I’ve been taking some time away from blogging—and emailing—to recharge but the Time “Man/Person Of The Year” cover for 2006 got me out of my cave. I don’t read Time much anymore since it usually isn’t relevent to my life but the magazine’s recognition that we have launched a new way of creation and innovation through social networking and user production is worth noting.
The cover, which literally reflects your face, is innovative in itself for Time. And the realization that we are on the cusp of a vast surge of creativity as we begin to unleash the innovative abilities of billions of people around the world is, well, what—heartening, legitimizing, inspiring?
Globalization and the rise of networked societies is changing all our lives and not all of it is to the good (Al Queda is the quintessential networked group). But there is one thing we should be thankful for and that is, for the first time in history, people who have never had the opportunity to create their own products and services, are now being given the tools to build them. From the malls of LA to the villages of India, people are collaborating, co-creating, sharing, learning, networking and innovating and we haven’t even begun to understand what that means. Shaping your own personal music library with the iPod, branding your products your own way on YouTube or simply putting together your own communications network on your cell is just the very beginning of the massive mass innovation to come.
The PUSH of tech-driven innovation is being replacing by the PULL of people-driven innovation. Smart CEOs and companies around the world get this and are moving fast to harness this newly released power. And increasingly, people-driven innovation is changing the social, economic and political spheres as well. I hope to explore this over the next twelve months on the Innovation & Design channel and in the four issues of IN—Inside Innovation so far scheduled. It’s going to be great fun. For the new year, 2007, this may be the Next Big Thing.
Now, back to the cave.
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