#WorkingOutLoud – Realms and Filters of Innovation

Building out from the work i shared yesterday, this piece starts to consider further aspects of Innovation: ‘Realms’ and ‘Filters’.

The outer ring illustrates four Realms: the ‘Known’, the ‘Mistaken’, the ‘Unknown’ and the ‘Unknowable’.

The inner ring illustrates three Filters: that which is ‘Variable’, that which is ‘Occluded’, and that which is ‘Contextual’.

Our starting point is typically the Known: either we are seeking to move away from it, our using it as the lever or foundation for the new. So an existing process is known, and we seek to innovate something new.

The ‘Mistaken’ is related to the known, in that it represents things that we believe to be true, but which we are in fact mistaken about. This is why the outer ring has four element: one could argue that is is in fact three elements, any of which we could be mistaken about!

The mistaken is typically masked as the known, and is hence the place of foundations and assumptions, probably a source of failure.

I’ve used a typical dichotomy of ‘Unknown’ and ‘Unknowable’ as the base: one view here is that the unknown is that which we have not yet discovered, and the unknown is that which we cannot ever discover.

But i would refute that and instead paint the picture that the ‘unknown’ is beyond our knowledge, but discoverable within our existing suite of methodologies, communities, and technology, whilst the ‘unknowable’ will only be discoverable if we invent new tools and approaches. So in my perspective there is no such thing as the unknowable, but rather those things that we do not yet know how to find or prove.

The inner ring represents filters, or confounding or contextualising factors: some things may be occluded by our existing knowledge, so they are not simply out of reach, but they are hidden by what is within reach. Others are variable: so we may know them, but they may suddenly change, possibly for reasons we do not understand. We may believe them to be static because they have simply not changed for a while, like a volcano that lies dormant. And some things are contextual: so we can know them in one context, but whilst the thing itself does not change, it is only valid or known within one specific context.

Both this work, and the work shared yesterday, both look at perspectives on Innovation: both are early conceptions, and both will themselves evolve, shared as part of #WorkingOutLoud.

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
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