In the late 1980s/1990 I became involved in the EU’s attempt to create an ARPA-type unit, similar to the Advanced Research Projects Agency in the USA. I got the tech bug from that experience. I now investigate innovation and transformation issues and offer my advice to companies and public sector organizations.
That can be on innovation maturity models, new decision making models, disruption vectors, or changing economic conditions. I trained as an economist and sociologist at the LSE and Oxford University with a specialty in societal and economic transformation.
Back in the 1990 we were discussing 3G mobile and broadband applications more than a decade before they became commonplace.
My job, apart from managing a few downstream satellite application pilots, was to write populist pamphlets, pre the Web, on broadband applications, 3G (before it was invented), and Wired Cities, trying to whip up enthusiasm among politicians around Europe and, we dared hope, among voters. I was also involved in dreaming up new application areas for broadband technologies.
Those technologies, coupled to computing, have laid the conditions for economic transformation. Companies are now re-equipping themselves to face that change, but so too are people like you and me.
In the 1990s Europe had an economic mission that I am proud to have played a part in. It gave me huge insights into the emerging ecosystems of wealth creation. Along with people like Bob Pestel, I got to think about communities of interest and ecosystems as economic factors, as well as the need for remote working, the potential of education anywhere, anytime, and similar behaviors that we now accept as the norm.
Since then I’ve been in both professions, writing, on the one hand, and doing tech and economic futures and consulting, on the other. More recently I’ve worked with think tanks like nGenera, run by Don Tapscott and I’ve advised large companies like General Motors, Alcatel, and Nokia and big state bodies like the Dutch Academy of Science and the Swedish Research Institutes (RISE).
When I was editor at Innovation Management I tried to bring a harder edge to discussions of creativity and innovation. I then wrote The Elastic Enterprise, with Nick Vitalari, which looks at an emergent wealth creation system where enterprises are participants in ecosystems that have people at their heart. I address these issues on Forbes.com where my column attracts 200,000 to 900,000 unique visitors each month.
I have written for many major outlets like the Wall St Journal, Times, HBR, Forbes.com, and GigaOm, as well as producing TV for the BBC, Channel 4 and RTE.
I just finished a paper on the The Fluid Core and one on decision making in innovation environments. I am a research fellow at the Center For Digital Transformation at UC Irvine, where I am also an advisory board member.
Please take a look around the site. I’ll be adding more especially about my content projects.