Being at TEDGlobal I was reminded about this historical introduction of the computer mouse, video conferencing, teleconferencing, email, hypertext, word processing, hypermedia, and a collaborative real-time editor (among other first timers).

If you’ve seen it already: it’s good to remember. If not: watch it.


“…Recently, BBH London teamed up with AMREF (the African Medical Research Foundation) to use others’ social media networks as a tool for storytelling—introducing a new methodology to the idea of identity politics and untold global insight. …”

read all about it at…

I’ll give it a try.

via @VizeumCph – thanks for sharing!

Tom Kelley

Tom Kelley is the general manager of IDEO, the design and development firm that brought us the Apple mouse, the Palm V and hundreds of other cutting edge products and services. He’s also an entertaining speaker and has written two books ‘The Art of Innovation’ and ‘The Ten Faces of Innovation’.

In an interview with Design at Work he presents you his view on design & innovation:

Which company has been able to surprise you this past year on the subject of innovation and why?

Conventional wisdom says that small start-ups are quick and nimble while big, old companies are slow and rigid. So I am always pleasantly surprised to see giant corporations flex their innovation muscles, and one compelling example from the past 18 months is General Electric. GE has launched dozens of recent innovation initiatives, but none more interesting than what CEO Jeffrey Immelt calls “reverse innovation.” In the traditional model of 20th century research & development, ideas originated at the headquarters and then got dispersed throughout the global organization. In reverse innovation however, simple cost-effective solutions created in the field—especially in the challenging environment of developing countries—get cross-pollinated back to the home office where they can be adapted for value-oriented customers in developed countries or anywhere on the planet.

GE Healthcare’s compact electrocardiogram (ECG) for the Indian market is a case study in reverse innovation: in 18 months a team in India, working on a shoestring budget, developed a unique ECG machine that was one tenth the cost and one third the weight of previous units. Having proven its success in rural India, GE’s new MAC 400 ECG is now a candidate for use in all the other healthcare markets in the world. Reverse innovation is an idea whose time has come.

In your opinion, what product should win all the design awards this year and why?

I believe the winning product for 2009 should actually be the whole new product category of smartphone applications. Sure, a handful of applications may have existed in 2008, but 2009 is the year of the app, with the number of applications for the iPhone alone headed toward a hundred thousand, and the number of downloads now over a billion. A cottage industry of designers and developers has sprung up virtually overnight, and is now creating apps so fast that no one can even keep track. In fact, a new behavior pattern has emerged in the Silicon Valley where I live—and probably among iPhone users around the world—where people frequent do “show and tell” of their favorite apps because the universe of potential apps is too overwhelming for any individual to comprehend. In other words, friends don’t let friend miss out on good apps. Of course some smartphone apps may seem frivolous, but I feel like some have changed my life. As someone who’s always lost, for example, the GPS app on my iPhone is practically indispensible, and I literally never leave home without it.

And in some ways my favorite app is Shazam (created by London-based Shazam Enterntainment), because it’s a harbinger of the kind of apps that can make me a better, smarter person. The first week I downloaded Shazam, I was at a great party, and a woman next to me on the dance floor said “Tom, what’s this song, do you know?” In the past, I’d have been clueless, but fifteen seconds later, I knew the answer for sure. Now if Shazam would just help me recognize people…


Which sector still has a lot of potential when it comes to innovation?

In spite of the great success already experienced by companies like Facebook in the U.S. and Skyrock in France, I believe we have only seen the tip of the iceberg on innovation opportunities around social networking. It will replace “expert” data with information, reviews, and advice from our personal networks or “people like you.” For example if the most famous film critic in the UK gives a film four stars, but my extensive network of friends is unanimous that it’s a dog, who am I going to believe? Humans are social animals and the power of social networking has only begun to emerge.

What evolution in the design and innovation field has been the most important one according to you?

The most important evolution in design and innovation is the transition from a narrow definition of design to the broader field of “design thinking.” “Design” still sounds a bit like aesthetics to some people, like a surface treatment added after the “real” work of creating something new is mostly done. But design thinking is an intuitive process for human-centered problem solving that engages the whole brain and opens up the possibility of new more multi-disciplinary solutions. Design can be a powerful tool for creating new products or services, but design thinking can be applied to broader social or issues and ultimately can help change the world. At IDEO and places like it around the world, design thinkers are working on new approaches to issues like environmental sustainability, childhood obesity, and access to clean drinking water in developing countries.


T-shirt by Simon Crowley

Depending on how you see it, social software is either all the rage or so 2008. You know the stuff: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Foursquare…. There’s no talking about the web these days without it—that’s for sure—but social software tools are quickly becoming an integral part of the way we run our day-to-day lives.

It’s not just in the consumer space, either. Companies and large organizations are catching on to the benefits of social networking and improved collaboration tools. They want their intranets to be more like Facebook. They want to use crowdsourcing to leverage employee perspectives and wikis to help people help themselves. They want Twitter for the organization, (or at least they think they do).

Human-centered approaches to industrial and interaction design have long focused on studying human behavior to create informed and appropriate designs. A social interaction designer must consider not only people, environment, and existing tools, but also the unseen elements of the system such as social relationships, power dynamics, and cultural rules.

So there’s a lot of budding social software out there, and a lot of opportunity to design the stuff. But for all of the press and fanfare, most social software is, well, socially awkward.

Take, for example, the satirized look at Facebook by the British improv troupe Idiots of Ants above. Idiots of Ants (the pun only emerges if you say that name with a British accent) pushes the social behaviors of Facebook to the extreme, but it’s hardly the only piece of software they could pick on. Twitter, another massively successful tool, began as an attempt to facilitate text messaging among friends and has morphed into a platform for broad, ad-hoc real-time communication. But while the tool is great for flash mob conversations and celebrity tracking, the one-channel-for-everyone design is profoundly awkward for more nuanced social interaction.

read the full article here: Social Software: The Other ‘Design for Social Impact,’ by Gentry Underwood

…As products become more interactive, the focus shifts to the psychological. And with the networking of devices together, we see yet another shift—this time towards the sociological and anthropological. Now the designer must understand not only anthropometrics and cognitive science, but also ethnography and sociology, for an effective design must ‘work’ at all of these levels at once….


Why Facebook is more important to the environment than solar panels.

The growth of social networks indicates a fundamental shift in patterns of human behavior. The unsustainable practice of ever-increasing consumption of physical goods, and expressing oneself through what one purchases and displays, is being replaced by increasing consumption of virtual goods through virtual channels. This is good news for the sustainability of our economy.

more: Conspicuous, but not Consuming | GOOD.

    Open Video is a movement to promote free expression and innovation in online video. To all interested in, openvideo confeerence is running in new york today and tomorrow and they have an open live stream. (thanx Rui)