Archive for the ‘Innovation’ Category
“In ancient times, Julius Caesar painted his fleet of reconnaissance boats entirely in a blue-green wax — including the sails, ropes and even the crew — making the vessels virtually invisible against the sea. In a sense, camouflage is the original invisibility cloak, one that animals have evolved to such stunning perfection that they can disappear before our very eyes. It’s a marvelous trick for survival.
But beyond hiding from the view of hungry predators or opposing soldiers, the idea of invisibility has long captured our imagination, notably the imagination of “Harry Potter” fans and random physics geniuses who strive to create real-life invisibility cloaks. One such brainiac, Baile Zhang, an assistant professor of physics at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, showed off his “invisibility cloak” on Monday at the TED2013 talks in Long Beach, Calif.
Presenting as part of TED Fellows Day, a day when young researchers, artists, and other assorted brilliant minds are selected to give four-minute talks, Zhang awed the audience with his awesome cloak.
Zhang’s device is in its early stages; just a small gizmo in prototype phase — but it works. Speaking to Carla Sinclair of Boing Boing, Zhang explained that the cloak is made out of two pieces of natural calcite (optical crystals) that are joined together. The calcite bends light and suppresses shadows, tricking the eye into seeing nothing.
Sinclair writes of the demo, “The cloak’s ability to conceal an object so that both the cloak and the object become invisible was astonishing. Zhang placed the cloak over a bright pink Post-it note and voila! Nothing! The pink paper disappeared. And the cloak itself wasn’t really visible in the first place.”
As inventors generally have a purpose in mind for the innovations they conjure up, it’s logical to assume that Zhang’s extreme camouflage machine is being developed for the military or some other high-end application, but no. When asked what his plans were, he said that it had no purpose, he “just created it for fun.” Such are the hobbies of whiz-kid wizards.
AN : writers have written, concocted the thoughts and ability of invisibility from comic book characters to science fiction. It is not altogether beyong capability, as this TED Talk participant demonstrates. If one thinks about it, the visible spectrum of light is what we operate in….yet the electromagnetic spectrum is much broader than just our visible light receptor spectrum . Think , for example, infrared spectrum. We cannot see that spectrum but with instrumentation, we can “see” in the IR range. It should not surprise that we then can de-visualize. The applications of this are intriguing.
See (or don’t see) a demo of the device below:
via Physics wizard reveals ‘invisibility cloak’ at TED conference | MNN – Mother Nature Network. “
“Growth is a mantra that cities, as well as nations and states, everywhere quest after. A growing number of economists caution that growth for growth’s sake does not necessarily equate to higher living standards or increased happiness. A blue-ribbon international commission headed by Nobel Prize-winning economists Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen has called for new, broader measures of economic performance and social progress. Plus, not all “growth” is the same. I’ve previously called attention to “growth without growth,” the misguided notion that adding population equals economic growth. “
via Is Your Region Innovative, Productive, Creative, or Just Populated? – Jobs & Economy – The Atlantic Cities.
AN : we need to measure ourselves, our Cities and Countries with scales and aspects that do not only focus on fiscal and numerical aspects. Education opportunites, arts, cultural and recreational amenities, nature and sport venues etc are extremely meaningful. Why are they most often overlooked ? Probably because the trained individuals are trained in the thoughts and tools of economic measures. The article provokes us to more such aspects.
8 for 2050
What are some of the breakthroughs in technology that we might see, over the longer term, that might address some of our pressing issues in energy demand.
via Transformative Technologies « ART of the STEM.
“There is a school of thought that says that creativity is enhanced by having all the resources you need. There is an equal and opposite view that suggests that limitations can be the spur to creativity. It is to this view that I want to turn. Starting with the gypsy jazz musician Django Reinhardt: …..
The parallel business innovation lesson from my background in pharmaceuticals is that many of the world’s breakthrough therapies were not discovered in sterile glass corporate buildings, but often in rather unpromising conditions, by people who had been starved of budget, resources and attention by the corporate centre. I’m not suggesting that this should become a modus operandi for running innovative businesses. Just that sometimes opulence does not produce the conditions where people give that extra effort that leads to innovative breakthroughs.
At a personal level, give someone all s/he needs and he may use those resources to come up with something ingenious. Tell him or her that it’s impossible or there isn’t time and they might spend a lot more effort proving you wrong. Clearly this is not an absolute truth in all circumstances, but it’s widely ignored.”
AN : do watch and listen to the inspiring stories in the accompanying videos in the link….
via Innovation Excellence | Constraints and Creativity – schools of thought.
“Korean artist Lee Kyu-Hak creates beautiful mixed-media paintings (mosaics?) by wrapping small wooden wedges with colored newsprint that mimic the brushstrokes of famous artists. Lee’s artworks appear mostly to be reinterpretations of pieces by Vincent van Gogh, but I think I see a few original compositions as well. See much more over at Yesong gallery.”
AN : a plethora of imagination. Re-creation of some well known art pieces in a very innovative fashion…for that matter, the entire blog that this comes from has a vast canvas of artistic creativity….
via Colossal | A blog about art and visual ingenuity..
“Creativity is underrated – at least that is what Fredrik Härén, author of The Idea Book believes.“We want to be thought of as being creative people, but, by and large, companies are not fostering creativity, but practically killing it … through bureaucracy, through process-driven organisations,” Härén told INSEAD MBAs at the school’s Asia campus in Singapore.
The irony, however, is that almost all companies have innovation and creativity in their mission statements or their slogans, he says. But these are all just a marketing exercise, or the mission statement doesn’t trickle down to the rest of the organisation.
But why the emphasis on creativity? According to Härén, harnessing creative energy can generate new ideas, which can, in turn, lead to greater economic and social progress.”
via INSEAD Knowledge – Harnessing creativity to power up the economy.
“In his new book Resilience, Andrew Zolli — the director of the global innovation network PopTech — uses the electrical grid as an example of a system that lacks just that. And in an increasingly interconnected world — financially, ecologically, politically — one in which small errors in one place can cascade into broader system failures, the ability to adapt, accommodate and bounce back is only going to become more important. From climate change to overpopulation to recessions, the threats facing the world are as unpredictable as they are varied — which is why we need to craft systems that are nimble, that can bend under stress rather than break. “If we cannot control the volatile tides of change, we can learn to build better boats,” writes Zolli. “We can design — and redesign — organizations, institutions, and systems to better absorb disruption, operate under a wilder variety of conditions, and shift more fluidly from one circumstance to the next.” “
via The Power Grid: From Rickety to Resilient – TIME.
“The Austro-Hungarian Empire did not collapse in 1918 because it failed to cultivate new ideas or nurture personal freedom. It was filled with expressive, entrepreneurial, and free-thinking groups. The problem was that the Habsburg political system, which for three centuries had held diverse groups together, generated remarkable wealth, and defeated foreign tyrants (notably Napoleon), failed to adjust to new demands for national independence and democratic participation. Franz-Josef served as Emperor for more than sixty years before his death in 1916, as a pious, hard-working, and fair-minded political leader. He even encouraged equality for Jews at a time of rising anti-Semitism throughout Europe. Nonetheless, the system of imperial monarchy that he directed failed to address the growing demands for independence, development, and wealth redistribution throughout his lands. Despite his efforts, he was a prisoner of a stagnant and outdated set of political institutions.
Even with the best of leaders and institutions, large societies cannot prosper if they cannot adjust to change. At the same time that the cosmopolitan city of Vienna entered a terminal crisis in 1914, much more provincial cities like Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Cleveland led a rapid growth in American wealth and power behind their flexible political systems of governance.”
via The Austro-Hungarian Legacy: Creative Citizens Need Innovative Governance | Global Trends 2030.
Keeping the concept fresh….how to keep the term innovation when it is so prolifically
overused and loosely defined ….
Definition : “An innovation is something new or different that has been successfully brought out into the world and creates a positive impact. It can be something new or different, because most innovation is about renewal, or taking a fresh look at existing inventions or capabilities.
The key here is that it must be something that has been brought successfully out to the world; if it hasn’t, it’s probably an invention, and an innovation. Invention is about insight, while innovation is about impact.“
via Innovation is Dead. Long Live Innovation! – Forbes.
This upcoming conference highlights the major and longer impact a Thinker can have on future thinking.
“The conference coincides with the centenary of the publication of Schumpeter’s seminal work, The Theory of Economic Development (1911). The conference will be held in conjunction with the annual Innovation for Economic Development executive program.
Schumpeter’s intellectual legacy
Schumpeter left a rich intellectual legacy of relevance to emerging economies and globalization in general. He is associated with at least four major ideas (in writings between 1911 and 1942).”
Please read and note further :
International Conference on
TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION FOR GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT
Schumpeter and Polymer Research
3–5 June 2012
Harvard Kennedy School
Co-organized by the
Science, Technology, and Globalization Project, Harvard Kennedy School
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
Agricultural Innovation in Africa Project, Harvard Kennedy School
Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, Harvard Kennedy School
Professor Calestous Juma
Harvard Kennedy School
The aim of the “International Conference on Innovation and Development” (3-5 June, 2012) is to take stock of the relevance of the work of Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter for developing countries. The conference coincides with the centenary of the publication of Schumpeter’s seminal work, The Theory of Economic Development (1911). The conference will be held in conjunction with the annual Innovation for Economic Development executive program.
Although Schumpeter’s work was clearly framed to address the unfolding nature of economic systems, policymakers and development thinkers in developing countries are only starting to be exposed to his seminal thinking. Many of these countries now embrace the idea of innovation in economic development without recognizing that they are furthering the legacy of Schumpeter.
For example, a 2005 report entitled Innovation: Applying Knowledge in Development played an important role in guiding discussions on the implementation of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. But few leaders in developing countries associated the ideas in the report with work on Schumpeter. The ideas in the report have been widely adopted among developing countries and prepared the ground for a commemorative study on Schumpeter’s legacy.
Schumpeter’s intellectual legacy
Schumpeter left a rich intellectual legacy of relevance to emerging economies and globalization in general. He is associated with at least four major ideas (in writings between 1911 and 1942). First, he highlighted the critical role that innovation (broadly defined plays in economic transformation), especially through the dynamic process of “creative destruction”. Secondly, argued that technological innovation as an integral part of the capitalist enterprise and not changes in resource endowment was possibly the most powerful driver of economic transformation. Thirdly, he postulated that expectation of monopoly power was a greater source of productivity than the mere act of being in a competitive market. Finally, he stressed the importance of history and outlined the institutional forces that influence the pace and direction of economic transformation. In a posthumous paper published in 2005 entitled, Development, Schumpeter provided the clearest articulation of the theory behind his evolutionary thinking. He stressed the role of indeterminacy, novelty and discontinuous leaps.
The aim of this conference is to convene a commemorative series of activities on the intellectual legacy of Schumpeter with specific reference to developing countries. Specific objectives of the initiative are to:
(a) outline the essential features of Schumpeter’s ideas of relevance to development policy and practice;
(b) elaborate the elements into a new study that lays out the policy implications of Schumpeter’s legacy for development policy and practice;
(c) explore the role of innovation in emerging engineering fields, specifically polymer research, in addressing development challenges such as agriculture, health, water, shelter and environmental management;
(d) disseminate the results among development policymakers, scholars, and practitioners; and
(e) identify new research directions on innovation and development.
The conference will also provide opportunities to authors to present findings in their recent books that build on Schumpeter’s ideas.
Prospective contributors may submit abstracts on indicative topics provided below. The topics are only indicative and not intended to restrict the scope of submissions. Preference will be given to evidence-based papers that provide case studies of the role of innovation in development:
History and Theory
Innovation in development history
Innovation, entrepreneurship, and development
Innovation in Action
Natural resource utilization
Polymers, Innovation and Development
Advances in polymer research
Implications for development
New research and policy directions “
via Science, Technology, and Globalization – Conference Announcements – Harvard – Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.