Identifying firms to work with to induce upgrading of industries

Businesses absorb knowlege from other businesses that are economically competent

This is a revised edition of a blog post I wrote back in 2011. When working on the improvement of innovation systems in developing countries, we have to work with firms. These firms have several roles, and there are three units of analysis: The firm is an important unit of analysis of innovative practices (product,… Continue reading Identifying firms to work with to induce upgrading of industries

Exploring individual Social Technoliges that enables Systemic Change

My exploration of complexity thinking and how it enables leaders and collectives to make better decisions is taking me back to where I started. I started in organisational development and innovation. Then I shifted into larger economic systems like innovation systems, local economies, value chains or regions. For the last four years I have been… Continue reading Exploring individual Social Technoliges that enables Systemic Change

Instigating Innovation: Accelerating Experimentation in industry

Originally published Feb 2016, revised March 2018 When innovation centres, technology transfer centres, applied research platforms and other similar organisations wish to help industry with innovation, one way could be to assist companies to experiment with new ideas. I will simply refer to these centres from now on as innovation and technology support centres. In… Continue reading Instigating Innovation: Accelerating Experimentation in industry

Instigating innovation in traditional industries

Originally published in January 2016, revised in March 2018 The average manufacturer in a developing country often grapples with the notion of innovation. That is why such industries are often called “traditional“, although almost all industries will have one or two outliers. While governments, such as the South African government, offer incentives to stimulate innovation,… Continue reading Instigating innovation in traditional industries

Innovation systems in Metropolitan Regions of developing countries

During 2015 Frank Waeltring and I were commissioned by the GIZ Sector Project “Sustainable Development of Metropolitan Regions” (on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Division 312 – Water, Urban Development, Transport) to write a discussion paper about a hands-on approach to innovation systems promotion in metropolitan regions in developing countries. The discussion paper… Continue reading Innovation systems in Metropolitan Regions of developing countries

New series: Instigating Innovation

I have been developing a new capacity building method and training approach that brings together my work in innovation systems promotion  and my work on improving technology and innovation management. I call it “Instigating Innovation”. I chose “instigating” because it has a more positive ring to it than provocation or incitement. While it is a… Continue reading New series: Instigating Innovation

Systemic Insight – Economic development is about introducing options, not bringing solutions

Marcus and I have just posted a new article on the Systemic Insight website. The post is about our recent article that was published in the IDS Bulletin (Vol 46.3) and is titled “Explore, Scale Up, Move Out: Three Phases to Managing Change under Conditions of Uncertainty”.  Please note that in future all my posts specifically about complexity… Continue reading Systemic Insight – Economic development is about introducing options, not bringing solutions

The oblique search for new industrial opportunities

Industrial policy is typically set at national level. It is often aspirational and attempting to “stretch” an economy into new kinds of production and value addition. Programmes are designed, targets are set such as doubling manufacturing contribution of x% within 7 years. Therefore it is sometimes disconnected from the present as it seeks a new… Continue reading The oblique search for new industrial opportunities

Industry development under conditions of complexity

Most economic development projects have a tendency to separate analysis from intervention or implementation. This follows on an engineering approach where you must first understand a problem or issue before you can design interventions which is then logically followed by implementation and later on evaluation. I will not now go off on why this logic is questionable… Continue reading Industry development under conditions of complexity

Recognizing competing hypothesis as complex

In order to improve the economic performance of an industry or a territory, it is important to recognize the current Status Quo of the economy. This is basically to understand “what is?”, but to also understand “what is possible next?”. You may think that local stakeholders, firms and public officials will know the answer to… Continue reading Recognizing competing hypothesis as complex