Telco 2.0 is a London-based research firm focusing on innovative business models for the telco industry. It cultivates a strong network of decision-makers from communicatons, media, banking, and technology and runs several industry conferences. frog is an official sponsor of this year’s Telco 2.0 New Digital Economics conference, M-Commerce 2.0: How Personal Data Will Revolutionize Customer Engagement.
The European Union recently published the Innovation Union Scoreboard 2010, a performance assessment of innovation in EU member states. It investigates relative strengths and weaknesses of the research and innovation systems per country along related indicators. The monitored categories cover enablers, firm activities and outputs. “Enablers” investigate the essential ingredients to the activity such as HR, Finance, and Research Systems. “Firm activities” comprise indicators like investments, linkages and entrepreneurship, and intellectual assets. “Outputs” monitor indicators that translate into actual benefits for the entire economy, such as innovators and economic effects. However, member states are clustered into categories like innovation leaders, innovation followers, moderate innovators and modest innovators. A brief look into the results reveals that Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Germany are grouped as innovation leaders. The second cluster indicates innovation followers ranking above EU average, while a third cluster sums up countries that are weak in innovation. Norway is ranked “moderate innovator” performing below the average of the 27 countries monitored.
Envisioning the digitally sentient city was the mission of the Cognitive Cities conference I attended on February 26 and 27th in Berlin.The conference brought together the brightest minds from urban planning, politics, academia, technology, and design to debate the future of cities and tech’s influence on urban life. Over the dense two days we delved into everything from democratic data visualization to the virtual layer added to cities to promote collective knowledge sharing.
In recent months, we’ve been spreading the word about connected devices, the future of mobile money, and how the “Internet of things” is going wireless. Now, frog will host and facilitate a series of interactive workshops and presentations on those subjects at the Mobile World Congress, the mobile industry’s leading conference held in Barcelona from February 14–17.
frog Executive Creative Director Jan Chipchase gave the keynote presentation at the Finance Innovation Forum in Beijing, an event organized by one of China’s leading business magazines, CEOCIO. Conference attendees included bankers and industry leaders in the finance and insurance industries. Chipchase’s talk, “Insights of Mobile Banking,” included research findings from his recent trip to Afghanistan where he investigated how people are using cell phones to do their banking—known in the industry as mobile money.
frog design partnered with the Economist Human Potential conference in New York on September 15-16 to conduct a day of design research.
In the summer of 2010 we began a discussion with a team at the Economist about how to enhance the experience of their new conference series, “The Ideas Economy: Ideas That Press Forward,” and we agreed to conduct a day of design research at their New York event, Human Potential 2010. As part of our preparation for this research, we first looked at what it means to go to a conference these days and then we pushed that through the filter of “human potential.”
It’s both amazing and hilarious to consider that being human, or treating people well, or interacting with one another, is now in-vogue in big business. We did a turn with quality (“we need to make things well!”) in the 80s, optimization (“we need to track the supply chain and distribution chain!”) in the early 90s, the internet (“bricks and mortar is dead!”) in 2000, and now it’s All About Social. But when you unwrap “social”, you start to realize that it’s a container for some major, powerful, and fundamental aspects of human life. It’s not a business construct, as was six-sigma or ERP. The stuff we mean when we talk about “social” is the stuff of life, and it’s natural. And so I find it both amazing and very, very funny to observe how fundamentally hard it is for some people to “manage social” and to understand the role social plays in the context of business.
Over the past few days, IIT held their annual Design Research Conference. The conference, run and organized entirely by the students of IIT’s institute of Design and led by graduate students Tal Shay and Kate Pemberton, brings together practitioners and students in an intimate setting to discuss issues of design, research, business, culture and society.
I gave a talk that I’ve been building and refining for the past few months, entitled “A new global design intellectualism: predicting – and avoiding – the commoditization of design research.” The talk articulates what I’ve observed over the past decade as a repeated cycle of offshoring, responsive process innovation, and cultural expectations point to the demise of a particular skill or set of methods in the United States.
I've just returned from the IDSA conference in Miami, and I'm both convinced that, in ten years, there won't be an IDSA conference to go to - and that isn't a bad thing. I don't mean this in a disparaging sense; I enjoyed the conference, caught up with old friends, made new friends, and learned a bit. But a trend that I've observed at past conferences is only more evident this year, and it's patronizing to continue to skirt what is becoming increasingly obvious: the IDSA has served a valuable role in the evolution of design as a professional discipline, and has helped advance the field to a point where the IDSA is now essentially irrelevant. Design has outgrown “Industrial Design”, and a professional organization cannot exist only in the form of self-maintenance.
As a Design Researcher, hearing Jan Chipchase’s talk at CHI was inspiring. He discussed his nuggets of discovery around the world and told the stories with beautiful photography.
Jan brought up a range of contrasts that I found interesting. He made the point that innovation often happens at the socioeconomic extremes - with technologically advanced cultures as well as very impoverished ones. As he describes, “when the cost is so low, acting becomes easy.”