Defining the term collaborative technology is difficult. Often when we talk about collaborative technology, or for that matter social media or web 2.0, people naturally think about popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, You Tube or Wikipedia.
At Nesta we are interested in exploring how rigorous evidence can be better used to drive innovation. Part of this is being able to identify the most effective policies and programmes. Yet the thing we find striking is how little is known about the actual mechanisms that can effectively ensure evidence is useful and useable for decision makers. In other words, what works in helping identify what is working?
Is innovation always a good thing? It's a question I'm often asked, usually rhetorically. The speaker normally has one of two things in mind: innovations that are intended to do harm (cluster bombs, drone strikes) or innovations that go horribly wrong (credit default swaps, grey goo)*.
Martin Wolf wrote a widely quoted article in today's FT arguing that economic growth is slowing down in a long-term and structural way. There's a lot to say about this (I fundamentally disagree with the underlying paper by Robert Gordon that Wolf bases his paper on).
October is a busy month here at Nesta Towers. The summer's officially over, the Olympic flame has moved on and Plan I has been published. Which means we're all now racing to Get Things Done. Number one on my list has been moving on our plans to build a public facing campaign driving demand for the Digital Makers movement.
Collaborative technologies, which many of us use in our everyday lives to create, share and discuss information, have brought about a profound change in the way we organise and go about our everyday lives. These cheap, ubiquitous technologies have changed the way products and commercial services are delivered and social needs are met.
Worklessness may not seem an obvious area of interest for Nesta, which like most innovation agencies has tended to focus in the past on technologies or topics like education.
With the intensive and sophisticated learning regime that it has developed, the RCA feels that it has a lot to give other incubators. But will it deliver on this? Nesta who is a major supporter of the initiative has high hopes that it can.
I spent a few days in Korea and China last week, both countries with a distinct spring in their step compared to north America and Europe.
So the bank is out of the bag. Today at the Lib Dem party conference, Vince Cable announced the establishment of a state bank to get credit flowing to businesses. But as the last five years have taught us, there are all sorts of banks: good banks, bad banks, casino banks and zombie banks. Will this new bank be the right sort of bank, and will it help business to grow?
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