE, ABET, NCEES, EIT, PE, etc…  The term ‘Ingenesist’ was meant to represent people whose ideas and actions increase the productivity of other people.

A friend of mine lost his dad yesterday.  I read the obituary and could not help but realize that this person lived through what were likely the darkest and the brightest hours of modern human civilization.  He was an artist and a teacher.

Then I hit the quote in Mr. Rosenblith’s obituary:

“We truly need to be thinkers, poets, painters, engineers, and philosophers.’’ – Eric Rosenblith

And that is how I found my simple answer.  With humility and simplicity, he captured the creative, intellectual and social nature of human ingenuity. The least I could do was finally write this blog post.

My sincere condolences to Alan and his family.  Please support the Symbionomics Project on Kickstarter

American Day Dreams

As we discuss many times in this blog; human knowledge assets include combinations of intellectual capital, social capital, and creative capital. Of course nobody can survive without all of these elements, however, I am continuously amazed at the power of the last and most important element; Creative Capital.

This video is from an extraordinary Seattle Musician named Aaron English. I have known Aaron for several years and follow all of his work. He is always up to something completely interesting. Aaron can say more in 4 minutes that I can say in 100 blog posts.

Artists and musicians have what I call “communication density”. They are the true innovators among us.  They can combine so many different concepts, media forms, and objects to produce something completely new and interesting. Artists create value. I rely heavily on the artists for my day dreams.

Please enjoy this video – American Day Dreams. Watch it several times. Don’t forget to daydream

Factors of Production for an Innovation Economy

Many years ago, economists in the midst of the industrial revolution identified three variables (productive inputs) for building industries; Land, Labor, and Capital.  The rate of output was related to how these inputs were allocated. If any of these factors of production were missing, the other two had little use.  The concept of Land, Labor, and Capital is still the foundation of much of today’s economic thought.

We know that in the knowledge economy, the location of knowledge work is highly mobile – so “Land” does not have the same significance for making things as it did 100-200 years ago.

What about “Labor“? Knowledge workers analyze situations, manage many variables, and create unique solutions. They do not really produce identical knowledge pieces like a machine operator or a production worker –so Labor also means something different than a century ago.

The term “Capital” refers to money that would be needed now to build future structures, buy machines and to pay wages. Today money buys access to information, education, and knowledge workers. So we see that many old economic principle may not be as applicable in the new economies.

The factors of production for the Innovation Economy are Intellectual Capital (also call Human Capital), Social Capital, and Creative Capital + entrepreneurs. (Reference: Jane Jacobs, Robert Putnam, Richard Florida)

Intellectual Capital Model suggests that concentrations of educated and motivated people attract investors to employ them and invest in the communities where they reside. This investment attracts other intelligent people who in turn attract more investment thereby creating a cycle of economic growth

The Social Capital Model suggests that people acting in communities can create better solutions, greater accountability, and more economic growth than management, governments, or bureaucracy can induce on their own. Examples of Social Capital include Civil Rights Movement, community watch organizations, Democratic Government, and recently, Social Networking.

The Creative Capital Model, suggests that engineers and scientists think more like artists and musicians than like production workers – their ideas come 24/7/365 – and that an environment of tolerance, diversity, and openness promotes creative output.

Silicon Mouse trap

Many people argue that Silicon Valley, in fact, was created and sustained by a perfect storm of Social Capital, Creative Capital, an Intellectual Capital + Entrepreneurs.  Other countries have tried to duplicate Silicon Valley but most have fallen short – if any of these factors of production are missing, the other two have limited utility for production of innovation. To demonstrate how these productive inputs might appear in an innovation economy, consider the following example:

Suppose that we take 5 mechanical engineers and lock them in a room with instructions to build a better mouse trap, they’ll emerge with a better shingle, a better spring, a better whacker, and a better trigger – but not necessarily a better mousetrap.  Suppose that we now put a dog catcher, an engineer, a plastics manufacturer, an artist, and the mother of 4 rowdy children together with the same task. We can be quite certain that innovation will occur. They may actually come up with an excellent mouse trap.

The Innovation Economy

Innovation Economics will bring the factors of production together in diverse combination rather than similar combination.  In an Innovation Economy, the “secret sauce” for the production of innovation becomes far more valuable than any single innovation itself.  The secret sauce provides a monopoly on dynamic repeatability rather than a static device.

As such, technologies can be open sourced and innovation crowd sourced across a much wider domain of possible user applications.  Such conditions will change the type of innovations that are favored to reflect the broad and sweeping social priorities rather than innovations that are easy to patent, protect, and monopolize.

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