> Innovation Agenda

Innovation Reading Circle

> Overview

The Innovation Reading Circle aims to help develop theory around innovation through rich, high-level and well-informed public discussion around key and related texts and discourses... [Read on in Objectives]

> Notices

16 September The next Innovation Reading Circle will be on the evening of Monday 12 October, where we will be discussing From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism by Fred Turner (Chicago University Press) [Amazon.co.uk]. The event is part of the Internet Beyond 40 activities taking place in 2009/2010. If you might take part in this event we would encourage you to order the title sooner than later. See Future events.

We are currently looking for support for the Reading Circle, both financial and in kind (primarily hosting events and offering drinks). The benefits to supporters include being associated with high level discussions around innovation, and raising your profile among key opinion formers and doers involved in this area. Any organisations wanting to discuss opportunities should contact Nico Macdonald. To date we would like to acknowledge the support in kind we have received from a number of publishers (The MIT Press and O’Reilly), who have contributed copies of titles, and from companies and organisations, who have hosted events (LBi London, Agency.com London, Moving Brands, IDEO London, NESTA, CMP Communications, Channel 4 Television, the Design Council the RSA, lastminute.com and One Alfred Place).

> Future events

Next event: Counterculture and cyberculture

Monday 12 October 2009 Innovation Reading Circle 22: Counterculture and cyberculture will take place on the evening of Monday 12 October, where we will be discussing From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism by Fred Turner (Chicago University Press) [Amazon.co.uk]. It will take place in Shoreditch, London.

Future events and themes

Events (usually) take place on the second Monday of each month.

The focus for the autumn will be the Internet Beyond 40. See Future titles for a full list of themes and titles.

Location and Cost

We are currently discussing hosting events with The Hospital and other partners. It is possible that a fee will also be levied for taking part, to cover venue, food and drinks.

> Past events

18: Forecasting and foresight

The theme was Forecasting and foresight, and the event was held at CMP Communications on 13 October 2008. The titles discussed were:

Background reading (including links to reviews and interviews) can be found on the event page. Synopses and reflections on the titles can be found in the 18: Forecasting and foresight: Discussing Future Files in the Innovation Reading Circle group on Facebook. Meta-review to be published shortly. We are grateful to the CMP Communications for hosting this event.

17: Behaviour architects

The theme was Behaviour architects, and the event was held at LBi London on 8 September, 2008. The titles discussed were:

Background reading (including links to reviews and interviews) can be found on the event page. Synopses and reflections on the titles can be found in the 17: Behaviour architects: Discussing Nudge by Thaler and Sunstein discussion topic in the Innovation Reading Circle group on Facebook. Meta-review to be published shortly. We are grateful to the LBi London for hosting this event.

The theme was The Dangers of Openness, and the event was held at One Alfred Place on 17 July, 2008. The titles discussed were:

Background reading (including links to reviews and interviews) can be found on the event page. Synopses and reflections on the titles can be found in the 16: The Dangers of Openness: Discussing The Future of the Internet discussion topic in the Innovation Reading Circle group on Facebook. Meta-review to be published shortly. We are grateful to the One Alfred Place for hosting this event.

15: Journalism futures

The theme was Journalism futures, and the event was held at the RSA on 13 May, 2008. The titles discussed were:

Background reading (including links to reviews and interviews) can be found on the event page. Synopses and reflections on the titles can be found in the 15: Journalism futures: Discussing Supermedia discussion topic in the Innovation Reading Circle group on Facebook. Meta-review to be published shortly. We are grateful to the RSA for hosting this event.

14: Democratising technology

The theme was Democratising technology, and the event was held at lastminute.com on 21 April, 2008. The titles discussed were:

Background reading (including links to reviews and interviews) can be found on the event page. Synopses and reflections on the titles can be found in the 14: Democratising technology: Discussing Here Comes Everybody discussion topic in the Innovation Reading Circle group on Facebook. Meta-review to be published shortly. We are grateful to lastminute.com for hosting this event.

13: The New economy revisited

The theme was The New economy revisited, and the event was held at CMP Communications on 10 March, 2008. The titles discussed were:

Background reading (including links to reviews and interviews) can be found on the event page. Synopses and reflections on the titles can be found in the 13: The New economy revisited: Discussing The Big Switch discussion topic in the discussion section of the Innovation Reading Circle group on Facebook. Meta-review to be published shortly. We are grateful to CMP Communications for its support and hosting of this event.

12: Innovation in the real world

The theme was Innovation in the real world, and the event was held at the RSA on February 14, 2008. The titles discussed were:

Background reading (including links to reviews and interviews) can be found on the event page. Synopses and reflections on the titles can be found in the 12: Innovation in the real world: Discussing The Myths of Innovation discussion topic in the discussion section of the Innovation Reading Circle group on Facebook. Meta-review to be published shortly. We are grateful to the RSA for hosting this event.

11: Material limits and societal progress

The theme was Material limits and societal progress, and the event was held at the Design Council on January 14, 2008. The titles discussed were:

Background reading (including links to reviews and interviews) can be found on the event page. Synopses and reflections on the titles can be found in the 11: Material limits and societal progress: Discussing Cradle to Cradle and Fab discussion topic in the discussion section of the Innovation Reading Circle group on Facebook. Meta-review to be published shortly. We are grateful to the Design Council for its support and hosting of this event.

10: The Media and society

The theme was The Media and society, and the event was held at LBi on November 12, 2007. The titles discussed were:

Background reading (including links to reviews and interviews) can be found on the event page. Synopses and reflections on the titles can be found in the 10: The Media and society: Discussing he Medium Is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects discussion topic in the Innovation Reading Circle group on Facebook. Meta-review to be published shortly. We are grateful toLBifor its support and hosting of this event.

09: Affluence and happiness

The theme was Societal decline, and the event was held at Channel 4 Television on October 8, 2007. The titles discussed were:

Background reading (including links to reviews and interviews) can be found on the event page. Synopses and reflections on the titles can be found in the 09: Affluence and happiness: Discussing The Paradox of Choice discussion topic in the Innovation Reading Circle group on Facebook. Meta-review to be published shortly. We are grateful to Channel 4 Television for its support and hosting of this event.

08: Societal decline

The theme was Societal decline, and the event was held at CMP Communications on September 10, 2007. The titles discussed were:

Background reading (including links to reviews and interviews) can be found on the event page. Synopses and reflections on the titles can be found in the 08: Societal decline discussion topic in the Innovation Reading Circle group on Facebook. Meta-review to be published shortly. We are grateful to CMP Communications for its support and hosting of this event.

07: Decision making and wisdom

The theme was Decision making and wisdom, and the event was held at NESTA in London on August 13, 2007. The titles discussed were:

Background reading (including links to reviews and interviews) can be found on the event page. Synopses and reflections on the titles can be found in the 07: Decision making and wisdom discussion topic in the discussion section of the Innovation Reading Circle group on Facebook. Meta-review to be published shortly. We are grateful to NESTA for their support and hosting of this event.

06: Economic futures

The theme was Decision making and wisdom, and the event was held at IDEO in London on Monday July 16, 2007. The titles discussed were:

  • Fantasy Island by Larry Elliott and Dan Atkinson (Constable and Robinson, 2007)

Points for discussion and background reading (including links to reviews and interviews) can be found on the event page. Mini-reviews and reflections on the theme can be found in the 06: Economic futures discussion topic in the discussion section of the Innovation Reading Circle group on Facebook. Meta-review to be published shortly. We are grateful to IDEO for their support and hosting of this event.

05: Amateurism, culture and excellence

The theme was Amateurism, culture and excellence, and the event was held at Moving Brands on June 26, 2007. The titles discussed were:

The author, Andrew Keen, kindly took part in the event. Points for discussion and background reading (including links to reviews and interviews) can be found on the event page. Meta-review to be published shortly. We are grateful to Moving Brands for their support for this event.

04: The Media and the public

The fourth series theme was The Media and the public, and sessions were held on April 30, 2007. The titles discussed were:

Points for discussion and background reading (including links to reviews and interviews) can be found on the series page. Meta-review to be published shortly. We are grateful to Agency.com, London, and to O’Reilly for their support for this event.

03: The Social shaping of technology

The theme was The Social shaping of technology, and the event was held at LBI International on 3 April 2007. The titles discussed were:

The author, Professor David Edgerton, kindly took part in the event. Points for discussion and background reading (including links to reviews and interviews) can be found on the series page. Meta-review to be published shortly. We are grateful to LBI International for their support for this event.

02: User-led innovation

The second series theme was User-led innovation, and sessions were held on January 15, January 29 and Monday February 5, 2007. The titles discussed were:

Points for discussion and background reading (including links to reviews and interviews) can be found on the series page [to be added shortly]. Meta-review to be published shortly. We are grateful to The MIT Press for their support for this event.

01: Sustainability, design and society

The initial theme was Sustainability, design and society. Sessions were held on November 13 and November 16, 2006. The titles discussed were:

Points for discussion and background reading (including links to reviews and interviews) can be found on the series page [to be added shortly]. Meta-review to be published shortly. We are grateful to The MIT Press for their support for this event.

> Joining

If you would like to participate and you have a Facebook account please select ‘Request Invitation’ to join the Innovation Reading Circle group. Otherwise, please contact Nico Macdonald with information on your background and interests. There is no currently cost to attend these events.

> Protocols

Structure

Innovation Reading Circles run for around two hours, and are chaired by Nico Macdonald, with introducers/facilitator/reporters for each Circle.

  1. Introduction(s) by participants
  2. Introduction to the title(s) and discussion (including related titles)
  3. Group report backs (if multiple titles) and debate
  4. Documentation and Reviews [Formal event ends]
  5. Future titles for discussion (and introducers/facilitators/documenters)
  6. Improving the organisational model and event format
  7. Other interesting titles and publications recently published

Rules

The discussion will be developed around the clarity and relevance of questions addressed by the text; the soundness of its factual basis; the reasoning of the argument (and the depth and quality of references); the clarity and value of the conclusions; the originality of the theses (and their historical foundations). The Reading Circle may also consider the text structure; quality of writing and design; and the value of the contents and index. Reading Circle participants will also be encouraged to qualify their contributions to the discussion. The Reading Circle will also consider the relevant related texts, theses and other work, with a view to constructing a loose historiography around the text’s themes.

A Reading Circle can be chaired by anyone who has participated in one Reading Circle. Similarly, a text can be introduced by anyone who has participated in one Reading Circle. Future texts for discussion will be chosen on their likely relevance to the future of innovation and their apparent originality.

Format

The Innovation Reading Circle convenes monthly, to discuss one or perhaps more titles around a particular theme. We sometimes invite the book author to participate. Numbers are limited to around fifteen, though multiple circles may take place in parallel. An introduction to the book(s) is prepared by one participant, and participants are presented with a number of questions in advance, to help focus thinking and the discussion. References related to the titles(s) are also be gathered and made available, which helps participants to put the title(s) into context.

Documentation and Publication

The discussion will be written up, following the structure of the discussion, and turned into a meta-book review to be published on the Innovation Reading Circle site and/or in an online publication. We are currently working with spiked and Core77 on publishing meta-reviews. Write-ups can be written up by anyone who has participated in the Reading Circle. Participants will be encouraged to review the title(s) on their own Weblogs or in publications for which they write.

> Future titles

Titles considered for future discussion

Feel free to suggest a title. These may include (grouped by theme):

Forecasting and new models of innovation [in planning]

Seeing What’s Next: Using Theories of Innovation to Predict Industry Change Clayton M. Christensen (Harvard Business School Press, 2004)

The Slow Pace of Fast Change: Bringing Innovations to Market in a Connected World Bhaskar Chakravorti (Harvard Business School Press, 2003) [Suggested by Norman Lewis (check)]

Open Innovation: Researching a New Paradigm Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke and Joel West (Oxford University Press, 2006) [Suggested by Geke van Dijk: I am not sure if the IRC is already growing tired of discussing the ‘open anything’ mantra, but this might be an interesting book in that field. It is fairly new. There are no customer reviews on Amazon yet.]

The Future of Competition: Co-creating Unique Value with Customers C.K. Prahalad, Venkat Ramaswamy (Harvard Business School Press, 2004) [Suggested by Norman Lewis]

Blue Ocean Strategy W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne (Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation, 2005) [Suggested by Geke van Dijk: From the reviews on Amazon I could not really get a grasp of its relevance and value to the IRC. The comments made are quite mixed.]

Creativity and the economy [in planning]

Innovation Nation: How America Is Losing Its Innovation Edge, Why It Matters, and What We Can Do to Get It Back by John Kao (Free Press, 2007)

The Rise of the Creative Class and The Flight of the Creative Class (and Who’s Your City?: How the Places We Pick Shape the Lives We Lead) Richard Florida

Managing innovation

The Future of Management by Gary Hamel (Harvard Business School Press, 2007)

Technology and society

Future Hype: The Myths of Technology Change Bob Seidensticker (Berrett-Koehler, 2006) [Reviewed in Reg Developer]

Contemporary capitalism

Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America Giles Slade (Harvard University Press, 2007) [Suggested by James Woudhuysen]

The Culture of the New Capitalism Richard Sennett (Yale University Press, 2007) Castle Lecture Series in Ethics, Politics & Economics.

Economics and value

The Economics of Attention Richard Lanham (University of Chicago Press, 2006) [Author of The Electronic Word]

Designerly thinking

Designing Interactions Bill Moggridge (MIT Press, 2005) [Suggested by Gill Wildman]

The Laws of Simplicity John Maeda (The MIT Press, 2006) [Suggested by Rishi Dastidar. Seconded by Gill Wildman and Lorenzo Wood]

The Network meets the Real World

Code: Version 2.0 (Basic Books, 2006) Lawrence Lessig [Suggested by Rishi Dastidar: challenges cyber-liberarians and provides useful analytical framework]

Barriers to innovation

The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail Clayton M. Christensen (Harvard Business School Press, 1997) [Suggested by Geke van Dijk: Might be interesting, judging from the reviews on Amazon. It is not very recent though. This is the book Jeremy Myerson mentioned, but I have seen that there is a newer book by the same author as well, which seems to follow up on this one...]

The Innovator’s Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth Clayton M. Christensen and Michael Raynor (Harvard Business School Press, 2003) [Suggested by Geke van Dijk: Might be a bit on the heavy side; theory and economics. But the reviews are quite positive.]

> Objectives

The objective of the Innovation Reading Circle is to help develop theory around innovation (considering technology, design, society and organisation) by facilitating rich, high-level and well-informed public discussion around key and related texts and discourses. The Reading Circle will encourage reasoned debate with no ideas considered out of bounds. To facilitate this, the text(s) for each Reading Circle will be introduced by one participant and chaired by another.

> Contact

If you have queries about the event please email   Nico Macdonald. In due course, we will setup a mailing list for Reading Circle announcements.