The silent satisfaction of successful purpose-driven intrapreneurial organisational shifts

Purposeful intrapreneurial achievement is arguably the best version of job satisfaction for me.  I am currently experiencing a few of my multi-year efforts culminating into a level of success that may lead to step change soon – in fact it is starting to happen.  They are all linked to bootstrapping a research and innovation capability in a tertiary institution into a transformed environment leading the trend and holding up globally.

My overarching experience during the journey is described well in the article I link to above:

Intrapreneurs are by definition going ‘against the grain’ inside their organizations. Driving a venture that could significantly benefit the company and its customers but is internally ‘inconvenient’ – because it needs support and development that looks very different to the company’s ordinary operations – is challenging to say the least

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On Transdisciplinarity – Part 2 – The three pillars

Multiple valid viewpoints, contradictions and complexity

The first of the three pillars of transdisciplinarity is that reality is multi-dimensional.  That means that  there are multiple valid perspectives of the same reality.  It is quite possible (and common) for two people to look at the same thing and interpret it differently and have different views about it.

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On Transdisciplinary Research – Part 1

The Unity of Knowledge

Like the name implies, transdisciplinary research is research that moves beyond the academic disciplines.  It differs from interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary research in many ways, but one major characteristic really sets it apart, namely that it puts the same value on non-disciplinary knowledge as disciplinary knowledge.  This is called the unity of knowledge.  It means that other types of knowledge, like for instance contextual knowledge, religious knowledge, and/or cultural knowledge are given the same importance as disciplinary knowledge during the research.  In doing transdiciplinary research we need to be careful not to just pay lip service to this very important feature of transdisciplinarity.

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Reflections on life in a post-industrial world

It is no longer news that careers and the work environment look very different in a post-industrial economy than what it used to look  like.  We are all still a bit uncertain how it will pan out, but we do know that 21st century career paths will be very different from what it was like on the 20th century.

I have been reflecting on the fact that the post-industrial economy is not only a knowledge economy, but increasingly also a relentless innovation economy where things change at an ever increasing rate.  Currently I am visiting a number of countries in Europe primarily to establish links and build networks for collaboration.  But this journey also brings ‘life in a post-industrial society’ into sharper focus.

In her book “States and Markets” Susan Strange discusses the knowledge structure of national states, and also how knowledge works and differs from the industrial focus.  She comments that knowledge has an impact based on the three intertwined characteristics:

  1. Who you know
  2. What you know
  3. What your position is

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Visiting Knowmads in Amsterdam

Initially, when I planned my trip, I did not include Amsterdam.  But after a discussion with two of Wintec’s Product Managers I decided to include a visit to Knowmads.  They brand themselves as an Alternative Business School.  Innovation in education is an imperative none of us in the sector can ignore, so I decided to visit.

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Wandering around Basel

I have been in Basel the past few days to attend and present at the International conference on Transdisciplinarity.  Read my reflection on it here.  I also took some time to wander around Basel and took some photos.  I found Basel an easy place to navigate and get around. See my online album for all the photos I listed online about Basel.

The couple in the photo below saw me prepare to take the photo and decided to share in the fun, so they waited for me to take the photo, greeted and then moved on.  They are just one example – people here are friendly and even if they find it difficult to communicate in English they still try.

Street market in Basel

 

Lamp powered by gravity – a truly frugal technology

I came across a description of a lamp that is powered by gravity recently, called GravityLight.  This lamp is powered by raising a weightCentriYes, and as it is then lowered over a period of 25 minutes it powers a LED light.  For people without electricity this is a really low cost way to have light during the night.

Technologies like this have the potential to make a real difference for millions of people.  That in itself is worth the effort to come up with solutions like this.  Millions of children do not do well at school because they do not have light at night to study.  And for many of us the experience of pitch black during the night is unthinkable, because we are surrounded by electricity and lights 24 hours a day.

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