Kids deserve creativity

As the new school year starts, I always find it shocking how poorly many schools develop children’s creativity. Although creativity and innovation is fundamentally important for economic growth, in most schools it has become totally subservient to the need to push kids through ever more tests. Continue reading Kids deserve creativity

Brexit as Innovation

As the UK embarks on the complicated process of negotiating itself out of the EU, I found myself reflecting about the parallels with innovation.

Many R&D managers will recognise the feeling of being asked to achieve a complex multifaceted project with an apparently impossible timescale and distracting internal politics, while being under-resourced and under huge pressure to “just get on with it”.  Continue reading Brexit as Innovation

Cool technology

As I write, it’s been a good month for global environmental agreements. First, the Paris Agreement was ratified and so entered into force on 4 November 2016. Although some environmentalists will rightly say that it’s currently inadequate, it is an extremely significant step forward. This is because it’s setting a very clear signal about the direction of travel, and smart businesses are very good at responding to this. Trillions of $ of investment are starting to flow in new directions, and many companies are investing for the new reality, significantly ahead of governments and regulators. Continue reading Cool technology

“You can’t eat consultants”

A friend emailed me the other day about an awards event he’d been at for innovative early stage social enterprises. As seems to be increasingly fashionable these days, the “prize” was “support” rather than money, and in his closing address, Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society glibly said “Innovation doesn’t flourish when there’s money about.” The audience wasn’t impressed. Continue reading “You can’t eat consultants”

Crisis Creativity

As I write this, it’s been a rough month.

First an obscure Icelandic volcano grounded all European air travel. Then three young bankers were burnt to death by rioters in Athens, while Greece’s debt levels suddenly looked like bringing down the Euro. Finally a blowout in the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico turned BP’s exploratory well into a financial and environmental nightmare. Continue reading Crisis Creativity