From Enlightenment to Enmeshment – a guide for the age of networking and AI

The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of NetworksThe Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks by Joshua Cooper Ramo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great story about the shift of power, from central feudal systems to the enlightenment; a revolution that made us citizens and not objects. However in the age of networks/connection and AI we are moving into the age of “enmeshment” and risking to become objects again. This threatening evolution is very well elaborated in the book. Also the author indicates how to make the best of this revolution i.e. by becoming better citizens (not depend too much on by definition incompetent leaders for this new age, by capabilities or by objectives) and let humanity (not technology) drive. This is compelling, but the author remains very vague on how to achieve this, apart from the observation that we have to develop a “seventh sense” for the new reality. Notwithstanding for me a clear well documented wake-up call worth reading and applying.

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Between Debt and the Devil

Between Debt and the Devil: Money, Credit, and Fixing Global FinanceBetween Debt and the Devil: Money, Credit, and Fixing Global Finance by Adair Turner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great story about the financial crisis of 2008 that should never have taken place according to leading economists and policy makers at that time. In essence a story about human hubris believing that complexity and uncertainty can be managed through human created decision models. The author also describes the root causes of the crisis and in summary one could argue that the Central Banks turned off the alarm system without addressing the real fire i.e. debt overhang. Even worse, it is clear that the debt crisis which was created is cured by another debt crisis (ref. Draghi’s et al programmed for ultra-loose monetary policies). So the debt overhang remains and if not tackled with alternative policy measures will give rise to secular stagnation (no growth) for decades. Therefore it is good to read in the book which alternative paths could be explored. So positive to learn that there are ways out of this economic misery. Hopefully policy makers start considering them.

I recommend this book to everyone who wants to have a balanced view on the financial crisis of 2008 as well as the way out. At the end it will help you to better judge current policy from a societal standpoint as well as from a personal investor’s standpoint.

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Connecting the dots

A recent blog from Frank Diana highlights very well the powerful impact of connecting the dots or combinatorial thinking and exploring the power of intersections.

We concur with the views expressed and would like to add that the Itonics platform can be very instrumental in this approach.   For more info on how to connect the dots with technology , look at our blog “Blinded by Trends” .

 

Platform Value Now Initiative

The Platform Value Now project funded by Finland’s Strategic Research Councilwill focus on understanding the fast emerging platform ecosystems, their value creation dynamics and requirements of the supportive institutional environment. They will analyze ecosystems with systems tools and develop new methods for platform-centric ecosystems management. Data collection is based on active scanning of global technology and platform ecosystems and fast solution oriented case experiments with Finnish corporations and policy planners. The aim of the project is to operationalize the collected understanding into a Platform Profile framework that will enable more efficient method and tool development for ecosystem management.

Read more on their website.

Planned Opportunism, from weak signals to opportunity spaces

“Planned opportunism” is Vijay Govindaraja’s term for responding to an unpredictable future by paying attention to weak signals—early evidence of emerging trends from which it is possible to deduce important changes in demography, technology, customer tastes and needs, and economic, environmental, regulatory, and political forces. That attention gives rise to fresh perspectives and nonlinear thinking, which help an organization imagine and plan for various plausible futures. Planned opportunism is a discipline that creates a “circulatory system” for new ideas; develops the capacity to prioritize, investigate, and act on those ideas; and builds an adaptive culture that embraces continual change.

We couldn’t agree more and highly recommend reading the article at https://hbr.org/2016/05/planned-opportunism .    The messages expressed align very well with our approach re Trends mgt and the identification of opportunity spaces.