Walter Benjamin—“The eternal recurrence of the new.” He refers to fashion as a pure form of capitalism. New product lines are produced twice a year, every year. The clothes are commodified, consumed, then replaced and the cycle goes on. It is Schumpeter’s Creative Destruction—but through the prism of fashion.
But Benjamin might as well have been referring to entrepreneurial capitalism or Indie Capitalism. Think about it— “the eternal recurrence of the new.”
The concept of “resilience” is very hot and you can see why in NYC’s reaction to Sandy. The city did not proved resilient in providing electricity for social media to allow people to organize in the days immediately after the storm hit. There are tens of thousands of people going cold today because the city agencies are not agile enough to provide housing. There is gasoline rationing. Organic and inorganic networks rely on resilience to deal with challenges, especially unexpected challenges that cannot be totally planned for. We need to build more resilience into our systems–and our lives.
I just printed out the galleys to my new book, Creative Intelligence, and I’m standing looking down at it–in awe. Here it is, physically, in front of me after years of work. It’s quite a moment.
I teach my students to map their creativity–to be aware of their engagements, their process and their inspirations, in addition to their technique. Be reflective, in the moment. Above all, know what is meaningful.
Seeing my book emerge this morning in physical form is such a meaningful moment for me.
Why are Republicans anti-city? One of the reasons for their loss that us not getting attention is the anti-urban policy stance of the Republican Party. Anti-mass transit. Anti-high speed train. Anti-support for education & museums. Anti-intellectual. Anti-immigrant. Anti-bike. The GOP is anti-Jane Jacobs. Add it up and the anti-city stance of Republicans is anti-creativity and anti-innovation.
Gen Y voters went mostly for President Obama on Tuesday for his social policies. But the Republicans could just have easily attracted this rising demographic with new business policies– if they had taken time to learn about Gen Y culture.
Gen Y may be the most entrepreneurial generation in a century but neither party appears to understand that. In this election neither party put forth an economic policy that bolsters economic growth through start-ups, crowd funding, local sourcing, additive manufacturing (3D printing), venture capital or scaling creativity into new creative companies that employ hundreds of people in the US. This is the stuff of an entrepreneurial capitalism, an Indie Capitalism, that Gen Y is trying to build that could replace the disastrous Finance/Shareholder Capitalism that has led to the immiseration of the middle class.
The talk now in Washington is about going over a “fiscal cliff.” We need to talk about more fundamental economic issues–How to promote economic growth through innovation and creativity. The Democrat and Republican parties need to tune more into the rising Gen Y and less into the fading Boomers.
Click here to pre-order CREATIVE INTELLIGENCE by Bruce Nussbaum, available March 5, 2013 from HarperBusiness
The world is quickly changing in ways we find hard to comprehend. Successful methods of dealing with problems have become outmoded. To be successful, you can’t just be good. You also need to be creative. In “Creative Intelligence”, innovation expert Bruce Nussbaum charts the making of a new literacy, “Creative Intelligence”, or CQ. From corporate CEOs trying to parse the confusing matrix of global business to K-12 teachers attempting to reach bored kids in increasingly wired classrooms, creativity is viewed as the antidote to uncertainty and complexity. “Creative Intelligence” embodies a bundle of specific literacies that increase our ability to navigate the unknown. It’s a skill-set that explorers have tacitly used for eons but which, only now, is explicitly revealing its secrets to us. Nussbaum explores how people and organizations are learning to be more creative in work and in life, and investigates the ways in which individuals, corporations, and nations are boosting their CQ-and how that translates into their abilities to make new products and solve new problems. “Creative Intelligence” shows readers how to frame problems in new ways and devise solutions that are original by drawing insight from anthropology and culture rather than psychology and the brain. Smart and eye opening, it introduces us to the next evolutionary step and our future. Ultimately, “Creative Intelligence” will show readers how to boost their creative capacity, build creative confidence, and connect creativity with capitalism in a new form - Indie Capitalism - that could, and should, replace Finance Capitalism.
Bruce Nussbaum is a Professor of Innovation and Design at Parsons The New School of Design in New York City, is a former Managing Editor at BusinessWeek and blogs for Fast Company and Harvard Business Review. He taught third grade science in the Peace Corps in the Philippines and studied anthropology, sociology and political science in grad school at the University of Michigan. At Business Week, he wrote dozens of cover stories but his favorites are “I’m Worried About My Job, I Can’t Get the !X@#! Thing To Work, The World’s Most Innovative Companies, The Power of Design and Get Creative, How to Build Innovative Companies.
Bruce birds Central Park and the world. He saw a black swan in Singapore but wasn’t surprised. He practices what he call "donut thinking” in his book, training to always look for what doesn’t fit the pattern (the “odd duck”). Bruce is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and used to go to the World Economic Forum in Davos all the time. He’s written two other books, The World After Oil in 1982 where he predicted the breakup of the Soviet Union and Good Intentions, where he analyzed AIDS research at the NIH. I.D. Magazine named Bruce one of the top figures in Design for 2005.
Bruce was asked to spell “polymath” in grade school. He could’t but looked it up and tried to become one when he grew up. He’s still trying.
Bruce + Banana image via Design Thinking Blog