Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation

Design thinking

In the current business world, time given to think and explore is a luxury. Most smaller businesses are forced to be in survival mode, fighting to stay alive from day-to-day in a very competitive environment. Google, however, is known for its whiteboard culture, the envy of other companies. as part of its drive for innovation, its people are given time to draw things out with marker pens, and think.

In a way, Google’s example dovetails with what I had just read in the book “Design Thinking for Strategic Innovations” by Idris Mootee, which highlights the need for a new way of thinking in business.

Design thinking is about the ability to see and make meaningful connections of all the different dots in a very complex and fast moving world. This ability to make meaningful connections between different things is a powerful part of innovativeness. Some call this combinatorial creativity.

Interestingly, Idris points out that this is not about a way of thinking for just a few but for the company as a whole. “Hiring design thinkers is not enough; We need to create design thinking companies.”

Hence the challenge lies in the cultural dimension. Culture, however, doesn’t just happen, it has to be built intentionally. It requires time and a clear focus. It requires investment.

Why would an Internet search company invest so much into its culture? For Google, it is all about one thing: innovation. For Google, this investment has paid off. Google employees have delivered innovative ideas for the company including Gmail, AdSense and Google News.  -Amy Celep, Community Wealth Partners


Design Thinking Applied in the Field

In the last few years, our team has been working on a model for leadership training and community transformation which incorporates design thinking as the engine for innovation and development. Coupled with this is a Midrashic-type of communication system, which allows for our people to do just that.

Scholars have come to realize that Midrash as a form of interpretative expression is not limited to rabbinic exegesis of Scripture.

In his book The Midrashic Imagination – Jewish Exegesis, Thought and History, Michael Fishbane proposed that one of the most compelling and characteristic features of Jewish creativity is its “midrashic imagination.” The practice of Midrash is a powerful way in which creativity is unlocked but it requires a culture conducive to such activities and resources allocated for it. Midrash is the life-blood of innovation and discovery, especially in the field.

What we need now is just time. Time to test our hypothesis and work out an operational kingdom start-up venture so that we have a prototype to showcase.

In the field of agriculture we can clearly see how the adoption of different paradigms create huge impacts for either good or evil. We are familiar with industrial agriculture that has been highly destructive to the environment and people. In the industrial paradigm, the focus is on scale. In contrast, a paradigm based on design thinking, is focused on ecology. Applying design thinking to agriculture would involve the principles of permaculture to understand the interplay of all parts of creation. The outcome would be an abundance that reflects a symphony of life, not the monotone sound of a one-string broken guitar.

With design thinking, even microbes which the human eye can’t see, are considered and recognized for the role they play. And by taking care of even the microbes, we build up an ecology that is inherently sustainable and where every part makes their contribution. Man is task with the most significant role, that of understanding the design for life and overseeing creation.

Boman has this to say of the Hebrews:

Instead of trying to confine Him to limited human definitions and descriptions they focus their efforts on pursuing Him and the character and qualities that determine His makeup. The understanding of the world around them, including God, is to pursue life and God to the fullest, rather than spending time passively trying to define Him. In the pursuit comes the understanding and comes the relationship between the Divine and humanity.

We all have the opportunity to think and live in the way God intended for Man, but it requires humility to study and learn His thoughts on things. This is where God has given us one of the most precious things on earth to guide us, His Torah, the Prophets and Writings. And along with it, a Midrashic culture embedded with the power of Hebraic thought and logic to solve complex problems.

Idris Mootee’s book on Design Thinking has been a conceptual confirmation that we have the right framework and system for developing holistic and sustainable prototype enterprises that empower communities for good.

Leave me a comment, let me know if you found this information useful. Have you applied design thinking in your business or work? Do you have more information on the creative process, hebraic thinking or Midrash?

Let me know …


Screen Shot 2014-04-12 at 4.25.48 PMDesign Thinking for Strategic Innovation: What They Can’t Teach You at Business or Design School
By Idris Mootee, 2013, John Wiley & Sons

“Design thinking thinking powers strategic innovation.
It can be used to begin at the beginning of an idea or used to unlock hidden value in existing products, services, technologies, and assets – thereby reinvigorating a business without necessarily reinventing it. A disciplined process that can result in significant economic value creation, meaningful differentiation, and improved customer experience.

Design thinking is by nature unorthodox. But it also holds the core capabilities behind innovation.

We are all more connected than we know. Whether its’s business or any other systems-level organizational challenge, design thinking helps us appreciate and make sense of the complex connections between people, places, objects, events, and ideas. This is the most powerful driver of innovation. It’s what guides long-range strategic planning. It’s what shapes business decisions that have to be based on future opportunities rather than past events. It’s what sparks the imagination. And it’s what reveals true value. (p.14)

Hiring design thinkers is not enough; We need to create design thinking companies.

Foreword (Excerpts)

Our world is increasingly complex and difficult to interpret. Multiple forces – technological, regulatory, competitive, and so on – act on a given context to shape the rules of what is possible and probable. Uncovering the most valuable opportunities is increasingly challenging for innovators, especially those using a traditional tool kit. New product development processes typically churn out incremental, me-too solutions when more substantial innovation is needed to capture competitive advantage.

Design thinking helps to anchor innovation on the fundamental drivers of user behaviour, their interactions with the surrounding ecosystem, their interactions with one another.

To embed design principles into an organisation to give it insight into valuable opportunities previously hidden from traditional ways of working.

It provides the framework that encourages a culture of learning and way of working that will enable collaboration, insight, and learning, the allocation of resources to the best opportunities, and ultimately the formation of a more consistent stream of value creation.

This mode of thinking and doing encourages a company culture:

  • Flexibility over conformity
  • Exploration of questions over answers
  • Critical thinking over key assumptions
  • Enablement of teams over organisation structures
  • A focus on doing over studying

This is a different set of capability that is at the core of a company’s growth engine and innovativeness.

Design must allow different factors to coexist in a complementary and symbiotic way.

  • Desirability (product form, user experience, design)
  • Feasibility
  • Economic viability (cost control, efficiency, profit)

Technology exponentially interconnects people, places, and objects in increasingly new ways. Understanding the nature of these interactions both at the physical and emotional level will be required to unlock the value of these complex relationships.

~Erik Roth, Partner at McKinsey, Leads McKinsey’s Global Innovation Practice


Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams defined a mission statement as “a long, awkward sentence that demonstrates management’s inability to think properly.”

We need a new way, one that’s smart, human, cultural, social, and agile and that puts innovation at the core of every move it makes. That way could be design thinking.

Despite pouring millions of dollars into enterprise resource planning systems, however, we can only project three to six months into the future at best with any reasonable accuracy. Why? Because most business leaders are averse to chaos, are overly linear, and are disconnected from global ripples not directly related to the world of business.


The Incredible Edible Pam Warhurst

An incredibly inspiring talk by Pam Warhurst on how small actions by small people, when enjoined in a movement through an organic process, can make an impact in their community. We see in her experience the power of small actions to create a different future.

The Future of the Grameen Bank

Grameen Bank has been the face of a bank that empowered the poor and its heart represented by its founder, Mohammad Yunus. This morning I was notified of the latest development which I’ve attached below for record purposes. Yunus and Grameen Bank jointly won the Nobel peace prize in 2006 for creating “economic and social development from below”.

By Agence France-Presse, Updated: 5/7/2011
Bangladesh’s Yunus fears for microlender
Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus said Saturday he feared for the survival of his pioneering microlender Grameen Bank, days after his removal as its chief was upheld by the country’s highest court.

The 2006 Nobel winner said the future of the Grameen Bank — the world’s largest microlender which he founded — is at stake as the government meddles in the affairs of the bank, 96.5 percent owned by poor women.

“I am humbly appealing to all for the protection and independence of Grameen Bank and the protection of poor women who are working very hard to stand on their feet,” Yunus, 70, said in his first reaction to the court verdict.

“There is growing doubt as to whether any civil society effort can survive and retain its character and independence in this politically influenced environment,” he said in a statement.

Supporters say Yunus — known as “the banker to the poor” — has been victimised by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, whom he crossed in 2007 when he briefly set up a political party during a period of military rule.

In sign of growing tension, a Grameen Bank union leader said he was tortured late Friday by unidentified men after the union threatened to stage nationwide demonstrations over Yunus’s sacking.

Sagir Rashid Chowdhury, 38, told AFP he was hauled into a minibus and taken near Dhaka University where he was beaten and threatened with pistols.

“They said they would kill me if I don’t call off the protests. They beat me with sticks. I begged for my life. They broke my hands and left me in a field.” Nurse Golam Mostafa of the government’s orthopaedic hospital confirmed the injuries. “Chowdhury has torture marks all over his body. One of his fingers was also broken.”

There was no immediate reaction available from authorities.

Grameen board members, who challenged Yunus’s removal, alleged earlier they were also intimidated and threatened by unidentified men.

Yunus was first dismissed as head of the microlender on March 2 in a power struggle with the government for control of the bank — but he defied the order, returning to work and filing a legal appeal against the sacking.

But the Supreme Court ruled Grameen Bank was a government institution, not a private bank as Yunus and his lawyers maintained, meaning Yunus must abide by the state’s mandatory retirement age of 60.

The ruling dashed his last hopes to stay at helm of the microlender which has lent more than $10 billion to 8.3 million mostly rural women since its inception in 1983.

Yunus and Grameen Bank jointly won the Nobel peace prize in 2006 for creating “economic and social development from below”.

The model has been copied in other developing countries and Yunus’s sacking was widely criticised by international supporters including the US government.

Yunus maintains the bank is owned by its borrowers and the government should stay out of its business for the sake of the microlender’s furture.

“What happens to Grameen Bank influences the future of the millions of Bangladeshis who benefit from microcredit activities, as well as the future of the institution of microcredit itself,” he said.

“The big questions are: whether Grameen Bank can maintain its independent existence, whether it can be successful in keeping itself away from political influences,” he said.

“What actually happens to financial institutions in our country if political influences start playing a role in these institutions is common knowledge. This experience will not inspire trust in borrowers.”

Analysts say Grameen’s huge influence in Bangladesh and its move into solar panels, mobile phones and other consumer goods has triggered the government’s envy.

Theology of Land

Land as inheritance
Excerpt from Joshua and the Promised Land, copyright © Roy H. May, Jr.

Yahweh commands Joshua to divide the land as an “inheritance” for Israel. Repeatedly in Joshua 13-19, the land given to the tribes is called “inheritance.” This is another clue for the Book of Joshua and the biblical theme of the land. Land is never just dirt. It is inheritance. Land carries social and spiritual meaning that goes beyond agricultural potential. For traditional farmers, land bonds them to family and God. This bonding imposes limitations and obligations regarding its use and distribution.

Inheritance is a theologically rich concept that guided Israel’s relationship to the land. The basic idea is that the land is Yahweh’s land. “The earth is the Lord’s,” the psalmist could sing (Ps. 24:1). “The land is mine,” says Yahweh (Lev. 25:23). Throughout Joshua 13-19, land is first and foremost an inheritance given to Israel by Yahweh. Land is Yahweh’s gift to be passed on from generation to generation.

The idea that God owns the land had not only theological significance but also real sociological meaning– land in ancient Israel was not conceived of as private property. It was a trust or “loan” administered by Israel on behalf of Yahweh. Land was the inheritance of the tribe. The tribe apportioned the land according to families. The plot or “portion” each family received was their participation in the tribal inheritance. Each family enjoyed lasting rights to use the land, but never as a commodity that could be bought and sold for private gain. Their portion was family property. They managed it on behalf of the entire tribe.

But this sociological significance was never separable from theological or spiritual meaning. For the ancient Hebrew, land as inheritance meant Yahweh’s presence and faithful fulfillment of God’s promise. Land was viewed as the historical manifestation of the covenant Yahweh had made with Israel’s ancestors. Land was the sign of salvation. Thus, in Psalms 16:5-6 and 142:5, “portion” is equated with total assurance of God’s presence, as we sing in the old hymn, “Thou my everlasting portion, More than friend or life to me…” (#407, The United Methodist Hymnal). For ancient Israel, that’s what land as inheritance meant.

So it was with ancient Israel. The Israelites couldn’t do with the land as they might choose. Land as inheritance required that it be used only in ways faithful to Yahweh. This meant social justice. Thus, the Old Testament laws relating to social justice are, to a great extent, laws about the land. The Deuteronomic* laws mentioned in the previous chapter say much about land use. The ancient traditions of Sabbath and Jubilee (Ex. 23: 10-11; Lev. 25; Deut. 15:1-18) are especially direct. These date from the origins of Israel.1 They required that crop land lie fallow during certain intervals. This sustained its capacity to grow crops. Family land that had been lost was to be returned to its original owners (Lev. 25). These laws also required that debts be pardoned (Deut. 15: 1-3) and that Hebrew slaves and bonded servants be set free. The law that part of the harvest be left for the poor (Deut. 24:19-22) is another example of social legislation regulating land use. Managing the land and social justice were united in ancient Israel. This unity is based on the idea of land as Yahweh’s inheritance.

1. Art Davidson, Endangered People (San Francisco:Sierra Club Books, 1993),p.38

Native people upset over land issues

Whenever I read stories of people struggling against big powers that run them over with arrogance, something in me goes off. I’m at first upset and then I wonder how things like these can take place. Is there no legal redress? Unfortunately, that’s exactly where the problem lies. By way of the legal definition of what makes up ‘indigenous’ land,  injustice occurs.

It’s an age old game that the old colonial powers played well, using the doctrine of “terra nullius,” they take over lands they deem to be “land belonging to no one” or “territory that nobody owns so that the first nation to discover it is entitled to take it over.” That’s fair enough until we discover that even where land was already occupied by people, they  are still taken over. On what grounds do they make their claim? Or should I say pretext? The following website by the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation gives a comprehensive explanation on the issue:

The colonisers acknowledged the presence of Indigenous people but justified their land acquisition policies by saying the Aborigines were too primitive to be actual owners and sovereigns and that they had no readily identifiable hierarchy or political order which the British Government could recognise or negotiate with.

Well nearer to home, I salute Carolyn Hong, Malaysia Bureau Chief of The Straits Times, for this courageous piece of writing with regards to the issue of land and the future of the native people who live there and are its true owners.

Native people upset over land issues.

The Straits Times | March 17, 2011
By Carolyn Hong, Malaysia Bureau Chief

KUCHING (SARAWAK): A group of villagers in northern Sarawak’s interior set up a blockade last week to stop the construction of a Petronas gas pipeline to Sabah.

The villagers at Long Atip in Baram were demanding that the national oil company first fulfil its promises said to have been made in 2007 to upgrade the road, install lamp posts and provide them generators.

Such blockades are not uncommon, but they are usually aimed at logging and plantation companies that the indigenous people say are rapidly encroaching on their land. These measures have turned violent on occasion. Last month, the longhouse villagers in the remote Ulu Niah area of north Sarawak clashed with a plantation company that allegedly infringed on their land.

‘We had 2,458ha of native customary land, but we found out that the land was converted into state land,’ longhouse head Changgai Dali told The Star newspaper. Lawyer Baru Bian said this was just the tip of the iceberg. His firm has filed over 100 such cases in court in the last 10 years, and he believes that there are more than 200 cases in total awaiting judgment.

Mr Baru, 53, heads the opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat in Sarawak and will be contesting the election in the interior. He is a Lun Bawang, a member of a minority tribe in the highlands.

Such land disputes are among the biggest issues in Sarawak, especially native customary land where the government and the native people disagree over the definition.

Under the law, land that was occupied by indigenous people in Sarawak before Jan 1, 1958 is considered native land, usually based on the presence of burial grounds, and the planting of crops and trees. But the people there insist that it should also extend to what they call territorial domain and the forests which provide them sustenance.

The government, however, considers this state land and has awarded concessions to timber and plantation companies.

‘It’s a problem everywhere, from Lundu to Lawas,’ said Mr Baru, naming two towns at the extreme ends of the state.

Even in areas where the native claims are not disputed, problems arise. For instance, not far outside Kuching, several villagers of the Bidayuh tribe said they are still waiting for titles promised to them 10 years ago.

One of them, Mr Smith Jenih, said they need the land titles to get bank loans to start small businesses.

‘This is really the biggest problem for us,’ he said, adding that the lack of titles has also caused quarrels among the villagers who do not know where their properties start and end.

‘We want a solution to our problems before the election,’ said Sibuluh village chief Jien anak Nyobek.

The opposition hopes to capitalise on these longstanding issues but has so far not had much success in the remote interior. It had tried to make inroads among the Ibans in the last by-election in Sibu last May, but that did not happen.

The isolation of these areas and their close-knit communities are the biggest stumbling blocks.

Judaism and Charity

How does the Bible look at philanthropy and in what way does it differ from the way we normally look at it? For those of us searching for deeper insights about charity, we should look into the rabbinical traditions, which hold much wisdom. It can provide us solutions for charity in terms of community enterprise and sustainable development. I want to hear your comments on Judaism and charity.

Judaism and Charity
Article from the by David Russell

Charitable giving is a requirement of Jewish law. It is prescribed as a mitzvah (commandment). “When your brother will become poor, you will extend your hand to him” (Leviticus 25:35) and care for the “the stranger, and the orphan and the widow” (Deuteronomy 19:29).

Ever since the time of Abraham, there has been an obligation “to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right (tzedakah)” (Genesis 18:19). But “what is right” has been a subject of rabbinic interpretation ever since. The primary sources on this vast subject are Mishneh Torah, the first systematic codification of Jewish law by Maimonides in the 12th century, and the Shulchan Aruch, collated by Rabbi Joseph Karo in the 16th century.

The practice of ma’aser kesafim, giving 10% of one’s income, derives from Jacob’s commitment to God: “of all that you give me I will surely give one-tenth to you” (Genesis 28:22). In the Talmud, an upper limit of 20% of income is set, based on the reasoning that a higher percentage may result in the giver himself becoming needy (Talmud, Ketubot 50a), but this does not apply if there is a need to save life.

Maimonides records eight levels of giving. The highest level is to help the recipient to become self-supporting, by finding or giving a job to the person in need, or making a loan to enable them to start up a business. “The giver who knows not to whom he gives and the recipient knows not from whom he receives” is the second highest level. The least good is the giver that is pained by the act of giving.

Rashi postulates in his commentary on Leviticus 25:35 that there is an even higher level of giving, that is to help people before they even require help on the basis that if a load “is still on the donkey, one person can grasp it and hold it in place. Once it falls to the ground, however, five people cannot pick it up” (Torath Kohanim 25:71). Giving before one is asked is particularly important in protecting the self-esteem of the person in need – as well as encouraging others to give as: “greater than one who does the mitzvah, is one who causes others to do a mitzvah” (Talmud, Baba Batra 9a).

The Talmudic concept of tovat hana’ah affords givers the right to choose the recipients of the money in a manner which provides them indirect benefit (Matnot Aniyiim 1:8). It is advised, though, that all funds should not be given to a single level of priority.

The amount that one gives should be calculated with care and ideally a separate fund should be established for funds to be held in trust for the ultimate recipients (Sefer Ma’aser Kesofim 50-54). Tzedakah should be given with compassion and happiness (Mishneh Torah 9:4). It should be made easy for recipients, so each community should have tzedekah administrators so the poor do not need to go house to house collecting (Sefer Tzedakah U’Mishpat 43). One should not brag about one’s giving, but it is acceptable to put one’s name on a gift for communal use (Shulchan Aruch 249:21).

Talmudic sources also wrestle with the ever-present issue of how givers are to decide on priorities. Most sources place the saving of life first (an interesting insight into the life of the times is the inclusion of ransom for captives in this category). We are told elsewhere that first comes closeness to the giver (relatives ahead of non-relatives); second comes intensity and nature of need (priority for those requiring food over those requiring clothing); thirdly, level of education (Torah scholars take precedence over non-scholars); fourthly gender (women take precedence over men). All these come before lineage, where a Jew takes precedence over a non-Jew.

Whilst strong ties of kinship and community are priorities for giving, as they are amongst all peoples, elsewhere in the Talmud we read: “We feed non-Jewish poor together with Jewish for the sake of peace (good relations).” (Talmud, Gittin 61a).

To conclude, there are no definitive answers to practical dilemmas of giving. Every Jew is commanded to give charity and help the needy. Jewish law leaves that open to interpretation, though within the parameters of these guidelines. Ultimately, this is our choice, and privilege.

First published: Jewish Renaissance Magazine, April 2010 Issue.

For more information on Jewish Renaissance, please visit:

Climate Refugees’ Plight in Oscar Spotlight | OnEarth Magazine

In the short documentary “Sun Come Up” that was produced in 2008 on the Carteret Islanders and now nominated for the Oscars, they are portrayed as a resilient people who are forced to navigate their future in the face of climate change.

Unknown to many people and the media was that a project was launched in the Carteret islands in May 2009 that brought much excitement to the people. The mission of the Carteret Islands Transformation project (previously called the LiveFish project) was to empower the islanders through the platform of work and management of their natural resource, fish.

In our engagement with the Carteret islanders, we have found them to be truly a resilient and graceful people. We also realized what this project meant to them. For the first time, they have in their hands the option of staying on in their islands instead of relocation to the mainland in Bougainville, a place and people unfamiliar to them. The project empowered them with a precious gift – choice.

Instead of raising homes in new places where they may or may not be welcomed, many would prefer to save their Home, the island they grew up in and lived all their lives. Housing is actually the simplest issue to address. Even if land is found for them, how do they make their livelihoods? How would they survive with no jobs or opportunities? There are also cultural and political ramifications.

To save their island is not a dream or hope but can be a reality, if the Carteret Transformation project succeeds. It is a bold aspiration but the Carteret Islanders are a courageous people who will do all they can, given the tools, to Raise their island home above the rising sea-levels.

We have met many such amazing islanders, amongst whom are people like Mama Moi and John Salik. They say they will fight to the end to save their island, even if it means they will be the last to leave. The Carteret Transformation project provides the islanders the resources they require to do so, something they previously did not have. If you would like to find out more on how you can help them save their island, contact us.

Climate Refugees’ Plight in Oscar Spotlight | OnEarth Magazine.

The Rise of the Creative Class

Looking into creativity

Creativity plays a vital role in economic development and in ways that we still do not fully appreciate. This has so often been overlooked in an analytically minded world that we really need to stop and think about this.

New thinking is necessary to shift out of old paradigms but for this to happen, we need to nurture and appreciate that creative class of people who have the passion and ability to generate innovation and growth.

The following are excerpts taken from an article by Richard Florida, a professor of regional economic development at Carnegie Mellon University. This article was adapted from his forthcoming book, The Rise of the Creative Class: and How Its Transforming Work.

Characteristics of the Creative Class
Members of the creative class do a wide variety of work in a wide variety of industries-from technology to entertainment, journalism to finance, high-end manufacturing to the arts.

They do not consciously think of themselves as a class. Yet they share a common ethos that values creativity, individuality, difference, and merit.

The distinguishing characteristic of the creative class is that its members engage in work whose function is to “create meaningful new forms.”

The super-creative core of this new class includes scientists and engineers, university professors, poets and novelists, artists, entertainers, actors, designers, and architects, as well as the “thought leadership” of modern society: nonfiction writers, editors, cultural figures, think-tank researchers, analysts, and other opinion-makers.

Members of this super-creative core produce new forms or designs that are readily transferable and broadly useful-such as designing a product that can be widely made, sold and used; coming up with a theorem or strategy that can be applied in many cases; or composing music that can be performed again and again.

Beyond this core group, the creative class also includes “creative professionals” who work in a wide range of knowledge-intensive industries such as high-tech sectors, financial services, the legal and healthcare professions, and business management.

Multi-disciplinary Creative Problem-Solving
These people engage in creative problem-solving, drawing on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems. Doing so typically requires a high degree of formal education and thus a high level of human capital. People who do this kind of work may sometimes come up with methods or products that turn out to be widely useful, but it’s not part of the basic job description.

What they are required to do regularly is think on their own. They apply or combine standard approaches in unique ways to fit the situation, exercise a great deal of judgment, perhaps try something radically new from time to time.

Adding Creative Value
These people contribute more than intelligence or computer skills. They add creative value. Firms and organizations value it for the results that it can produce and individuals value it as a route to self-expression and job satisfaction. Bottom line: As creativity becomes more valued, the creative class grows. These talented and creative people are the sort of people who power innovation and growth.

Creative People seek an Environment open to Differences
Many highly creative people, regardless of ethnic background or sexual orientation, grew up feeling like outsiders, different in some way from most of their schoolmates. When they are sizing up a new company and community, acceptance of diversity is a sign that reads “non-standard people welcome here.”

The creative class people I study use the word “diversity” a lot, but not to press any political hot buttons.

Diversity is simply something they value in all its manifestations. This is spoken of so often, and so matter-of-factly, that I take it to be a fundamental marker of creative class values.

Creative-minded people enjoy a mix of influences. They want to hear different kinds of music and try different kinds of food. They want to meet and socialize with people unlike themselves, trade views and spar over issues.

As with employers, visible diversity serves as a signal that a community embraces the open meritocratic values of the creative age. The most highly valued options were experiential ones-interesting music venues, neighborhood art galleries, performance spaces, and theaters.

A vibrant, varied nightlife was viewed by many as another signal that a city “gets it,” even by those who infrequently partake in nightlife.

More than anything, the creative class craves real experiences in the real world. They favor active, participatory recreation over passive, institutionalized forms. They prefer indigenous street-level culture-a teeming blend of cafes, sidewalk musicians, and small galleries and bistros, where it is hard to draw the line between performers and spectators.

They crave stimulation, not escape. They want to pack their time full of dense, high-quality, multidimensional experiences. Seldom has one of my subjects expressed a desire to get away from it all. They want to get into it all, and do it with eyes wide open.

Creative class people value active outdoor recreation very highly. They are drawn to places and communities where many outdoor activities are prevalent-both because they enjoy these activities and because their presence is seen as a signal that the place is amenable to the broader creative lifestyle.

New organizational and cultural patterns required
Places that grow up and prosper in one era, Olson argued, find it difficult and often times impossible to adopt new organizational and cultural patterns, regardless of how beneficial they might be. Consequently, innovation and growth shift to new places, which can adapt to and harness these shifts for their benefit.

The cultural and attitudinal norms of that age became so powerfully ingrained in these places that they did not allow the new norms and attitudes associated with the creative age to grow up, diffuse and become generally accepted. This process, in turn, stamped out much of the creative impulse, causing talented and creative people to seek out new places where they could more readily plug in and make a go of it.

Most experts and scholars have not even begun to think in terms of a creative community. Instead, they tend to try to emulate the Silicon Valley model which author Joel Kotkin has dubbed the “nerdistan.” But the nerdistan is a limited economic development model, which misunderstands the role played by creativity in generating innovation and economic growth.

Holistic Solution, Carteret Islands, PNG (Cantonese)

針對Carteret島民的困境,”Carteret 海島 計划”是一套整體解決島民困境的方案。這套解決的方案是設立一個”生活學府”,以讓社區有所改變。其中包括了一個商業規模的漁場運作。這個課程將教導島上每户家庭如何在經營生活的同時,也能尋求謀生。對島民來說,這不僅僅只是讓他們學會開發漁業資源, 也意味着他們將學會如何經營和管理自己的生活。漁業的發產是一項屬靈成果,建立在上帝在聖經里的話語基礎上所結出的屬靈果子。 Blog