What does it mean to be disrupted?

A message-carrying pigeon being released from a port-hole in the side of a British tank, near Albert, France. It's a Mark V tank of the 10th Battalion, Tank Corps attached to the III Corps during the Battle of Amiens.

Updated on 15 September 2020 It felt to me as if the refrain that technology is disrupting our lives had reached a crescendo in 2019 and early 2020. For most people, it feels as if the implications of technological advancements are creeping slowly but surely into their everyday lives. The “industrial revolution” is not happening… Continue reading What does it mean to be disrupted?

The evolution of technologies, industries and regions

In the earlier research on technological evolution in the 1970-1995 period, attention was mainly paid to either a whole economy or a single sector or technological paradigm. It is broadly understood from this research that different industries and technologies evolve at different rates. This means that over time, some industries may be more important than… Continue reading The evolution of technologies, industries and regions

Using the S-Curve to identify potential disruptions

This is a continuation of my blog posts based on my research into how technological disruptions and change occurs. A widely publicised model is the S-curve model that enables the evolution of the performance of a technology (Foster, 1986a; Foster, 1986b). In management of technology textbooks, this model is used to make predictions about the… Continue reading Using the S-Curve to identify potential disruptions

Disruption, radical and incremental innovation

I am continuing with my sprint to write down the ideas and concepts that I am explaining regularly at different events and meetings (The earlier posts are all available on www.cunningham.org.za). The ideas about the fourth industrial revolution being disruptive are now discussed and repeated even by people who have very little understanding of technology… Continue reading Disruption, radical and incremental innovation

Technological change cycles

This is the 3rd post that draws from the research and advisory work I am currently busy with to strengthen South Africa’s technological capability to detect and better respond to discontinuous technological change. The citation information for this post is at the bottom of this post, and a link to the research report that I… Continue reading Technological change cycles

Technological architectures

An important distinction can be made between architectural innovation and component-level innovation. The architecture defines the way different components or subsystems are organised and how they interact with other components. Often architectures themselves form part of even larger webs of architectures. Innovations at the component level, which is a physically distinct portion of the technology… Continue reading Technological architectures

Is the Fourth Industrial Revolution a paradigm shift?

I am excited that the Helvetas Eastern European team asked me to write a blog post for their Mosaic newsletter about the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The blog article and many others can be found here. Regular readers will know that I am not so convinced of one big revolution; rather that there are many smaller disruptions.… Continue reading Is the Fourth Industrial Revolution a paradigm shift?

Shawn in Wonderland

I have not posted anything for the last 3 months. I have been on an amazing adventure which is so similar to Alice in Wonderland that I might be asleep and still dreaming. It started with a long-pursued opportunity to help a unit in the South African government prepare and think through the consequences of… Continue reading Shawn in Wonderland