I return to my earlier point in these blog postings about how innovation is much more about doing than the idea. On the Weekend FT (Financial Times, 3-4.9.2011, Life and Arts section, p.8) there is an article about an alternative to the TED lectures. The Do Lectures, taking place in a forest in Wales, tend to be smaller gatherings than the better known TED lectures where the focus of presenters’ talk is apparently about doing and accomplishing, as opposed to great ideas as in the TED lectures. Among the topics the article mentions for this year’s talks are, perhaps unsurprisingly, micro-lending and alternative energy, these very trendy social enterpreneurship subjects.
My initial attention was caught by the action oriented focus – as I said before in the first blog posting, there is no shortage of ideas, but we should put more effort into thinking about and discussing how to build those networks of relationships with people and things that make these things take their place in our daily lives. Yet, the journalist in question has interpreted these lectures to be another way of passing along or exchanging good ideas. According to the article text, the stories of these lectures are supposed to inspire the listeners ‘to go and do amazing things too’. Of course it could be that drawing any deeper underlying insights from these stories and other cases will still in future need to be left to academics, who are supposed to do that for living. But certainly it does not require a PhD to think about patterns and recurring themes in cases like these, mere common sense will get you far already. What better raison d’etre there could be for a program like the Do Lectures, where one would expect it to be the next step.
Doctoral research at the University of Oxford (Oxford Internet Institute), with earlier academic background in organisational and management science (Said Business School), as well as political science. My earlier professional background consists of (largely implementation) work relating to novel organisational and societal systems in transportation and regional economy, as well as entrepreneurship. In my current research project I am investigating on a broader level how social change begins to happen, which at a lower level means to study how innovations begin to take shape within a specific area of social activity. The empirical case is the emergence of mobile communication technology in health care, which I am making a comparison in Finland and the UK (- or just England, actually). The theoretical framework I am using is one of the core constructs in sociology, 'institutional theory' and within that 'institutional work'. This work has a home in economic sociology.