Innovation: Synthesis and Elemental

This is the latest in a series of fragmentary pieces as i build vocabulary and ideas around Innovation. As such it is not intended as complete work, but rather the pieces which may inform later (and possibly complete!) work. Part of #WorkingOutLoud is to give yourself the space and opportunity to reiterate, evolve, and simply share incomplete ideas. Sometimes these ideas concern something new, that you know you are unsure about, but sometimes it is something you feel you know, but wish to know better. In that spirit, this work on ‘Innovation’ is unpacking some of my current view, and seeking a new one.

If you have been following this particular series, you will spot some familiar ideas in this piece, albeit phrased in a new way: in the piece on ‘Realms of Innovation’ i first shared the idea that the things we know may ‘occlude’ the innovation we seek.

In this piece i make that occlusion more tangible, literally surrounding the idea with the circle of the jigsaw. Essentially this view means that we ‘construct’ those walls around ourself, and are hence blinded by them.

I’m playing with two other ideas here: synthesis and elemental. I am considering the extent to which ‘innovation’ is typically seen as ‘answers’ or complete structures, whilst there may be a component part of it to consider – not complete ideas, but fragments and foundations.

In that sense we may want to consider ‘what’ we are seeking, or discovering, in our innovation efforts. Are we seeking answers, or elements?

This is clumsy language at this stage: ‘synthesis’ may be a mechanism of innovation, but here i am viewing it as a constraint as well. Our desire for completion, for patterns that we recognise, and for things that are seen as ‘valuable today’ may occlude our ability to hold a loose space of ideas.

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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