Want to Innovate? Hang out with the Chimpanzees occasionally!

PotA1

The late, great Charlton Heston used to tell the following anecdote about his observations during the filming of the greatest movie ever made – the original Planet of the Apes. A large scale movie at the time with hundreds of extra’s of all different ethnic, religious, economic and gender backgrounds (and the largest makeup budget in Hollywood history!), nonetheless Heston observed:

“(During shooting breaks I noticed) an instinctive segregation on the set. Not only would the apes eat together, but the chimpanzees ate with the chimpanzees, the gorillas ate with the gorillas, the orangutans ate with the orangutans, and the humans would eat off by themselves. It was quite spooky”.

The following is an amalgam of various reports over the years by the ‘Big 4’ and others and it’s a summary of the question posed to over 1500 corporate, academic, and small scale innovators over the last 10 years: “What have been the most productive sources of innovation for you?”

inn

You’ll notice that “…other domains” tops the list.

Many others have made the same observation, either anecdotally or evidence based. As an example, Liz Alton, one of the technology and innovation writers I really admire, says “….breakthroughs occurred when we looked at how change happened in other domains and experimented with those ideas in a new context. It was here that I first learned to see that real innovation and big ideas happened when you brought together inspiration from different fields.”

Getting back to Charlton Heston, it’s an entirely natural and understandable instinct to surround yourself with people “just like me”. But – if you want to be a great innovator – instead of spending all your time with your gorilla friends, go hang out with the chimps occasionally!

chimp

 

Local Festivals in the Philippines (18th – 24th Feb 2018)

GenSanFeb. 19 to 21

Boling-Boling Festival

Residents of the town of Catanauan in Quezon province dress up in any costume they fancy and roam around town. Some of them imitate personalities they like or someone they hate and make fun of them. The festival is said to serve as a symbolic spiritual cleansing in time for the Lenten season.

Feb. 19 to 23

Caragan Festival

The Aeta culture is celebrated in this festival in Mabalacat City, Pampanga province. Among the festivities include a job fair, bazaar, photo and art exhibit as well as a native games presentation. The festival also coincides with the town fiesta.

Feb. 21 to 27

Kalilangan Festival

A weeklong festival in General Santos City, South Cotabato province, coinciding with the city’s founding anniversary. Kalilangan was derived from the Maguindanaon word “kalilang,” which means celebration or commemoration. Activities include a fashion show, cultural workshop, concert, agriculture fair and a street dancing competition.

Compiled by Kathleen de Villa, Inquirer Research

 

Indian Institute of Technology (Madras) and Swinburne University of Technology (Melbourne)

ChennaiMy thanks to both the above Institutes for inviting me to speak on Swinburne University’s behalf at their joint 2nd Indo-Australian Marine Renewable Energy Workshop held yesterday in Chennai. Hopefully, my discussion of Australian Innovation and Research Funding was of benefit to the participants.

The initiatives being proposed are extremely impressive and have terrific (positive) implications for renewable energy as well as regional coastal and environmental protection. I’m looking forward to staying involved!

INC CROWDED (The Startup Festival)

ITESM

I’m both excited and honoured to be Plenary speaker for INC CROWDED (The Startup Festival) at Mexico’s Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) on March 1st. I’ll be discussing “The Innovation Culture” and, if you’re attending, please come and say ‘hi’!

INC CROWDED is an open meeting and connections event, aimed at curious, entrepreneurs, innovators, researchers, start-ups, investors and members of the community. An open space where the CROWDS (Communities) meet to share, connect and communicate their different initiatives to advance to new stages.

National Economic Complexity and Australian Innovation

ECI 2016

A very quick snapshot of Australia’s rankings in the 2016 Economic Complexity Rankings shows exactly why State and Federal Government innovation policies and strategies that assume we can replicate the success of our cultural peers (USA, Germany, UK, etc) will always be doomed to failure while our economic peers remain the group which include Botswana, Mauritius, and Kyrgyzstan.

Happy to discuss!!

Boodle Fight!!!!

Boodle Fight

If you’re lucky and have been successful at making friends in the Philippines you may have the terrific experience of being invited to a Boodle Fight! Boodle Fights originated in the Filipino military when a big pile of food (rice, meats, fruits, vegetables) for the hungry men was served on banana leaves in the middle of a long table in the mess hall. There were no plates and no cutlery and the men simply grabbed what they could with their hands before the food ran out (hence ‘fight’). The tradition lives on and is about as Filipino a dining experience as you can get. The modern Boodle Fight is often an (extended) family affair and, if you’re fortunate enough to be invited to one, roll up your sleeves, leave your pretensions at home, and have fun!