About me

What was that brilliant idea?
How can we think about this idea differently?

This is my personal blog, where I think out loud about the ideas I am grappling with or working on. I also blog occasionally about issues facing my coaching clients at the innovation coach blog site.

I am passionate about topics such as innovation, strategy and the way that knowledge flows within and between organisations. Many of my clients appoint me because I am good at working both at the level of individuals and teams but also with leadership and strategic issues.

For family, friends and the curious, I have created a “What I do” page to try and explain why I am so often chasing rabbits down holes, absent-minded or travelling abroad.

Topics that can get me going any time of the day or night include:

  • How societies learn, create, use and diffuse new knowledge (innovation systems)
  • How societies create institutions that enable upgrading, resilience and inclusiveness (evolutionary and new institutional economics)
  • Making decisions under conditions of uncertainty and making sense (complexity thinking and naturalistic decision making)
  • How to catalyse innovation both in an organisation, but also in an economic sub-system (I call this instigating innovation)

I am a partner in the international consultancy Mesopartner. You can see my project profile and bio here.

In 2021, I was appointed as a Professor of Practice with the DST/NRF/Newton Fund Trilateral Chair in Transformative Innovation, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Sustainable Development that is hosted by the College of Business and Economics at the University of Johannesburg

0 thoughts on “About me”

  1. Love the Photo. Are you returning your glass eyes to their proper place?
    I think you were actually having some brilliant innovative ideas on how to improve the world.

  2. Hi Shwan,

    I found very interesting and inspiring blog especially for us who believe the entrepreneurship development is the key for poverty reduction. I will keep on checking your blog and try to replicate some of the principles on my work as well

    All The best


  3. Hi Shawn,

    Am learning a lot from your work and would definetly appreciate to have a mentor like you. Keep on sharing excellent techniques with us. I’m in dire need of advises from your side with regard to economic development consultancy issues using PACA.


  4. Hi Shawn,

    you just got a new reader. I am at GIZ (and I’ve worked with Frank on one mission) and have started to listen to all the LED casts. I’ll also be checking out your blog every now and then, so keep it up!

    Best from Eschborn,


    1. Dear Valérie,
      Thank you for leaving a comment. I hope you will leave many more!
      It is possible to “subscribe” to the blog via e-mail, then you get every post in your inbox. I generally try to post a new article every two weeks. But it also depends on how much feedback and questions I receive how frequent I post!

      Any ideas or questions are also welcome

      Best wishes,


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