Jan Tik talks of where hopscotch began and spread across Europe. He writes
"Hopscotch began in ancient Britain during the early Roman Empire. The original hopscotch courts were over 100 feet long and used for military training exercises. Roman foot-soldiers ran the course in full armor and field packs to improve their footwork, much the same way modern football players run through rows of truck tires today.
Roman children drew their own smaller courts in imitation of the soldiers, added a scoring system and "Hopscotch" spread throughout Europe."
Around 2000 years later the Economics and Social Research Council published the first issue of Britain Today [ in March, so its taken a long time for me to stumble over it in our local library!). One article, "Britain's Innovation Challenge" , states:
"The rise of India and China and other low cost economics means that competing on cost is no longer a viable strategy. To succees in future, Britain needs to compete on added value - especially in its knowledge base.....Britain spends £21billion creating new knowledge throught the science system in universities, research institutes and companies. Evidence suggests that Britain is good at producing scientific knowledge.....
yet despite its impressive performance in this area, Britain lags behind other developed economiesin converting new ideas into commercial applications. .......
British businesses have not been effective at capturing and leveraging know-how.
This is true both in terms of creating new products and services, and improving processes and practices."
I attended many of the MediaLab Europe's Open House days in Dublin, that ran from July 2003-January 2005. I was inspired by the demonstrations of work that went on there and of their list of prospective and actual partners.In spite of the statement of their founding CEO, Dr Rudy Burger that:
Put this into Design Space, apply Design Fast Action and a bridging process begins to emerge:
We are now thinking about all the eight factors as well as interacting around them.. this does not mean we get all risk adverse and kill ideas and directions but treat the project as a quest with responsibilities on all parties to do something differently: to do some devilling between quest get-togethers in Design Space.
Where the bridging is done is a cultural thing and the challenge is that there is a clash of cultures in partners, who will now worry about sharing insights as there is a perception that sharing can dilute any competitive advantage. It is really an opportunity for orchestration to be introduced to open up the conversations that ultimately yield sustainable competitive advantage. Verganti describes how Italian companies like Alessi, Artemide, Kartell, etc, demonstrate how this can work in practice. Apple is another example of how orchestration of partners can work in a radical way.
So how do we ensure that bridging happens easier so that there can be a "Meeting of Minds".
One part of the how is to identify potential tools, choose the relevant ones, acquire, use and exploit them to achieve our goals. So how do we transform Design Fast Action into an activity-oriented view to aid the choice of tools?