Yesterday, LikeMinds 2011 was announced. Yet again, the fields of enquiry chosen for the conference are topical, substantial and accelerating: “innovation and opportunity”. What a choice!
This will be the fourth LikeMinds conference in the UK in Exeter; other conferences have taken and will take place around the world: in Helsinki and in Dubai, for example. Amazingly, the Exeter conference has also doubled in size for the third time; yes, this conference will be eight times the size of the first one. Surely this doubling cannot continue, … or can it?!
Innovation is on everyone’s agenda these days, and there are good reasons why. We feel the need for innovation in so many fields, that one has to question whether this is leading us to a better future or whether, like the increasing size of the LikeMinds conference, this pace is sustainable as the power law of human development is raised to the next index as it diverges towards oblivion. However, this perceived need for innovation is not, in my humble opinion, the reason why innovation is on everyone’s agenda; I have described, posted on and spoken about this previously and expect to do so, from time to time, again.
Opportunity is, on the other hand, not on everyone’s agenda, it seems to me. Yet we certainly feel the need for some of that too! In many fields, people currently feel that they are beset by problems; so a few opportunities would be a welcome relief. Now, while there are many glib exhortations that “every problem is an opportunity”, transformations of that kind require, unsurprisingly, a little more than glibness and exhortation. Nevertheless, the nature of a problem and an opportunity are closely related and, as I expect to describe soon, they are essentially the inverse of one another.
Together innovation and opportunity are more than the sum of the parts, and this is the strength of their combination. Innovation generates opportunity for many people and potential improvements for all, despite the challenges along the way and the changes which it entails. LikeMindedly (hah!) opportunity generates innovation of many and unpredictable kinds. Together, innovation and opportunity move us forward as it is becoming increasingly apparent that we must, not least because it is becoming abundantly clear that there is no way back!
We look forward with great interest to learning more, in the months ahead, about how these important fields will be addressed by the forthcoming conference. There will undoubtedly be fascinating developments in format and content for which LikeMinds is well known. Above all else, we look forward to experiencing the LikeMinds themselves (possibly online, but probably transported by their bodies to Exeter) at the next major episode: LikeMinds 2011 in October.