Be in the scenius time!
The world is changing faster and faster. Stay curious and observe what is happening around you to enhance your creativity. Enjoy the changes as a surfer welcomes a new wave. Life is movement.
As Leonel Brody said, the world has been accelerating much faster since 1920. Electricity played a key role in this. Now, the past world is dying and we are entering into new paradigms that are radically transforming the way we think, work and live. Caught in this vortex, we can feel some fatigue, but we can also see it as a surfer being borne away by the energy of the wave. As never before, it becomes increasingly important to reach creative communities to stay in the world movement.
In A year of swollen appendices, the famous composer Brian Eno wrote that Einstein may have been recognized as the last great genius. We are moving to a more collective era where 'scenius' replaces 'genius'. It is by working with others that we will be stimulated and will remain in the spirit of our time. As Kevin Kelly described it: "Scenius stands for the intelligence and the intuition of a whole cultural scene. It is the communal form of the concept of the genius."
There are two phenomena that we must consider. Firstly, we are increasingly mobile. This means that no matter where one is, it is important to know how to connect to communities. Open source is an incredible accelerator. Although McGill University decided to share its research in the biomedical field on open source for fear of not being able to move fast enough to make the discoveries they want.
In December 2015, Elon Musk and Sam Altman launched an AI platform worried that artificial intelligence would take over the world. The two entrepreneurs created a billion-dollar not-for-profit company that will maximize the power of AI—and then share it with anyone who wants it. "Our goal is to advance artificial intelligence in a direction most likely to benefit mankind. The objective is to develop artificial intelligence technologies and make them available to all. As a non-profit organization, our goal is to create value for everyone, rather than for shareholders."
The second thing to consider is automation. A lot of jobs will disappear in the coming years, so we must evolve, therefore, continuously to adapt and to prepare for the new world.
At the time of the Scottish enlightenment movement, leaders in the field were Erasmus Darwin (grandfather of Charles) - David Hume - Adam Smith - Henry Home - Thomas Reid - John Millar - Dugald Stewart - Adam Ferguson - James Mill - Hugh Blair - James Boswell - John Leslie - George Campbell - John Millar - James Burnett and Francis Hutcheson. The Scots have continuously contributed disproportionately to science and letters: James Hutton - James Watt - William Murdoch - James Clerk Marxwell - Lord Kelvin - Walter Scott and more. These Scots met every month on Monday night before the full moon. The name of the group was The Lunar Society, which arose because the society would meet during a full moon, as the extra light made their journey home easier and safer in the absence of street lighting. The members cheerfully referred to themselves as "lunarticks" (a pun on lunatics).
They exchanged ideas and shared their inventive projects. These interdisciplinary exchanges contributed to a significant number of innovations in the 18th Century. Connecting to the world is essential to being creative and developing knowledge and creativity. My advice to any PhD candidates and researchers is: Keep an open mind by participating in interdisciplinary circles to broaden your thinking and enrich your research.
During this creative workshop, I proposed different ways to reach communities: Linkedln, Google+, Twitter, Facebook— In principle, you are already engaged with your research teams and in your scientific or business communities. Even if it takes time to participate in some networks, you don't have to be 'very' active to develop a digital reputation. Your time could be a valuable investment because you never know what could eventually come from it: a job, a research team, some funds— Networks are a way to stay in tune with the world. If certain topics interest you, follow the researchers you respect... and take advantage of their gatekeeping.
It is important to go with the flow as evolution is not linear. Pascal Picq, a professor in paleo-anthropology at the College de France, reminds us that chimps are our brothers and we exist in an interdependent system.
“OUR HABITS ARE VERY POWERFUL FILTERS THAT PREVENT US FROM SEEING THE CHANGING WORLD.”
— PASCAL PICQ
Nobody knows exactly what the future will look like. Life, biodiversity and external factors over which we have no control, and all forms of "coincidences" that come from the meeting of independent systems are part of the unknown. Internal factors are part of life itself. All species are ecological communities in which they maintain competitive relationships, symbiosis, parasitism and cooperation. In a co-evolution, it is not the species that evolve for themselves, but ecological communities that evolve together. This is a fabric of complex interactions. In Darwin's Theory of Evolution, there is an inseparable pair of factors: natural selection and sexual selection.
Contrary to popular belief, natural selection is not of the fittest, but rather of a greater descendant, with a better access to resources, good pathogen resistance, immunological characteristics, opportunistic circumstances and luck... To answer this endless challenge, people must have sufficient inter-individual biological diversity. The key element is variability. It comes from mutations and especially genetic recombinations by sexuality. Recently, a third factor has come into play, says Pascal Picq.
“MAN ACTS VIOLENTLY AGAINST THE CLIMATE, GEOGRAPHY AND BIODIVERSITY.”
OUR CHALLENGE IS TO INVENT NEW FORMS
OF PROGRESS FOR HUMANITY.
Many institutions are still built as a pyramid, with bosses at the top, but this situation is evolving and will change in the next decade. We can already see that models with an inverted pyramid structure become stronger thanks to collective strength.
THE EVOLUTION MECHANISMS
1. Entities composed of different individuals.
2. Features (which distinguish them) are partly hereditary.
3. Numbers vary if faced with limited resources.
4. If all conditions are successful, the selection factors are not involved.
5. The invasion of a species against all others seems impossible, as they would turn against it. For example, the Rocky Mountain locust invasion (1831-1836).
The engine of evolution is based on the articulation of the variability (production changes) and selection (the Darwinian algorithm) natural-sexual selections. This variability is found at all levels, from genes to ecosystems. It is such variability which gives biodiversity. All that we are, from our genes to our behaviour through anatomy, physiology, locomotion patterns and diets, are constantly renewed.
WE BUILD AND REBUILD OURSELVES CONSTANTLY.
Nature ensure continuous innovation. Variability produces variations limited by the constraints of a prior selection process. Man, for example, is a simian variation. Between chance and necessity, there is a history of innovations.
History proceeds from a succession of innovations that emerge contingently (the incremental innovation process). Between the gramophone and the dictaphone, for example, the same technical principle, the same research question exists: They are based on engraving sound except that the dictaphone has the phylogenetic constraints of the telegraph and telephone, while the gramophone has the mechanical piano filiation. Edison belongs to the noble lineage of American pioneers known as "self-made men" whose puritanism carries the toward work and not leisure. Berliner, meanwhile, is a European from a family of Jewish merchants, who was passionate about technology and music. Culture led him to design a different use for his invention. From an evolutionary point of view, we find the combination of change-selection, and the emergence of innovation (burn audio), captured differently in different environments. Several lines are now emerging (some stillborn) or forgotten, while others survive, such as the dictaphone and the gramophone. Pascal Picq explains that natural selection is not a law of universal gravitation.
Why, for example, do aircraft have their doors on the left? The first pilots of the World War One were horsemen. Riders ascended to the left of the horse so not cause damage to horse's flanks with a sword on the left... We live on adaptations of the past and the real challenge is to build the adaptations of tomorrow!
This is natural selection. If the environment is favourable, there is no selection. If there is competition for resources then it manifests itself by producing variations. The adaptation follows the mechanism: There is no perfect adaptation!
AN EMPIRICAL LAW
"The agencies, including the most complex, are only suitable as part of their character, devoid of other benefits - mismatches - and other seemingly useless, but that may prove advantageous in new circumstances. Selection factors can provide advantages in certain circumstances and disability in others. The handicap principle describes the complex interactions between individual survival and development factors, sometimes exuberant, secondary characters involved in reproductive success. For example, the antlers of deer (in Ireland) that became too large to allow the deer to move into forests (which led them to extinction), or the croaking of tropical frogs whose croaks not only to attract a partner, but also attract predatory bats. What is to remembered in the Theory of Evolution, is we must remain in the movement of life in competitive systems. The stress can sometimes be an asset and luck plays." Pascal Picq
IT'S HOW WE HAVE SURVIVED UNTIL NOW.
+ OPPORTUNITIES =
The culture of trial and error is intrinsic to evolution. Complexity increases constantly with all species evolving simultaneously. This reminds me of Lewis Carroll's novel, Alice, Through the Looking Glass. When Alice walks, then runs, she has the feeling of staying at the same place because the landscape is advancing. She is surprised and calls out to the Red Queen, who replies: " In this country, you have to run as fast as possible to stay in one place." Imagine now how fast you have to run to innovate!
In the triangle of sustainable development, the three points of the triangle symbolize the three essential elements that must be addressed simultaneously, namely ecological development, economic development and social development. In other words, if we think of only one aspect, it will not work in a sustainable manner... we must ensure that innovations are 'winning' in the three aspects. It is better to settle for less profit to protect the environment and invest in social progress. Well thought out projects create more value for companies as well as society.
The triangle is also a strong figure to symbolize the Theory of Evolution. At the bottom levels, there are the structural and historical constraints which slow our actions. We cannot avoid them; they are our past. Sometimes there are also positive achievements. The point of the above is to look to our future one that pushes us towards progress and to breakthrough innovations. But this progress must always be for humanity, and must be positive for our society, ecology and economy. The three elements are treated in equilibrium to maintain a balance. The triangle of sustainable development promotes a holistic thinking mindset that transforms our vision of development.
One example that best illustrates this concern is Elon Musk. He gets angry when he is told that he is disruptive. The question that deeply motivates him is: How can we improve?
“A LOT OF MY MOTIVATION COMES FROM ME PERSONALLY. I LOOK AT THINGS THAT DO NOT WORK WELL AND I FEEL A LITTLE SAD IF THEY THREATEN THE FUTURE. AND IF THIS RESULTS IN AN UNHAPPY FUTURE, IT MAKES ME UNHAPPY. SO I WANT TO FIX IT. IT’S REALLY MY MOTIVATION. I DO NOT BELIEVE IN DISRUPTING THINGS FOR THE SAKE OF IT. I MEAN, MY INITIAL INTEREST IN ELECTRIC CARS AND SOLAR ENERGY, DATING BACK TO WHEN I WAS IN COLLEGE, NOT BASED ON ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS, IT WAS BASED ON SUSTAINABILITY, IN THE SENSE OF DOING SO THAT CIVILIZATION CAN CONTINUE TO PROGRESS. WE FIND NEW SOURCES OF OIL, BUT THEY ARE INCREASINGLY DIFFICULT TO ACCESS. (...) BUT DO NOT FORGET I ALSO READ A LOT OF COMICS WHEN I WAS GROWING UP, AND I THINK IT INFLUENCED ME AS MUCH. I MEAN, THEIR HEROES ARE ALWAYS READY TO SAVE THE WORLD... ”
— ELON MUSK
What Darwin described in the Theory of Evolution is taking place all around us daily and represents a fascinating reading resource to help us understand the history of innovation and the evolution of our species.
The neuroscientist Gerald Edelman; a Nobel Prize in Physics winner, a great thinker on the subject of brain and mind, author of The Neural Darwinism and The Theory of Neuronal Group Selection, discovered that the nervous system of each individual functions as a selective system that looks like natural selection in evolution, but it operates with different mechanisms. By providing a fundamental neural basis for categorizing things of this world, it unifies perception, action and learning. The theory also completely revised our view of memory, which is seen as a dynamic process rather than a reclassification of workbook attributes. This has profound implications for the interpretation of various psychological states, from concentration to the interpretation of dreams. Neural Darwinism has an impact on many disciplines: biology, evolution, anatomy, physiology, ethology and psychology. It is a theory of brain function that opens up entirely new philosophical discussions about the mind-body relationship, the origins of knowledge, the basis of perception and language.
In other words, a child is born with a brain that has enormous potential, but it is not yet developed. Some basic physiological reflexes are pre-determined, such as eating and drinking, but the rest of the brain is an area that will see huge changes throughout its existence. A human brain is a machine to experiment with. The child, the teenager, the adult, is continually experimenting. He records his perceptions and builds his memory and in doing so, neural agglomerates connect networks and interact. When a phenomenon has already been tested and registered and it manifests itself again, it is reflected in the huge neural mapping process which recognizes and gives it meaning. Thus man build his permanent reality, and by sharing it, helps to create a joint reality.
Some last tips to help you:
1. Stay connected on a professional network like Linkedln and others. You never know who you can meet and what you can learn. Stay in touch with interesting people.
3. Generate as many ideas as possible, and do not insulate yourself; keep walking as the same pace as the rest of the world. Remember the conversation between Alice and the Red Queen: "Here, even if I walk, I have the impression of staying at the same place". If you want to innovate, you need to walk faster, but first make sure you have as many ideas as possible...
4. Learn to collaborate better to make sure that your teams are at their best all the time. If you succeed in this, you will innovate collectively much more and develop a strong and creative network. And you will have more fun!
5. Contribute to an innovative culture... accept failure, learn, play and test some crazy ideas. Remember how crazy the zero would have looked when it was first invented.
6. Remember the triangle. In all your projects, make sure that you pursue two extra goals: Sustainability and Humanity... always think of progress for the well-being of society.
7. Don't forget to invert the pyramid: share knowledge and power with the members of your team to co-build a real and deep collective intelligence.
If you do so, your creative ideas have more chance to becoming successful innovations.