Archive for the ‘Techonomy’ Category


Bicycle ride Sep 2017 - South of Aalst - Flanders

Summer is over, autumn settles in, leaves are falling but here and there some late sunflowers reminding us of the bright sun and the fertile soils. I am now my last 3 months of my long-term sabbatical as Petervan Productions. If you are interested in my developing journey, my Jan 2017, March 2017 , May 2017 and Aug 2017 updates are still available.

The House project

Our house move is now done and we are fully settled. As planned, the art studio is complete now. The easel has landed:


Spotless easel in Petervan Productions studio

The Artschool project

Initially the plan was to join the art academy of Aalst, only 2 miles away from where I live. But after the first session, it felt like a mismatch: very limited space to work, a quite older population than what I am used to, and I did not feel a click with the coach.

Upon recommendation of my coach of the last two years (Ann Grillet), I decided to do some better homework and I checked out about five other academies. In the end I decided to join the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent, one of the oldest academies of the Low Countries (South Netherlands and Flanders). The academy was founded in 1741.

On my first day I felt a bit like a Flemish Primitive: I learned BTW that the term Flemish “Primitive” has nothing to do with “basic” or “archaic” but is related to “first” or “early”, because the Flemish Primitives were innovators in finding the right compounds for paint to use on panels and canvas. In other words: how to make innovation stick!


Royal Academy Ghent painting studio and my blank personal corner

I restarted painting, and upon suggestion of Ioana Guiman from Allevo (thank you, Ioana!), I started experimenting with timelapses of some of my paintings. It is an interesting format: you can pause the video where you like it most and then make a sort of personal still and print-out.

Here is one of the painting “Girl Dancing in Flemish Fields”. I did a quick soundscape for it as well, so volume “on” is recommended.

The falling of the leaves and the autumn humidity of the soil inspired me for a poem:



Het beeld van zondag

Een boomgaard vol fruit

Warmte onderhuids

De zoete hap vergeet de kleur van zon

Vliegensvlugge paardebloemen

Verstrooien nog snel het land met hun laatste zaad

Te laat

We moeten zoeken nu

naar een warm nest

in die berm van oneindige mildheid

Apple trees with red apples

Trees with red apples in an orchard




The bust of Sunday

An orchard full of fruit

Warmth under my skin

The sweet mouthful forgets the color sun

Speedy dandelions

Spawn brisk the land with their last seeds

Too late

We have to find a warm nest now

In that soft shoulder of endless indulgence


And here is another new poem “Horse Riding without Bridles” . In essence, the poem is about personal freedom.


Quote by Kurt Vonnegut - Found in Royal Academy studio on kitchen wall

The Performance project

As mentioned in my August update, I was invited for a gig at FinnoSummit in September in Mexico . Some sort of  keynote, including some elements of my performance “Tin Drum is Back”. The talk is about structural change and archetypes of change agents. It is very much related to my research about Good Change – Bad Change (more about that later).

FinnoSummit was scheduled as a two-day event on 19-20 Sep 2017, but at 13:14pm on day one, the 7,1 magnitude earthquake hit, and in the end the whole event was cancelled as the venue could not get clearance from the authorities to re-open before the appropriate stability checks of the meeting location.

Although experiencing a 7,1 quake is quite an experience in itself – I was sitting in the top of the 1000 PAX concert hall shaking at least 50cm from left to right –  I was most struck by the huge wave of solidarity throughout the city by all layers of the population, helping the rescuers and the victims with food, water, blankets, etc…

It made me think of “The Intensity to action of the Positive Archetype” in the nice post about systems thinking by @LeylaAcaroglu

This occurs when agents are motivated to take action for the collective benefits due to an intensely focused experience, as was the case in Mexico City after the earthquake last week. The focused intensity of the need to act and the physical actions of many agents create a reinforcing feedback loop of contribution, all dedicated to the collective whole.

The talk also went into the topic of patrimony and spaces of memory, and I will update the talk with the earthquake experience of damaged patrimony, the emergence of commons, self formed solidarity brigades, and “moles” (the name of the special rescue forces that start digging into the rubble of the quake.

The organisers of FinnoSummit have kindly re-invited me to do the premiere of this performance at their Miami event on 9 Oct 2017. The venue is again stunning: they selected a place called “The Sacred Space”.

Sacred space Miami

The Sacred Space in Miami

The Deep Change project

Patrimony is one of the components of a research I started some months ago on “deep” change. Check out the previous posts here, here and this one where I highlighted the importance of patrimony and its combination with contemporary. Or the respect of the memory of an organisation and its combination with the DNA of innovation.


Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, by Thomas Heatherwick Studio

Although the term “deep” is a somewhat glorifying term – as glorifying as “meaningful” or “authentic” – it has some meaning as the change I am trying to describe probably has its source in the more deeply wired connections in our brains and being fully conscious.

The plan is to come up with a body of work, describing what is deep change, to articulate the levers to accelerate deep change, and a more tactical set of recommendations on how to get started and keep going. The format of that body of work is not decided yet, but it could go from anything like a publication up to a performance and/or experience expedition, as I believe learning happens best through experience and not through teaching.

For this project – funding permitted – I intend to do 10 “in residence” immersions, complemented with additional interviews with a collective of leaders, visionaries, artists, craftsmen, designers and producers.

In essence this is a sensemaking expedition on the what and the how of high quality connections and long lasting cross-generational structural change that goes beyond innovation tactics such as bootcamps, start-up competitions, accelerators, incubators or whatever these concepts are called these days.

I have by now a quite solid outline in place and feel ready to get this one going.


There are different kinds of sponsorship available for the Deep Change project. Please contact me in private if interested.

techonomy 2017

On a separate note, I would love to combine my FinnoSummit Miami trip in November with one of the best conferences in the world: Techonomy. I believe many of the topics on this year’s agenda could be solid anchor points for the Deep Change project as well. It would be great if somebody would be willing to sponsor my attendance. Let’s discuss what sort of deliverable you’d like in return. Please contact me in private if interested.

What’s next?

During Oct – Dec 2017, the plan is to work on:

  • FinnoSummit Miami keynote/performance on 9 Nov 2017
  • Covering Techonomy (pending sponsorship)
  • Continue the research on deep change
  • Get some blogs and reflections published
  • More disciplined agenda again

Permeke - De Vespers - Cropped

Permeke – De Vespers – 1927 - Oil on Canvas – 128x149cm

That’s about it for this edition. If there is something worth reporting, next update is for Dec 2017. Looking forward to hearing from your latest adventures as well.

As I have increased my social media activity, some folks think I am back at work. I am not. I enjoy the silence, and try to focus on my 4 priorities: Deep change research project, performance, artwork, and experience expeditions (events). If you have anything interesting or related to one of these domains, please contact me.



I am in the business of cultivating high quality connections and flows to create immersive learning experiences and structural change. Check out: https://petervanproductions.com/



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Many use the term “disruption,” to describe the upheaval we’re seeing in the financial services industry. But I believe we are witnessing a “phase-change”—a deeper transformation of how banking and business in general are done, caused by the fragmentation of everything and an unprecedented and unsurpassed period of evolutionary innovation–what might be called a “Cambrian explosion”.

In the run up to Techonomy 2012, I contributed an article entitled “The Six Ways Organizations Can Survive Until 2100.” Six months later, my essays “Dystopian Futures” and “Drowning In Data, Banks Must Learn To Surf” elaborated on my thinking.

Techonomy 2013

With a couple of weeks from Techonomy 2013, now I think we need to get back to our human sense of analog time.

We see the Net-driven fragmentation of work and hierarchies, even as sovereign states are stealing data and intruding into systems worldwide.  We see the fragmentation of trust, privacy, and secrecy. Our organizations are no longer vertically integrated but fragmented into orchestrators of highly specialized functions, sourced from a diverse group of both incumbents and aggressive newcomers.

We need stories about the humans we try to reach and move—narratives, as John Hagel puts it so well in Edge Perspectives–that have a beginning, middle, and end and convey a clear purpose and call for action and progress.

At the same time, we see an explosion of nodes on the grid, with trillions of “things” joining the digital conversation; an explosion in the volume and types of data. Digital currencies are erupting with decentralized and distributed models. States engage in surveillance and companies deploy what Jaron Lanier calls “Siren Servers”: online powerhouses that betray our trust for profit. In banking, we see the advent of network-only banks, and peer-to-peer money exchange solutions like Paypal’s Cash solution–a simple way to email money between people.

Value is being redefined, and many are rethinking what constitutes real wealth and wellbeing, beyond money and GDP. We have to rethink how we measure wealth. Robert Kennedy said: “GDP measures everything…except that which makes life worthwhile.” Happiness Indicators like Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness, the OECD’s Better Life Index, and the UK’s Happy Planet Index are already helping the world define well-being and wealth beyond money. The H(app)athon Project www.happathon.com wants to go one step further by “hacking happiness,” and shifting the world’s view of value beyond the lens of GDP.


In the financial industry, “shareholder value” and “profit maximization” remain the main criteria for investment. Nevertheless, new investment trends are emerging as a result of global changes and new ways of thinking. Investors are starting to look for criteria beyond maximizing profit, shareholder value, and pure financial return.

We have to think about what may in fact be intangible assets, along with how to account for them and invest in them. We have to re-assess the role financial markets play or should play, and their future “design principles,” so that over time we can develop more transparency, self-empowerment, and permissive not restrictive organizations.

Recently, Michell Zappa http://envisioning.io/money/ published a fantastic piece of research on “The Future of Money” documenting recent changes accelerating transactions, leveraging crowds, undermining fiat currencies, and explaining how banking is evolving into just a layer, embedded invisibly in many sorts of daily conversations. These phase changes pose fundamental questions about the role and identity of networks, institutions, and individuals.

Zappa’s timeline infographic is illuminating.

Zappa central-decentral-distributed

The phase-change from centralized to decentralized to distributed networks is shifting how power is distributed: from favoring the connected few to an irregular distribution that favors some individuals, and to a horizontal distribution of power that favors the whole of the network.

We seem to live in a  state of perpetual crisis, jumping from one incident to another, with no room to reflect or to assess.  It feels like we are drowning in tactics and ad-hoc firefighting, incapable of interpreting the tsunami of change. The world enters a level of complexity that cannot be addressed anymore by conventional, binary, linear thinking.

With all these parts moving at once, we need new tools for monitoring change. We need new capabilities and more non-linear ways of thinking, and openness to new options. We need new tools to forecast, assess, and guide our choices. They should offer richer ways to express our options through visual thinking and other techniques.

This is way beyond flashy hyper-tech bank branches and “punchy-music-cool-sexy” banking apps or product videos. This is about bringing back the analog humanizing aspect into banking. I am not my device. The future of banking is analog not digital, and its focus needs to be on relationships, intimacy, depth, and human connection.

Cross-posted at Techonomy 2013

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On 10-12 June 2013, I was invited as a panel participant to the ISACA Insights World Congress. It was the second time in two weeks – the previous time was during a session at the Amplify Festival – that the panel was asked by the moderator what the future would look like in 2040. At Amplify the question was around the future of work. At ISACA, the question was even more open ended.


Although nobody of course knows what the future will hold, and everything I say on this topic is almost wrong by definition, I believe I surprised my audience with my very dystopian view on the future.

Many seem to believe that the future will be “bright”, with lots of possibilities for hyper-collaboration, in open and shared spaces, where serendipities happen every minute, where hierarchies don’t exist anymore, sort of love-and-peace in a sharing collaborative back-to-Woodstock environment.


That may be the case in 2020, but I think the picture will be less rosy in 2040. Already today, algorithms trade in matter of milliseconds, a real-time world that we as humans can’t even grasp, let only survive. Where those algorithms now work for stock trading companies, by 2040 we will most probably be “augmented” – at best – by our personal algorithms.

It will not be a nice picture to look forward to: by that time, we will be totally ruled by robots and algorithms, and we will have to fight – assisted by our “devices” – for that very last minute of work in a crowded world marketplace where we will have to compete at rates of 1.5$ per hour. And this for probably high-skilled tasks, as the rest will be taken over by robots: a “Present Shock” of technological presence, a world undone of human presence, a very disturbing place where we are ruled by algorithms working on our behalf, where betting on peoples future is the new normal, where siren server masters raise interest fees on the mortgage of the personal success/failure of the data slaves.

The Singularity will have happened, but in quite a different way, in a way that technology owns us, eats us, swallows us, not a singularity of jolly happy people being more intelligent or augmented. A world of technology versus machines, where technology will dictate what it wants from us (See also Kevin Kelly “What Technology Wants” – with Kelly being the technology optimist he is – and Jaron Lanier “Who Owns the Future?”).

What we have witnessed during the last weeks’ revelations represents a true tipping point. Where we still may have had the illusion that we could empower ourselves, take charge, we will be at best be empowered by other powers: a new dystopian world where authoritarian technology rules, an authoritarian singularity, where we are reduced to data slaves of the new data masters.

As part of the Digital Asset Grid (DAG) project (an Innotribe project stopped after its incubation phase, and given back to the community), I have written in the past about the “Catastrophic Complexity” that is emerging right now through the explosion of the number of nodes on the grid, ànd the explosion of data. Where these data are more and more stored by “Siren Servers” – a metaphor used by Jaron Lanier – and where the DAG proposed a 100% distributed model of data storage in personal or corporate clouds, but with a choice of appropriate Trust Models, so that we don’t end up in another worldwide west. Indeed, with the advent of trillions of nodes on the grid, we will require a new kind of species, a new kind of architecture, but more importantly a new type of governance.


I am also getting more and more disturbed by a sort of “over-glorification of technology. This may be surprising as a “Techonomist”, where the belief is that technology will enable a new philosophy for progress – I still believe that – but we need some solid healthy criticism in the debate.


When I read this week in The Guardian – a quality newspaper, right? – about the “gadgetry and behavior concepts for the 21 century” and the related comments that these are “super important” new behaviors, I believe we are missing the point; we need to counterbalance all this excitement with way more attention for humanizing our businesses.

I am afraid we are slipping into an “Authoritarian Surveillance State” as described in Washington Post, or even a “Techtarian State” as articulated by Stan Stalnaker in The Huffington Post.

To understand what’s really going on, let’s looks at some understreams that cause the waves of change at the surface. I have split them in technological and more societal changes:

  • Technological:
    • SMAC: Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud
    • Platforms and APIs leading towards the end of highly vertically integrated organizations, and where the new skill becomes horizontal sourcing of pin-point functionality
    • Explosion and loss of control of data.
    • Explosion of Cyber-threats
    • Our identity schemes not keeping up with the sheer explosion of nodes, hampering our security, as the internet was never built with identity in mind
    • Disintermediation through hyper-connectivity (example Über)
  • Societal
    • Erosion of Privacy
    • Platform, everything as a service
    • New economies (P2P, Sharing, Reputation,…)
    • New expression of value, currencies, assets, cred, influence, reputation,
    • Crowdsourcing everything (credit cards, funding, investing, lending, mapping, reputation, …)

We probably most underestimate this trend of crowd-everything. There is something deeper going on: this is really about the use of external power to scale; think platform, using crowds as change accelerators, like developers for building on your APIs, but now through users. Google recently acquired Waze for 1B$ !.


The industrial scale application of crowd is very much a “Singularity University Meme”, says Haydn Shaughnessy in Forbes.  Crowd-recording, crowd-sensing, crowd-data collection, more eyes and ears and sensors, through Waze, through Glasses, etc. It’s clear some parties want way more data to be available,  searchable, to be monetized, with us working like slaves to provide all these data for free. We evolve from democracy to “crowdocracy”.

Our near future will witness the “fragmentation of everything”: the fragmentation of work, of applications, of hierarchies, and states giving in to power data houses, data guerillas, pods, and cells.

We will see the “asymmetry of everything”: asymmetry of transparency, of search and computing power, of concentration of data. This will lead to power unbalances, to surveillance mania, to loss of freedom of speech. Already now the recent developments makes me more selective on what I tweet and share. The only way out is a 100% distributed system, but I am afraid that it is already too late for that and that our future is already owned by Jaron Lanier’s “Siren Servers”

We already see the “exceptionalism of everything”, where the exceptions become the norm: events such as stock exchange black swans become the norm. We take for granted the exceptional qualities of uber-people like Marissa Mayer, Zuckerberg, and other “heroes”.

We are “attacked by everything”: our secrecy is attacked by Wikileaks, our privacy by Siren-Servers, our security by cyber-attacks, our value creation by thousands of narrow innovations at the speed of light. All this happens at the speed of light, at “Un-Human” speeds, runs on a different clock, lives in another world.

We seem to live in a “perpetual crisis”, jumping from one incident to another, where there is no room anymore for building a story with a begin, middle, and an end; no room for reflection, no room to assess and scan the waves of change on the surface of the data ocean.

The world enters into a complexity

that cannot be addressed anymore

by conventional binary linear thinking.


We need new tools, capabilities, and ways of thinking, more non-linear, be prepared to open up for more options. These new tools are about forecasting and assessing in different ways (scenario thinking), decide our options in different ways, design thinking in context with intent and within constraints, and richer ways of expressing our options through visual thinking and other techniques more leveraging the human senses of color, sound, smell, trust, sensuality, presence.

We have come at a point where our only options out are a revolution of the data slaves and evolving as a new kind of species in the data ocean, trying to preserve what makes us human.

I have no clue how we can avoid this dystopia, but we will need a new set of practices for value creation; where data slaves dare to stand up and call for a revolution; where value creation and tax declarations go way beyond being compliant with the law; where we see the emergence of ethically responsible individuals and organizations. But it will be very difficult to turn back the wheel that has already been set in motion several decades ago.

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Since my initial post “Corporate Rebels United – the start of a corporate spring?” of 17 March 2012, a lot of exciting things happened.

I’d like to share with you where we are, and what’s the plan for the upcoming weeks and months. When most of you will be on the beaches, we’ll do some digging and set the basis for some of our infrastructure needs 😉

What happened?

The 17 March post was without any doubt the most viewed post ever on my personal blog. I got loads of comments. I got in contact with some very high profile people who offered their mentorship, coaching and mindshare in their communities. Many very cool people contacted me and wanted to know how they could be part of the movement. Clearly, something strong and positive resonated with you.

We now have a “core” group of +/- 30 Corporate Rebels: it’s a cross-industry group, with folks from the Americas, EMEA, and APAC. All the way from San Francisco to Sydney, with Europe in-between. Maybe still a bit weak in South-America, Africa, and Asia. We’re getting there 😉

We had several calls and Skypes, and we had our first face-to-face meeting in London on 22 June 2012. We had about 10 core rebels attending physically and 15-20 via call: one call for the Americas and one for APAC. It was a great experience, refreshing, and reinvigorating. With thanks to SWIFT for the meeting facilities.

We have worked hard with that “core” group to articulate why and how we want to create this movement. We also looked in detail into the “what”, the deliverables. We wanted to ensure that the message we sent out was “right” before we throw into the open.

I now want to share with all of you the progress we have made so far. With deep gratitude to the core group of Corporate Rebels United: as all this is obviously the result of teamwork. I also would like to talk everybody who took the time and effort to listen to me and give feedback.

Our mission, vision, and strategy

“To transform our companies into hyper-organizations and create new value for the people they serve.”

We love our companies and want them to succeed in this high-velocity, hyper-connected world. We want to reboot our corporate and organizational culture to install a 21st century, digitally native version. We want to accelerate positive viral change from deep within the fabric of our organizations. We want to enable and empower the rest of our organizations to move at rapid pace, but room for patience and reflection. We want to unleash the enormous potential that lies within every human being within our organizations. We want to re-ignite the passion in our organizations. We are actionable.”

“We are building a global network of change catalysts that act from their true selves. Our actions will lead to new product and services and new global practices for value creation, agility and velocity. Our community acts from deep personal awareness and presence, and an irresistible enthusiasm opening up old rusty structured. We are architects and scouts into the future, and we want to guide our organizations in navigating a safe path from now to then.”

“We are making and holding a space where everybody can have a voice in service of value creation. “

Our game plan

We are making and holding a space where everybody can have a voice in service of value creation.

  • This space is called “Life”. This is where the new practices for value creation exist.
  • A community of cells upholds the space. These communities are self-organizing. These cells are built on the DNA of our movement.
  • The DNA of our movement is the platform of core principles that are the basis for us to connect, to practice, to embrace, and to inspire other to dream and make their dreams come true

DNA: A core (the common practice, the “commons” practices that cannot change, everything else can change. The DNA gives birth to cells. The cells can organize themselves.

They decide upon their own activities, their own resources, and their own relationships. And they always connect back to the mothership, the DNA of common core principles. Together, the cells create “Life” – our new global practice for value creation.

Our deliverables

We plan 8 types of deliverables:

  • Our manifesto
  • A common language
  • The 20 core principles of our DNA
  • A New Global Practice for Value Creation
  • A Belonging and Support program
  • A Discovery program
  • An Exchange program
  • A series of Events

I would like to summarize some of these deliverables:

The Manifesto

It has not changed really, but I’ll share it once more, as it, especially the “relentless” part of it, inspired so many people 😉


Challenging the status quo

Breaking the rules

Saying the unsaid

Spreading the innovation virus

Seeding Tribal energy

With No fear

With a cause to do good

Leading by Being from our True Selves

Going after the un-named quality


Common language, lexicon

It is our ambition to get buy-in and support from our corporate leaders for our proposed company transformations. We also want to articulate the direction. In a language clearly indicating the road from where we are today towards the destination we aim for. More specifically, we want to show the safe path and help our companies navigate from here to there.

This above is just a summary of some from-to destinations. The core group worked out a quite detailed and compelling list.

The 20 Core Principles of our DNA

We don’t want to be an exclusive club or so. It’s just in these early days we keep the group to 30 to be able to hack-out a first solid foundation. We will then throw it fully into the open.

But something needs to hold us together. These are the DNA principles of our practice. In the language section above you’ve seen that one of the to-from destinations is the journey from “Distrust as a default” to “Trust as a default”. Networks only work when there is trust. We want to walk the talk. When we will open-up our movement, everybody how signs-up is “in” by default. You will be “trusted” by default as long as you act in line with our 20 core principles:

  • Principle-1: We love our companies and want them to succeed in this high-velocity, hyper-connected world
  • Principle-2: We dare to be great
  • Principle-3: We have the mandate to be brave and to challenge the status quo
  • Principle-4: We reboot our corporate and organizational culture to install a 21st century, digitally native version.
  • Principle-5: We accelerate positive viral change from deep within the fabric of our organizations.
  • Principle-6: We enable and empower the rest of our organizations to move at rapid pace, but with room for patience and reflection.
  • Principle-7: We unleash the enormous potential that lies within every human being within our organizations.
  • Principle-8: We re-ignite the passion in our organizations.
  • Principle-9: We are actionable
  • Principle-10: We are building a global network of change catalysts that act from their true selves.
  • Principle-11: Our actions lead to new product and services and new global practices for value creation, agility and velocity.
  • Principle-12: Our community acts from deep personal awareness and presence, and an irresistible enthusiasm opening up old rusty structured.
  • Principle-13: We are architects and scouts into the future,
  • Principle-14: and we want to guide our organizations in navigating a safe path from now to then
  • Principle-15: We are very well intended individuals
  • Principle-16: We are united people with shared purpose starting with your own being
  • Principle-17: We maintain integrity and relevance of the reason.
  • Principle-18: We keep our community a safe environment, where you can become who you want to become. Where you are not alone in being a catalyst
  • Principle-19: Our core values are integrity, clarity of reason, brightness and great positive energy
  • Principle-20: Reflection, reporting back and adding-on to each others input and opinions is our natural way of collecting and discussing opinions.

New Global Practices for Value Creation

The core of our ambition is to create/let emerge a new Global Practice for Value Creation.

It’s “practice” like in Lean “practice” and SixSigma “practice”. However these are  for increasing efficiency in our organizations. We are on the innovation side. Innovation is less about “optimizing” the core engine; it’s more about new value creation.

Imagine having “black-belts”, “champions” in value creation and deep transformation of our companies based on our mission and principles. In the end, a company should be proud and outspoken of having x number of “black-belt Rebels” on board!

We want it to be global. From a meta-story perspective, wanting it to be something “global” that holds the values is probably one of the strongest thoughts of our movement.

We would like that these practices develop in a self-emerging way through the activities of the cells. Our expectation is that these practices are grounded in following principles:

  • Practice of Courage, Fear-is-not-an-Option, No fear to jump
  • Behavior/attitude: “Shift Makers”, “Accelerating Purposeful Innovation”, “Inside and Outside the company”, “Accelerators”, “Catalysts”, “Igniters”, carrying “The soul of Innovation”, “Re-Build”, “Re-Work, “Corporate Activists”, “Positive Deviants”
  • Emergent from the cells
  • Includes stealth approaches etc
  • Practices that lead to mastery
  • Focus on what works
  • Be part of curriculum
  • Certification levels vs. Reputation system
  • To be added as program to universities etc

In writing this blog post, it suddenly becomes clear to me that we found the sweet spot between “singing my own song”,  my loosely defined concept of a “New Value Movement”, and the irresistible enthusiasm of corporate rebels who want their companies to succeed in the 21st century by creating viral change from within.

What’s next?

I just sent a much more detailed consolidation of the 22 June London meeting to the core team. Given the summer holiday period we gave ourselves time till Mid August to co-edit all that material.

By somewhere mid-September our web site should be done.

We have planned our next face to face on 22 Sep 2012 in Providence, Rhode Island (USA), back to back with the BIF8 Summit.

Now in its eighth year, the BIF Summit has earned it reputation as “one of the top 7 places to watch great minds in action” (according to Mashable). The BIF Summit is an annual gathering of innovation junkies and transformation artists all in service of better – across industry, sector, and community. Eighty percent of Summit participants are senior executives; all are designing next generation business models. The summit provides participants with the space to be curious and crazy, get inspired, and collide with unusual collaborators. A shoe designer learns innovation processes from a car designer. A police officer teaches a business guru about transforming industries. This year’s storyteller line up features diverse system thinkers like Intel’s Brandon Barnett and ZipCar’s Robin Chase, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh and the Food Network’s Simon Majumdar, GE Healthcare CTO Michael Harsh and Drupal Creator Dries Buytaert.

BIF8 is September 19th and 20th in Providence, Rhode Island. For those who want to move their inspiration into action, there is a third day, post-Summit Workshop on Business Model Innovation. This workshop is hosted and facilitated by BIF Founder and author Saul Kaplan and the creator of the Business Canvas, Alex Osterwalder.

Many BIF Summit participants come as teams from the same organization or affiliated group – using the BIF magic to challenge norms, inspire creativity, and think across disciplines. Recognizing how hard it is to bottle the magic, and harder still to operationalize it upon the return to business as usual, BIF offered us an interesting Team Package, helping us prepare for and act on insights and random collisions experienced at the Summit. Thank you BIF for your generosity.

The BIF8 conference is on 19-20 Sep 2012 http://www.businessinnovationfactory.com/bif-8

It’s probably around that time we will throw it into the open.

And in November, we’ll do some solid campaigning in the heavy event season with Innotribe at Sibos, Techonomy, Defrag and Blur. And back-to-back to that week, we plan our 3rd face to face on 17 Nov 2012 in Boulder, Colorado (USA).

For 2013, we already received a generous offer from the Australian AMPlify Festival to host one of our next coming together.

Hopefully by then, we’ll find some sponsors to cover some of the basic costs for keeping this going.

Some resources:

  • Prezi: some of the visuals is this post were created in Prezi. I did a talk at the EU Marie-Curie event in Brussels on 3 July that included our rebels story. That talk has 3 sections:
  • I am still maintaining a Scoop.it curation on Corporate Rebels United. As I am doing my daily RSS Feed reading, tweeting, etc, I am reading them with a specific “Corporate Rebels”-lens and put them all together in one place: http://www.scoop.it/t/corporate-rebels-united > check it out

Feel free to use and share it with anybody who can help and support our cause. Let’s rock this place together and let’s get a life / get alive ! And feel free to post events on this blog or contact me via mail or twitter.

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I am restless these days. Exploring my limits, physically and mentally, and calibrating and navigating what I was meant to be: an architect, painter, scripter, dramaturge, producer?

I am so hungry to create those true memorable experiences, with artistic, architectural, and ethical rightness and integrity. Experiences those feel right from the very first second to the very last. Produced and executed with a crew of super professionals

Experiences that matter, those touch and move you.

Experiences that give you the same sort of “bang” as when you arrive in Bangkok airport, and get amazed by the post-industrial architecture, in all it’s grandeur and massivity.

The sort of “awe” when discovering Bucky, or the mindset of Jeffrey Katzenberg,Co-founder and CEO of DreamWorks Animation SKG here below in interview with David Kirkpatrick of Techonomy.

The sort of “yes” when seeing the Blue Man Group. But a Blue Man Group with a message, and not only one-way, but where also the audience has to participate to realize the full potential and learning of the production.

The sort of “love” and being “moved” when seeing/hearing Mark Pesce analyzing and synthesizing, and story telling with an eruditeness seldom witnessed before, with us at Innotribe Bangkok last week.

Be in company of these sources of inspiration, or at least breath the same air (spotify link)

Sometimes all I need is the air that I breathe and to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe yes to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe

When as an audience you know, just know, that this production is so right I, in the sense of “exact”, “spot-on”.

When as a producer, behind the scenes and behind the technical desk, you can feel the shiver down the spine as the rumble of the deep bass rolls-in and when the show begins, and the mystic of the lights, the mystery of the colors, the artists, the perfect technology, the professional crew are all coming together in an amazing whirlwind.

A production that feels more like a good book, where you have to invest in the beginning, where you discover new stuff, not the same old re-mashed hyped stereotypes, tricks and banalities.

Like a great film where the plot unfolds, and magic and surprise come together.

With deep immersive learning experiences, and drama, lots of drama, even in the sense of theatrical overacting. It’s creating a meta-story, a story of stories and adding performance to it. A new class of story telling, of immersive learning experience.

With authentic, inspiring mastery on stage, orchestrated and mashed-up into a brand new value play artistry, adding facilitation and superior crowd control to the mix. Aah! How I love the “stage” with it’s smell of wood, nails, pain, curtains, mechanics, flight-cases, racks, amps, cables, light and sound towers.

The whole discussion of hyper-connected companies during our Innotribe event in Bangkok, and especially the story of Uber taxi, made me reflect deeply on the role of the old taxi company as a dispatching service.

A dispatching role that was in essence the friction in the system, and becoming completely obsolete when the nodes (in this case taxi drivers and their customers) started talking to each other via API’s (in this was built into iPhone apps).

This friction (less)-rule not only applies to organizations and functions but also to people and events.

The master of ceremony (MOC) role has to become much more than just announcing and introducing speakers. If the MOC role stays limited to that, the MOC becomes a friction in itself that needs to be removed. The MOC has to become a “master of connections”, bringing additional content-value, interpretation and guidance to the mix.

In the case of events, we have to start looking at them as a way to bring the consumers and providers of our immersive learning experiences in direct P2P contact through API’s aka “emotional synapses” of the speakers/ignitors.

Some folks out there claim that we are pushing the envelope of performance too far, and should fold back to simpler formats closer to TED, or that our banking audiences and cultures are not ready for this. I deeply disagree. I believe that what we set out as a performance design in Bangkok is just the beginning, the middle of a spectrum between minimum and maximum.

It is of course easier, less complex, where you just program some cool people and surf on the success waves of others, never creating something yourself. But when an event becomes a happening with no file-rouge, no overall theme, without gluing metaphor and design, and without deep reflection about the overall energy and thematic rhythms, then we end-up merely with a set of sequentially ordered speakers, at best a mash-up of speakers, MOC, and facilitation tricks picked from the routine shelf, where the colors and scribes are just lipstick on a pig, a weak copy of the original.

It’s like cheating your audience. Because you know you can do so much better. Not giving the best of yourself is a cheating your audience, whether that audience is your beloved one, your family, your team, your company, and your world.

Easy is easy. Easy smells laziness. What we – at least me – are trying to do with events is not about producing a soap, or the n-th well produced game-program for points or money on television. Although I can be seduced by a well executed professional television production like “The Voice”.

I don’t want to go “easy”, that’s not where I set my bar. When “going back to basics, to easy” starts showing its ugly head, it’s time for us not to be complacent and run on routine, but to re-invent ourselves. We have to re-invent ourselves when we think we have explored the limits.

I am looking for the French quality of “profondeur” which I find richer than “depth”. That is where I want to go.

Sometimes, it looks like the ecosystem I live in today is not ready for this ambition and experiences. Sometimes, my current fishbowl is not ready to follow. I sense it’s a matter of time before we all can see the perspective.

This minor headwind is no reason to give-up or scale-down. I want this “giving-my-best-experience” to happen rather sooner than later. I don’t think I can do more than one production like this per year or even two years if I want to keep the quality of content and production I have in mind.

The choice is between many small touch points, with superficial tricks from the routine box and less events, with a dramatic increase in depth and exploration of new limits. Our edge of yesterday has already become the core. We have to be and remain the Edgewalkers (Amazon Affiliates link)

We have to keep our edge of “Edge-Walkers”, “Protagonists”, “Corporate Rebels”: challengers as described in Art Kleiner’s “The Age of Heretics”.

As Peter Thiel explains in this great New York Times article about establishing a creative monopoly:

Instead of being slightly better than everybody else in a crowded and established field, it’s often more valuable to create a new market and totally dominate it.

The journalist of the article makes some great observations:

Creative people don’t follow the crowds; they seek out the blank spots on the map. Creative people wander through faraway and forgotten traditions and then integrate marginal perspectives back to the mainstream. Instead of being fastest around the tracks everybody knows, creative people move adaptively through wildernesses nobody knows.

We live in a culture that nurtures competitive skills. And they are necessary: discipline, rigor and reliability. But it’s probably a good idea to try to supplement them with the skills of the creative monopolist: alertness, independence and the ability to reclaim forgotten traditions.

Maybe I should disappear for some months or years, to do my ultimate research, find sponsors, leverage the knowledge of the commons, produce and distribute with the best of the best.

I have already decided to invest in myself, healthy mind in healthy body to start with, but also focus on giving the best of myself in everything I do, and yes – with a little dose of arrogance – ignore everybody for the better overall health of myself. Ignore everybody as in Hugh McLeod’s bestseller with the same title (Amazon Affiliates link)

I am restless. Because I feel I am stagnating in my current environment. Limited in my creativity. I want to break free. Unchain my heart. Being able to speak free again. No strings attached. Surprise you and myself. Explode, and be emotional and physical again. Exploring my limits.

Sometimes all I need is the air that I breathe and to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe yes to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe

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People call you an instigator, a protagonist, a renegade, a pirate, a mercenary, a rebel, or an empowered employee. We know you for what you really are: a change agent who sees speed, change and innovation as the new corporate norm. We know because we are you. We know the challenges – and the excitement – of driving change in an incumbent or start-up company. We know what it means to go for “The Innovator’s Risk”

We call ourselves “Corporate Rebels United”.

The concept of Corporate Rebels is not new. Many people have written about or have alluded to it:

John Hagel referred to the concept of the “Empowered Employee” in one of his recent Forbes posts.

The key answer that defines the post-digital enterprise is to shift attention from the cost side to the value side. Rather than treating employees as cost items that need to be managed wherever possible, why not view them as assets capable of delivering ever-increasing value to the marketplace? This is a profound shift in focus. For one thing, it moves us from a game of diminishing returns to an opportunity for increasing returns. There is little, if any, limit to the additional value that people can deliver if given the appropriate tools and skill development.


The post-digital divide will force them to choose sides – on the side of employee empowerment, or on the side of tactical cost cutting, job cutting, and diminishing returns. If not, the divide will choose for them.

But a Corporate Rebel has something extra. It is about daring to stick out your neck. It is about taking personal leadership.

Nilofer Merchant differentiated between a rebel and a leader

So perhaps we could use a more neutral word: protagonist. A protagonist is a principal champion of a cause or program or action. The protagonist does not wait for permission to lead, innovate, or strategize. They do what is right for the firm, without regard to status. Their goal is to do what’s good for the whole.

Lois Kelly (@loiskelly) from Foghound and Mike Maney (@the_spinmd) from Alcatel-Lucent also discussed recently whether the word “rebel” is not too negative. Mike made some very deep reflections why the hard dividing line between good and bad rebels does not always make sense.

Argument aside, we believe that – positioned well – the word “corporate rebel” exactly reflects who we are.

The aim of “Corporate Rebels United” is to create a global community of extraordinary corporate change agents. It is not an academic exercise or research effort. It’s something deeply actionable.

Our mission is to build the most amazing community of corporate rebels worldwide to ensure that true change and innovation happens virally

The initial idea for Corporate Rebels United emerged when innovation teams of Alcatel-Lucent and Swift met and worked closely in the context of Swift’s Innotribe program. We were excited by the exchange of ideas and energy that emerged when like-minded folks came together. And that got us thinking about some big “what if’s”:

  • What if we could create a tribe of the best and most exceptional corporate rebels worldwide – people like us, people like you?
  • What if we could start leveraging each other’s ideas, energy and best practices?
  • What if we could design a movement to support each other when the going gets tough?
  • What if we could cross-fertilize and infect our organizations with the change-virus from within?

We want to identify exceptional people worldwide that already have an impressive impact on change and innovation in their corporations, no matter in what field or industry. The movers and the shakers. The do-ers of today. The ones who take initiative. Who create deep change from within. People who energize their organizations by leading from their true selves. The crazy ones. The rebels. The troublemakers. The ones who see things differently, and who are crazy enough to think they can change the world. People like you.

Our plan is to start small – 15 founding rebels cross-industry – because we want to ensure quality and resilience in the initial starters group. We’d like to get the spirit right from the start. We have scheduled a kickoff call on March 30, 2012 with 15 founding rebels. We will follow that call with an off-site meeting where we’ll jointly build a set of agreed upon principles and a longer-term action plan to open and expand Corporate Rebels United to a wider audience.

A lot of “getting the spirit right” was already included in one of my latest prezi’s on the “Soul of Innovation”. Without any publicity, this prezi already generated more than 3,000 hits in less than one month. We seem to have touched something that resonates. Some of it was withheld for my TEDxNewWallStreet talk last week in Mountain-View. Innovation is more than a set of tools and processes. Innovation is an attitude with tribal energy!

For viewing this prezi, turn audio “on”, as I experimented a lot with sound and visual landscapes.

Somewhere halfway in that prezi, you will discover the Rebels Manifesto in the Pirates Treasure Map

Rebels Manifesto


Challenging the status quo

Breaking the rules

Saying the unsaid

Spreading the innovation virus

Seeding Tribal energy

With No fear

With a cause to do good

Leading by Being from our True Selves

Going after the un-named quality


What exactly Corporate Rebels United will do is the essence of our discussion at our kick-off call and event. Initial ideas include:

  • We want to build an action-driven community.
  • We want to create an incredible energy bomb of corporate change.
  • We aim for a very high level of integrity and authenticity. We want this to be morally, intellectually, and artistically right
  • We want to re-enforce the energy of known rebels in a non-zero sum community.
  • We want to identify and unleash the energy from the hidden rebels and the hidden pearls in our organizations and give them a voice
  • We want to create exchange programs between our corporations
  • We want to have deep positive business impact on the corporations and organizations that host and pay our salaries.
  • We want to create a culture in our corporations where change is the norm.
  • We want to measure the progress and propulsionwe make/create:
    • Individually
    • The folks we influence
    • The corporate change heartbeat
  • We want to evolve our corporations into places of constant change, resilience, responsiveness, reflection and vibrant energy.
  • We want to create a place for play, fun, rock, and rich personal expression

At the start, Corporate Rebels United will be a closed community: we’re looking for atypical people who make us go WOW!

Because they act from their true self and without fear, and make amazing change happen within their organizations and the ecosystems they are part of.

People with a moral, architectural, almost artistic integrity. People with a BIG innovation heart in the right place.

We’re looking for people who inspire us as human beings. With open mind, open heart, and open will.

Like Seth Godin said in his last book (We are all Weird):

“they have to be a bit weird”.

We plan to go full-steam as from our Kick-Off call on 30 March 2012, right after the start of the 2012 spring. Our ambition is to be able to shine and radiate as a strong community with first results by end October – Mid November, not co-incidentally the busy conference season with Innotribe at Sibos, Techonomy, Defrag and Blur.

Like Bill Gates wanted to see a PC on every desktop, and Eric Schmidt wants to see an (Android) mobile in every pocket, we want to see a corporate rebel in every company. That’s a lot of corporate rebels 😉

Of course, I am not Bill Gates, nor Eric Schmidt. But there is still enough room for a normal human being like me to create significant impact. And although I am 55 years old now,  I still want to change the world. And yes – at 55 – I still would like to instigate a Corporate Spring. There is no age for Corporate Rebels.

We jump and want to feel the daily adrenaline of being and coaching Corporate Rebels every day of our life.

As we get started up, get some inspiration on our curated site for Corporate Rebels United on Scoop-it.

If you are interested to join Corporate Rebels United, leave a note and some argumentation on why you’d like to join in the comments section of this blog post. And/or let us know what you can bring to the table to make this a big success.

As the Corporate Rebels United get up-to-speed, they will start blogging on http://corporaterebelsunited.wordpress.com and we will soon open our website at http://www.corporaterebelsunited.com

Let’s 21 March 2012 be the start of our Corporate Spring! Because we believe it matters to infect our organizations with “change-as-the-norm” from the bottom-up!

@petervan of the Innotribe team

Laura Merling (@magicmerl) and Mike Maney (@the_spinmd) from the Alcatel-Lucent team

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Last week, I attended Compass Summit.  After Contact Summit in NYC the weekend before, the contrast could not be bigger. Whereas Contact Summit was held in a worn-out synagogue, Compass was held in a 5 star luxury resort close to LA.

Also the audience was fundamentally different: in NY we saw a group of activists and revolutionaries (a good representation of the 99%): and the theme was “the evolution will be social”. In LA, scientists and economist – probably a subset of the 1% – shared the space for a couple of days under the overall tag line “What’s possible, What matters, What’s ahead?”

Innotribe was sponsoring both events. In Compass Summit, we also acted as co-curator and facilitator for 1 plenary on Future of Money, and 4 breakouts (see later)

Agenda and program

The Compass agenda was packed.

For a minute-by-minute coverage of the conference, I suggest to check out the #compass11 Twitter stream or Kosta Peric’s coverage by live e-scribing here.

UPDATE: all videos of all talks are now available here.

Instead of doing a vertical or chronological report on this conference, I will try to give you a horizontal report-cut of the topics discussed, and add some personal opinions to the mix.

The conference was a very high quality event, with super speakers from science and economy.

I left the conference with a mixed feeling: who will win, the positive scientists or the dooming economists? My overall take-away was that we are in a very deep crisis of everything, much deeper than most newspapers let us believe. I am worried for our children and what will happen the next 2-5 years.


Compass Summit is a traditional conference, in the sense of  the format: speakers on stage, 20 min talks, fireside chats, and panel debates. The general sessions felt like a TED, but then one with audience interactions. Which gave the organizers a timing-headache as all the Q&A’s ran out time and so the whole conference program. No problem for me: as long as the content is as interesting as at Compass, I could stay there the whole night ;-). Towards the end of the conference, there was some experimentation with a “sequential conversation”, but there was more potential in that: it just requires more scripting and preparation. The Innotribe breakouts and wrap-up were – how would I say? – very “Innotribe”J . We always try to do something special, and you expect no less from us (more about this at the end of this blog post)


The overall message was positive, although many questions were raised on the impact of the increasing human-machine blurring, and whether real life implementations of great ideas in current R&D will reach us in time to save the planet.

Danny Hills from Applied Minds and one of the originators of the Long Now indicated that “we are already in The Matrix” right now. “Nobody really knows how the Internet works” and “we overestimate the human ability to control and underestimate its adaptability” were some reflections leading to his conclusion “Forget the Enlightenment, we now live in the era of “the Entanglement.”

We also saw some great progress on Solar Energy production and photosynthesis Fuel. To put things in perspective: the energy needs for 2050 are such that if we want to cover it with nuclear energy, we would need to install one nuclear plan per day. The conclusion of the energy debate was clearly solar is the way forward and that energy storage was the Holy Grail for the immediate future.

David Gelernter stood out with a milestone presentation.

His talk was completely scripted, no slides. But it sounded like a novel, a piece of science poetry. So many beautiful metaphors, play of words, and fine humor! The content was mind-blowing as well. His starting premise was that we are witnessing the transition from a space-based organization of information to a time-based organization of information. Search starts smelling like value-based search, with time as just one of the values. The concept of a stream-browser instead of a web-browser was no less than brilliant, and I loved his evolutionary insight from “cybersphere” to “cyberflow”.

This was quite consistent with the messages form Brian Arthur and E. Stevenson: everyone is connected and it’s getting deeper and deeper…the grid starts to look like an organism, neural network. The underlying grid of machines talking to each other was described by Brian Arthur as “the second economy” that will soon be bigger than the real economy. The question “Who will win?” in the session “Race against the machine” – and also title of a new book by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson – was therefore spot on.

Cities and their dynamics and their impact on growth and innovation were also a recurring theme: Geoffrey West – world famous since his memorable TED talk – did his fantastic thing on “Cities never die”. Saskia Sassen added a new dimension for me: “a city talks back”, suggesting that a city tells us in immediate feedback loops what works and what not


The overall message was extremely negative. I was shocked by some of the facts presented.

Although we still see a growth in wealth creation, the wealth is more and more concentrated with the happy few. The 1% starts looking more and more like the 0.01%. The world is also turning younger, more urban, and more impatient for accountability, in both democracies and authoritarian states. We need a different diplomacy where also NGO’s, Philanthropies like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and companies like Google and Wall-Mart are represented. I believe that is a good starting point, as the concept of “country” is really dead. But the real question is what are the criteria for who can sit at that table: will be allow organizations like Goldman Sachs, who claims to rule the world, but is creating fake value through speculation, value outside of the real wealth system in my opinion. And whereas countries and UN are as good as dead, there is no transition in governance model between now and then, and we risk falling into a governance no-mans land.

Corporations are piling up cash that is sitting idle. Someone summarized this signal as “between fear and opportunity is paralysis”. In the meantime, the center of power and control is further moving East-wards: 2009 was the first year in 200 years where emerging markets outgrew developed ones. We aren’t going back.

Bernard Lietaer (author of “The Future of Money” and more recently “Creating Wealth: Growing Local Economies with Local Currencies”) was no less than impressive.

He showed that he had empirical evidence that the financial system is systemically instable. He pointed to some solutions to the monoculture of fiat state currencies. The most frightening was probably his statement that “we have 5-10 years to fix this, if not the game is over”.  This was the first (and not the last) time that the idea of war (as in world war) was uttered as a very possible scenario, and although Lietaer did not mention this, I interpreted his message as a warning for fascist behavior and polarizations.

And one day later, Mark Anderson painted a super confrontational picture between the USA and China, and indicated that the IP war was already going on, stronger even, that phase-1 of the war was over and we are already doing corporate body counting.

Add to this the Saudi Arabian oil situation, where the monarchy is a) paying it’s citizen from the oil reserves to avoid a Saudi Arabian spring and where the oil reserves will more and more be used for internal needs. Pierre Larroque added that Saudi Arabia is now in essence a supplier of China, and asked the question “why should we defend them?” Quite a statement!

Add to this water scarcity. Add to these big dysfunctions in education systems. Add to this the fact that the current young generation is the first generation that will enjoy LESS wealth than their parents. Add to this the #occupy movement, Middle East spring, etc. and the picture is not very rosy, the least to say


Following his discourse in currency value debate, Bernard Lietaer also mentioned the need for more “feminine energy, presence and softness”, echoing a message from John Hagel in his blog a week earlier.

“Quod Demonstrandum Est” must have thought Caroline Stephens.

She gave the audience a wake-up call when stating “I have stopped talking about poverty in a 5 star hotel”. Her testimonials of future-less generations in South-America moved everybody in the audience, except the moderator who showed a pedantic lack of empathy and moved to the next point on the agenda by stating “now that we have solved a couple of world-problems…”

A genuine tweet from Heather Vescent sparked the Innotribe team to rally for an ad-hoc session to give Caroline the space needed for her message. It was interesting to see how people quickly tried to recuperate strong personalities like Caroline for their own agenda. It’s a very fine balance to walk. In the end, we failed to get such an ad-hoc session squeezed into the already busy Compass agenda. But we won’t give up: Caroline, we will contact you directly for one of next year’s Innotribe events.

The rest of the conference value discussions debated the rhetorical question whether value-based thinking is eroded by output concentration.

As a lot of the identity discussions were related to privacy, I quickly cover this under this value-section. One participant reacted somewhat sarcastic by saying that during the panel debate she almost believed that Google and Facebook were philanthropic organizations. We were probably closer to the truth when the moderator said “facial recognition will dramatically change what it means to show your face in public”.


Mark Bonchek introduced the notion of “Social Architecture” and gave a great example how this relates to networks and nation building during warfare. And how the US military has realized that shared situational awareness enables self-synchronization. It appears that the army’s counter-insurgency Field Manual (PDF Link) is “the best single guide for driving large scale corporate change.” After the conference we had a really interesting chat with Mark on corporate change and whether you really can steer change or whether it is just as effective to drop a seed bomb of corporate activists, and just watch what happens and emerges. That will be the subject of another blog

An interesting Risk Management debate revealed that trade-offs have to and are being made whether one should implement latest technology or proven technology only, and that the relentless push for efficiency pushes towards latest technology. If one would take the brain scan of the most adventurous CEO, one would see “40% risk taking, 60% risk aversion”.

Brian Arthur spoke about the “second economy” (see earlier). With some hindsight, I would like to suggest even a third economy underneath (or overlaying) that: “the values/spiritual economy”. What are the real values and intentions we have when completing a transaction? Values like transparency and fairness. Like belonging. Like intrinsic drivers of motivation such as the drive to acquire, to defend, to bond and to learn. Which brings us to education.


It looks to me that the USA has a bigger problem with education than other continents. Or they focus more on it. I don’t think it is the latter. Michael Crow from Arizona State University was inspiring when stating “in stead of exclusion (to the education system), our metrics should be based on the output of our education system”. Other speakers insisted that the education system should celebrate from failure instead of exclusively focusing on and measuring success. Jack Hidary was passionate in his plea to “educate to innovate”.

But by the end of the conference, I got a bit tired of the so generic term “innovation”, used as the deus-ex-machina for world hunger problems, without specifying what the solution exactly is.

Innotribe sessions

In addition of the (rather traditional) plenary session on Future of Money with Bernard Lietaer, Innotribe was also responsible for 4 breakout sessions. Our team really went the extra mile in decorating the rooms, and using sound and visual landscaping to further add to the immersive learning experiences that have become the trademark of Innotribe sessions.

For the identity breakout we repeated our Sibos trick with the music from Tron. For the future of value, our ladies Mela and Martine almost created a zen-like experience with candles, rose leafs, and spiritual music.

From a content point of view, I would like to summarize each of them with a couple of tweet-like statements

–       The Future of Banking

  • “Money is the memory of value”
  • “Trust will define the future of banking”
  • “There are huge opportunities for banks in the unregulated space”

–       The Future of Transactions

  • “From the gift economy to the re-gifting economy”
  • “Transactions are the fuel to the relationship economy”

–       The Future of Identity and Trust

  • “Digitization of identity good or bad?”
  • “Identity should be part of digital inclusion”

–       The Future of Value

  • “The poverty of financial metrics prevents full wealth recognition”
  • “Right conduct + truth + peace +non-violence + love = living system of wealth”


Our economic, financial, energy, and wealth distribution problems are huge. The problems seem bigger and more insurmountable than the general press makes us believe. Scientists try to picture of optimism, but I could not resist the discomfort that the implementation of their inventions will come too late. Fear for war can turn any moment into a real possibility. And still our politicians don’t get it. We witness an aversion against the establishment in general. The cry to do without them gets louder.

But current problems and solutions are still presented as a game of winner and losers, with polarization leading to simplification, populism, and possibly fascism. I would prefer a model based on infinite game thinking. The world is the opposite of flat, and the role of black swans is not included in any of the models discussed today. It’s all about redefining a new value context, new value movement, less re-active, less “protest” than OWS, more pro-active.

It is about a collective awakening, where flow reveals structure. You can’t just start with structure and force everything to fit into it. It would be far better to create a parallel positive: a much safer way that just saying “nuke the system”.

Maybe I should close this blog post with the quote by Leonardo da Vinci that was printed on the back of the Compass Summit conference program:

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

That’ s probably why the title of this blog post is “Can we win the race?” and why the Innotribe wrap-up ended with “It is only up to us to act”.

@petervan from the Innotribe team

Cross-posted on Innotribe blog here.

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