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      Hey, I’ve heard of them! 🙃

      How do you differentiate emergent innovators? For example, is a design lab like Ideo, which innovated the computer mouse, equal to or above/below the Gates Foundation?

    • I struggled with that one a bit but in the end whether the tech comes from a kid on the streets or a billionaire, if it breaks the status quo and convention to help move things forward it fits the bill to me. What do you think?

    • I would agree with your assessment. I think it’s more useful to focus on who or what is an emergent innovator than try to assign a relative ranking of their impact on society.

    • Would this summary be accurate:

      You list proven or seemingly high-impact innovations or initiatives. It is tough to identify a criteria for what could become high-impact in the future, but you offer some observations like boldness and newness of the ideas. You believe that such individual initiatives are the way to solve the problems of the world, and society (incl. governments, organizations, investors) should build a supportive environment (e.g. by recognizing, having a technological infrastructure, ...) for such initiatives to flourish.

      Did I miss anything?

    • This is perfect! I have been struggling with this concept a bit as I am a bit more altruistic in my definition. I actually submitted a different article to Wikipedia to serve as a definition as no definitions exist to date on Wikipedia for the term Emergent Innovation but was shot down as they felt my approach was too personal.

      I am battling with this as I believe tapping a new and bold approach to innovate in service of profit only does not speak well to the term as I see it. I have 5 months to resubmit the article so looking for feedback on this and would be happy if someone else submitted an article to Wikipedia for this term as well. I just believe the concept of harnessing untapped potential within the populace is important for societal progress. Curious to hear your thoughts on this.

    • I see the role of altruism in the definition now.

      I don't think anyone will disagree that we should encourage such innovation, enable people so anyone can do it, and that doing this will add greatly to societal progress. Though question of actually making it happen is very different.

      I actually agree that the term "emergent innovation" and its definition (as defined on the blog post your first quote is from) is too personal / nonstandard to be on wikipedia. I think the same concept is very well captured by a more standard term:

      Though the term "creative destruction" gives more emphasis to what happens to the older and inefficient ways of achieving the same thing -- that they get destroyed. It also doesn't talk of altruism, but I think you could define "emergent innovation" as "altruistic creative destruction".

      I also think you should find more media coverage of such initiatives. I think you may find more support for different parts of your essay (e.g. someone asserting the benefit of such initiative to society, or enumerating and asserting the importance of support structures for these innovations).

    • A fantastic discovery for me in what you've shared.

      This from Nietzsche within the wiki article really seems to sum up your observation.

      "If a temple is to be erected a temple must be destroyed: that is the law – let anyone who can show me a case in which it is not fulfilled!"

      And that's interesting that Creative Destruction is associated with Marx's ideology as I just reread the Communist Manifesto which I am realizing the tenor comes from such a short span of time from the feudal system. Meaning so many of the observations are coming from a point of time in the infancy of capitalism and the brutality of the landscape of the ruling class at that time. So the lens from where the ideology sprang was tinted with the harshness of the reality of the day. So I believe our current lens will require less destruction and more uncovering of what is already at our doorstep.

      Yes we have an immense wealth gap and inequality still exists but at least in the developed world quality of life has improved for most since 1848. So as opposed to burning down the hay bale there are seedlings right under the layer of hay if we choose to just dig a little bit to find and nurture. (This is where technology can help - it can be the spade)

      So I would say Emergent Innovation is more about creative deconstruction than creative destruction if I may because I believe progress is only going to come from collaboration with people and systems of thought we don’t agree with. To me it is not about revolution but evolution.

      But this is only my take and I very much appreciate your input and take to heart what you shared.