Tag Archives: Web 3.0

What’s so Fab about Fab Labs? : The Innovation Interview with ‘Collaboriginal’ Peter Troxler

Peter Troxler: Capital I Interview Series – Number 12

As I was traversing the flat world, which is LinkedIn, I came across Peter Troxler’s fascinating profile.  There were many things that intrigued me and instigated my reaching out and inviting him to take part in the Innovation Interview Series.  In particular, his research at the intersection of business administration, society and technology along with his expertise in applying the Internet and Web 2.0 technology to support the implementation of management systems.

When it comes to hats, General Secretary at International FabLab Association,  owner/director at p&s culture net and owner of the research company Square One are only three of the more than a dozen he currently wears.  That said, it was Peter’s perspective as a serial enabler, which prompted my invitation… that and his moniker, the ‘Collaboriginal’, earned due to his determination to enable and empower collaboration and innovation.

Peter, do you see a difference between ‘little i’ and ‘Capital I’ Innovation?

I have not made such a distinction so far and cannot think of a real need to differentiate the two.  However, I think there is a big difference between invention and innovation, and the terms are often confused — even in public dialogue and ‘innovation’ awards that pretend to award innovation, but often just give money to people who are inventors so they can start to sell their inventions.

Maybe it could help to explain what I understand when I say innovation:

  • innovation = putting a new idea into practice, continuously improving it interactively with the customers (or similar) beyond a singular prototype (and in a minimal profitable way, say ‘ramen profitable
  • invention = prototypical, singular realization of a new idea
  • new idea = a principle for a new product, service or practice (without actually realizing it, not even as a prototype)

All of these need not be ‘globally’ new;  innovation, in particular, can be completely local.

What do you see as the main barriers to the success of innovation?

  1. The sit-and-wait-mentality of many inventors, who think that a good idea alone (or maybe with a prototype) will convince ‘entrepreneurs’ to take it and run with it.
  2. The idea that an ‘innovation’ has to be global.
  3. The belief that every innovation has to have a website 😉
  4. The belief that people ‘have to’ buy into an innovative product or service just because it is an ‘innovation’ (and has got an award that proves it).
  5. The belief that innovation is finished when its results are put into practice (or that there is a predictable way those results will take off and develop).

How essential has innovation been in your career?
Innovation has played a key role in many professional activities I’ve been involved in — be it in the arts, academic research or business.  In many ways I’ve been involved in making innovation happen.

I’m not a serial entrepreneur; but I’d like to see myself as a serial innovation enabler.  My passion is, together with others, to put new ideas into practice and to grow them beyond singular prototypes.  When the innovation makes the transition to routine, I lose interest.

You’re one of the three founders of p&s culture net, can you tell me a bit about why you started it?

In the late nineties I started p&s culture net together with two friends in Switzerland.  We set out to investigate what the impact of the internet would be on literature.

It began with workshops and small events, and grew into quite a substantial business, doing quite large public events in Switzerland.  We work around literature and try to make literature accessible in new ways.

And who, typically, would be involved in your workshops?

We try to get a good mix of people including researchers, academics, philosophers, historians, artists and even engineers.  We use the workshops as a kind of ‘think tank’.  For instance, when we were investigating what the internet does to literature, literary production, and literary consumption, it was extremely helpful to have all these different types peoples around the table.

I’m sure. And did your investigation come up with an answer as to what effect the internet has on literature?

No, not really.  When I think back on that particular series… it [the internet] just creates so many new ways to work with text.  And that text, and writing, are still very important and very relevant skills.

You are also the General Secretary of the International FabLab Association, which you’ve been involved with since 2007.  What is FabLab?

FabLab stands for Fabrication Laboratory.  It’s a concept that was developed at MIT by a physics professor, Neil Gershenfeld, about ten years ago while he was investigating how to create self-replicating matter.

Neil uses all sorts of machinery to do his experiments; and created the ‘How to Make Almost Anything’ course, which has been over-subscribed ever since it started.

People learn to use digital machinery like laser cutters, milling machines and 3D printers.  There’s a standard set of, relatively, simple machines that make up a FabLab.

FabLab image courtesy of Arnold Roosch

The set-up is relatively easy to use, so, about ten years ago Neil started to set up FabLabs in third-world countries, and in deprived areas in cities such as Boston, to give people instruments to play with and make their own stuff.

The idea took off, and suddenly everybody wanted to have a FabLab.  Currently there are over 70 FabLabs in the world… on almost every continent.  I think Australia and New Zealand are just waking up to the idea, but there are FabLabs all over Europe, in Africa, South America, Russia and a few in Japan.

How are FabLabs being used developing nations in particular?

They are used to make everyday stuff.  There is a beautiful project in Africa… They buy lamps from China, which would run on batteries and have conventional light bulbs in them.  The lamps are disassembled in the FabLab, the conventional light bulbs are replaced with LEDs, the batteries are replaced and LED cells are added.  Now the lamps can be charged by sunlight and are sold on.

This sounds like the implementation of innovation.


You have spoken in the past about businesses exploring and using open source and open innovation. How have found businesses reacting to the idea?

Businesses are extremely nervous about it.  Business owners have been told, “You have to protect your ideas. It’s dangerous to share your ideas because anybody could pick them up, run with them and make big bucks, while you starve to death because you haven’t protected your IP.”

However, if you look at it more closely, the first thing you notice is that protecting your IP is extremely expensive and time consuming, and it distracts you from the real purpose of business, which is making money… there is so much time and money spent waiting for bureaucrats to file applications.

The other thing you notice is that there’s this axiom ‘IP protection helps innovation;’ so people think, “If there is no IP protection, there will be no innovation.”  There’s absolutely no proof of that.

There is no empirical evidence that IP protection helps to grow businesses, except probably in two sectors… one is a no brainer, the lawyers.  And the other, though I haven’t looked at it very closely, is the pharmaceutical sector.  If you get counterfeit medicine, which doesn’t do what it says on the tin, that’s an obvious problem.

Are you attempting to convince business that they should be exploring the ‘Open’ option?

I am indeed. I’m working with various people, from the industrial design corner of the world, to really look into the issue and find ways for designers to make a living in an open source context.

Square One seems to sit in a very interesting niche, at the intersection of business, administration, society and technology.  How would you use technologies such as Web 2.0 and 3.0 to support the implementation of management systems.

The intersection of business, administration, society and technology in the whole context of open source, open innovation… it’s huge!  It’s massive!  What I’m trying to do is break it down and apply it in very specific contexts.  Currently the main context I am working in is the FabLab context, because they refined everything.

FabLab is the thing that is socially relevant.  They are open to the general public and are, obviously, technology based.  But, I would say, half of the FabLabs existing right now are struggling to find sustainable business models.

They’re being set up with subsidies of some kind, which helps them run for a couple of years.  Since we have such a massive growth in the number of labs – the number is doubling every 12 to 18 months – there is no real experience of the post-subsidy period.  Because many of the people who set-up FabLabs are enthusiastic tech people, they don’t have the kind of business understanding that would enable them to set up such an animal to survive long term.  That’s the specific area of complication where I try to bring all those aspects together.

Where do you think the FabLabs movement will be in ten years?

That’s a very interesting question. Because ten years is quite a long period, if we look at the technology we’re dealing with.  It could be that by the time certain machines are cheaply available the raw material won’t be.  It’s kind of hard to predict.

The other thing is that, currently, FabLabs are mainly either community based initiatives, or school/university based initiatives.  But, that said, we’re seeing things happening in France at the moment where large ‘teach yourself ’ chain stores are starting to jump on the train and say, “Hey! You know, we could attach a FabLab to our stores.”

What kind of stores?

DIY stores, for instance. You’d buy material, then go next door to the FabLab and build something. It makes complete sense.

FabLab image courtesy of Arnold Roosch

But then, on the other side, you’ve got the community based FabLabs who are thinking, “Whoa! This is not the way we think about FabLabs.”

The classic clash between corporate and communal.  Do you have an opinion as to which is a better t?

I would have to imagine a world where both exist side by side.  Not everybody would go to a community-run FabLab and wish to have this type of community. But, it makes so much sense to produce a lot of stuff yourself.

Maybe I am oversimplifying, but it seems to me that you can go and brew your own beer… many people do.  Personally I prefer to go to the store and buy it, but that’s me.  I think there’s room for all of us who like beer to do whatever is most comfortable.  Here’s hoping that FabLabs become as ubiquitous as beer!

Speaking of which – and yes, I’m segueing from beer to thoughts of Holland – there is a FabLab opening today in Rotterdam, isn’t there.

Yes, and its happened really quickly [though not as quickly as Fablab Amersfoort, which was set up in 7 days – here’s how]. They got the financing to do it in May and the first iteration opened in September. Today it opens for real.

To move this fast, we had to bring all sorts of concepts together: open source, the unconference, the possibilities and mentality of the internet – where sharing suddenly is much more easily achievable – and rapid prototyping. It’s a completely different approach to the more conventional control mentality approach.

It’s an entirely new ecosystem… it’s research AND development – rather than the more common research THEN development.

P: Yup.

Well harkening back to my beer analogy… Cheers to that!

(Kim and Peter Skype’d from their homes in Sydney and Rotterdam.)

It’s meHealth I’m Talking About – The To Do List

The following is a list of meHealth issues, and an overview of some of the steps necessary to solve them: meHealth

  • Convince stake holders of the efficacy of Personal Healthcare Pages and/or (PHP) National Electronic Health Records (EHR)
  • Enable all healthcare stakeholders (consumers, healthcare givers, healthcare managers) to use the Web as a platform to share information, deliver care and build communities
  • Enable patients to make better lifestyle choices

Collaborative Health

  • Convince stake holders that Collaborative Health Care (CHC) is a cheaper, safer, and better system
  • Enable single points of contact, self service and self help
  • Enable Doctors to make better diagnoses and prescribe better treatments through access to more useful and integrated data
  • Enable data aggregation to produce useful data of clinical significance for researchers evaluation, teaching doctors and development of health services

Non Vendor Locked Tools

  • Ensure systems are easy and economical for use by all stakeholders
  • Enable tools that help patients feel more informed, included and valued
  • Enable medical help via Web sites/browsers and smart phone apps
  • Enable easily understandable bundles of products and services that can be compared on quality and price, and used by stake holders with a wide range of capability levels
  • Enable access to and co-ordination of home based medical equipment / tools and assessments along with data-generating Web-enabled devices
  • Enable tools for doctor patient dialogue
  • Enable healthcare givers to electronically interact with patients regardless of where they are located
  • Enable disparate IT systems and processes to connect and co-ordinate with each other
  • Enable secure flexibility within mobile services, using such tools as PDAs and VOIP processes
  • Enable healthcare managers to better respond to emergencies and rapidly assess the national impact of particular treatments

Governmental Issues

  • Enable and enhance uptake by governmental agencies
  • Support government responsibility for public infrastructure and systems
  • Enable support for vast consumer and care provider populations in urban, suburban, rural and remote locations
  • Enable effective co-ordination and oversight of national E-Health activities
  • Enable tools and systems which support informed policy, investment and research decisions

Security and Privacy

  • Ensure security of all data transfers
  • Ensure privacy for patients
  • Enable confidential electronic information to be securely and seamlessly accessed and shared, by the right person at the right place and time, regardless of their location


  • Either create and enable record system standards and benchmarks, or make standards unnecessary by enabling different systems to talk/work with to one another without vendor lock, using a Web 3.0 / Semantic Solution

Data Management

  • Incentivise enhancement of IT and information management
  • Incentivise investment in infra- and info-structures
  • Ensure easy and economical training and support
  • Ensure implementation is cost effective


  • Maximize existing information management and technology to improve functionality
  • Upgrade old computers and dial-up Internet access or ensure they can work within the new system
  • Ensure new systems are designed with potential user consultation
  • Support Funding to improve rural ICT infrastructure
  • Ensure broadband / ‘chatty’ high-speed connections are not necessary for most clinical consultation (Systems can be broadband based, but must not be broadband bound)


  • Reduce/Eliminate errors, inefficiencies and the wastage of time and effort
  • Lower healthcare provisioning costs
  • Ensures cost and service level transparency
  • Lowers costs on families and communities supporting the elderly
  • Cut time needed to review and implement systems and training
  • Modernise the management and transmission of data
  • Consolidate medical records/services and clinically relevant information
  • Remove duplication of healthcare efforts, expenditure and solutions
  • Reduce administration time and costs
  • Combine insurance systems reducing duplications and high overhead costs

Systems and Processes

  • Enable an integrated health care delivery system
  • Link emergency and acute hospitals with tertiary care in the community sector
  • Enable integrated healthcare delivery systems and the consolidation of medical records/services
  • Ensure B2B applications (i.e. reporting, billing and claiming processes) are integrated into general practice software systems
  • Enable the secure viewing and following of healthcare processes
Well, there is.
Bottom line: meHealth makes money, and it makes sense.
If you want to talk about the tech,  get in touch!

It’s meHealth I’m Talking About

The move from eHealth to meHealth

eHealth can and should provide options for how stakeholders (consumers, care givers and healthcare managers) manage and interact with the healthcare system across geographic and health sector environs.  That said, if there is anywhere that Capital I Innovation is essential, I believe it is in the field of eHealth.

The term eHealth has become nigh on ubiquitous.  And yet, it is somewhat nebulous, as it can be perceived as being perceptively less than personal.  meHealth, however, is different. It demands that I, you, we, take it upon ourselves to take responsibility.

Responsibility for what?

Responsibility to expect and demand that all healthcare stakeholders at the local, regional and national – and, dare I say, international – level to work together to ensure that affordable, effective healthcare is available to one and all.

e-Health uses the internet and related communication technologies to improve healthcare delivery, collaboration, diagnostics and treatments, while reducing errors and costs.

Thus far most arguments for eHealth take-up have relied upon Web 2.0 solutions such as MedHelp, MyGP, patientslikeme and Hello Health – each excellent initiatives.  Unfortunately, these arguments for adoption, though interesting, have not been compelling enough to engender a rush towards mass adoption, at least not by healthcare service providers.  But, with the advent of Web 3.0 solutions, this situation should soon change.  It must.  However, this will only happen if all stakeholders take on the responsibility of demanding the change; this is the time for the change to meHealth.

In my recent conversation with ‘father of the internet’ Vint Cerf, we discussed eHealth. Vint remarked ,

“From my point of view, there is no doubt that having records which are sharable, at least among physicians, would be a huge help.  When people go in to be examined, they often have to repeat their medical histories.  They don’t get it right every time, they forget stuff.  Yet the doctors are not in a great position to service a patient without having good background information.  I am very much in favour of getting those kinds of records online.

If we were able to harness the electronic healthcare system to provide incentives for people to respond to chronic conditions, which are generally the worst problems we have in healthcare – whether its heart disease, diabetes, cancer, [obesity] – to take better care of themselves, then we would reduce a lot of the system costs, simply because we had a more healthy population.”

Unsurprisingly, I agree with Vint.  However, regardless of how involved individuals are in bettering their meHealth, we cannot ignore the fact that pressure on the healthcare industry is rapidly increasing, as is the cost of provision.  It is in this area where new technologies can be of great import by enabling the healthcare sector to operate as an effectively co-ordinated, interconnected system, which:

  • Lowers costs and eliminate wastage of time and effort
  • Lowers costs on families and communities supporting the elderly
  • Enables integrated healthcare delivery systems
  • Consolidates medical records/services
  • Enables the viewing and following of healthcare processes
  • Enables single points of contact, self service and self help
  • Ensures cost and service level transparency
  • Enables disparate IT systems and processes to connect and co-ordinate with each other
  • Supports vast consumer and care provider populations
  • Removes duplication of healthcare efforts, expenditure and solutions
  • Enables confidential electronic information to be securely and seamlessly accessed and shared, by the right person at the right place and time, regardless of their urban, suburban, rural or remote location
  • Enables effective co-ordination and oversight of national E-Health activities
  • Supports informed policy, investment and research decisions
  • Enables secure flexibility within mobile services, using such tools as PDAs and VOIP processes
  • Reduces errors and inefficiencies

All the above points are important, but the final one may be the most vital of all. Why?

Because in Australia, in 2010, approximately $3 billion was wasted in avoidable annual expenditure.  Australia has a population of over 22.5 million, the US has a population of nearly 311 million and China has a population of over 1.3 billion – you do the math.

Do you need more convincing?  How about this. Annually in the US approximately 225,000 people die as a result of erroneous medical treatments and hundreds of thousands are made worse by being misdiagnosed or given inappropriate treatment.  Added to that, the costs of medical problems caused over 60% of all personal bankruptcies filed in 2007.  These are just a few of the reasons why reducing, if not eliminating, errors and inefficiencies is imperative.

I think most of us are agreed that making these changes would be a good thing. So how do we do it? Its a big ask I know. And yet, it must, and can, be done. What is needed is a plan, and here is my To Do List. I welcome any and all who are interested in moving this debate forward to add to this list.

In next week’s post, we will look at eHealth and meHealth from the perspective of patient advocate ePatient Dave.

‘Capital I’ Innovation (Part 2) – An Introduction to the ‘Capital I’ Interview Series

To misquote Elvis Costello, “What’s so funny ‘bout Peace, Love and”  Innovation with a ‘Capital I’?

The reason I ask is, well… it seems to be something of a contentious subject. But hey, for a blog, I reckon that’s a good thing. Its the Lindsay Lohan side of blogging… at least they’re talking about it!

Seriously though, I have been really pleased to see the great number of people who are commenting on and discussing ‘Capital I’ Innovation, since the posting of Part 1 of this series last week. Apparently many readers are pleased that there is finally a ‘banner’ they can carry as they strive to stride forward.

There have also been those who have felt it necessary to remind me that there is nothing wrong with ‘little i’ innovation – though their penchant for ‘kissing frogs’ is beyond me (do see Part 1 of this series for the outing of this particular ‘in’ joke) – I totally agree. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the ‘little i’s’, however, they’re not what gets my heart pumping.

‘Capital I’ Innovation is what gets my motor running; this has been the case for many year, irrespective of what genre the innovation comes from. Throughout my years in the media I consistently strove to find people who broke the mold, led the pack, moved their own particular mountains – and find them I did. I also found some common denominators between them.

Though totally diverse, there are things that link these people, for instance, though at times daunting, they are compelled to tell their truths. Whether we want to hear it or not. Though many of them may not see themselves as business people, they are all certainly entrepreneurs – consciously or otherwise – and they steadfastly maintain and protect their ‘brands’.

Some of them boldly go where no one has been before, and most of them are applauded for it.  However, not all are popular for their decision to take ten steps forward, when one would, possibly, have been enough. Certainly a baby step would be easier to sell than the strides they often take. And yet this does not stop them, nor even slow them down. Whether they want the accolades or not, it should be noted that some of them may have even changed the way we see the world, if only in a small way.

I believe that ‘Capital I’ innovators deserve recognition, not just for their innovations, but for the very fact that they have refused to bow down to banality and boredom while they avoid or ignore the labels thrust upon them – even if the label begins with a ‘Capital I’.

In no particular order, I’d like to tell you about some of my past favorite ‘Capital I’ Innovator interviews:
Madelaine Albright – I was extremely fortunate to have been able to spend some time with this most gregarious and engaging, thought provoking and thoughtful woman. It came as no surprise to me that she would be erudite, informed and interesting; what was intriguing was the warmth she exudes and her infectious sense of humour, which was present throughout our interview.

  • Ms. Albright was the first female American Secretary of State – and thus the highest ranking women in American political history during her tenure.
  •  She was certainly not born on an easy path to public service, as her personal life saw more than its share of turbulence. In 1939 she and her family escaped to London after Germany invaded Czechoslovakia; many Jewish members of her family who were not able to escape were killed in the Holocaust.
  •  Following her retirement, Albright did not shy away from forthrightly and frankly commenting on world affairs. In one Newsweek International interview, she noted her fear that, “Iraq is going to turn out to be the greatest disaster in American foreign policy – worse than Vietnam.”
  • Perhaps the quote from that interview, which still resonates most strongly with me is this, “I wish everybody liked me, but that’s not possible; and I think in many ways, one is known by who dislikes you. I would just as soon be disliked by people who think that Milosevic was a good person. So, I accept those who dislike me with some honour.”

Terry Gilliam – I interviewed Terry the day after he had collected a Life Time Achievement Award at Amsterdam’s Fantastic Film Festival. As thought provoking as he is, I do believe I laughed more during this interview than any other, prior or since.

  • The animated, animating genius of the UK’s Monty Python’s Flying Circus,  Gilliam went on to direct some of the most memorable motion pictures of the last thirty years. Think: Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Excuses à l’avance pour notre fabuleux amis français!), Time Bandits, Brazil, The Fisher King, Twelve Monkeys, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas starring Johnny Depp as the madly brilliant, or brilliantly mad, Hunter S. Thompson.
  •  Most Innovators and entrepreneurs are ‘multi-taskers’, and some would say they have to be. For Gilliam, this just came naturally: “I want to see the other side of something. So many things in my life have happened around me as I’m bumbling around doing what interests me.  I began as a physics major … Then I became an art major for a while… Politics turned out to be the major with the least number of required courses and the maximum number of electives. Under that I could do drama, oriental philosophy and economics; I invented a very liberal education for myself.”

Tom Wolfe – It’s only fitting that I follow Gilliam, who worked with HST (and from what I understand, it really did feel like a whole lotta work!), with Tom Wolfe, ‘The Man in White’. When I met Mr. Wolfe, who did, yes, arrive in his ubiquitous, immaculate white suit, I had to continually remind myself that I was conducting an interview, and not having tea with one of the icons who, as a young woman, made me realize that I wanted to be a writer.

  •  An acclaimed novelist of such works as The Right StuffThe Bonfire of the Vanities,  and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Wolfe is also one of the originators, along with HST of Gonzo Journalism – which can be described as that which puts the cynical-eye in eye-witness.
  • Being constantly labeled a Conservative doesn’t both him either, “Its okay with me, but I always say: What’s my agenda, what’s my program, what am I trying to do, what am I trying to accomplish? Really it just means that I’m not going along with the fashionable line.”

Brian Greene  – Going from fiction to fact in one healthy swoop (unless of course you are a card carrying creationist from back-yeller-holler) this particular thought leader stands out for me in the realm of science.

  •  The renowned physicist and Pulitzer Prize finalist is finally bringing the theories from his book, The Fabric of the Cosmos, to a wider audience with a four-part miniseries for PBS in November.
  •  Perhaps because he truly believes that the majority of laymen share his thirst to understand the great ideas of science, Greene has found a way to explain these things – like using a loaf of sliced bread to explain wave particle duality §- using a language we can understand. Greene is able to impart his enthusiasm for subjects which, for most, may not be particularly palatable. He is able to speak the language that his listeners understand, thus, rather than speaking to me in terms common to Quantum physicists, he explained his ‘winding up’ of string theory in terms of poetry. We came to an agreement that, as in poetry – where often times the space between words is as important as the words themselves – with his theory, the space between the strings, is as important as the strings.

Nitin Sawhney – Speaking of strings, and music in general, London based Nitin Sawney is a standard bearer at the forefront of building bridges between Eastern and Western artistic genres and communities.

  •  Regarded as one of the world’s most influential and creative talents, he is a walking crescendo of crossing cultures. Sawhney is a film producer, songwriter, DJ, acclaimed flamenco guitarist and jazz pianist; he has even created music for a Play Station 3 game. I met the sublime Sawnhey in 2006 in Amsterdam  where he was conducting a symphony orchestra performing his composition for the 1929 silent movie,  A throw of  the Dice, alongside the screening of the film.

Eric Staller – live performances are what the installations of artist/inventor Eric Staller are all about.

  • Light and bikes are two common threads in Eric’s work, and my time with him was during his performance for the city of Amsterdam, with his mobile public artwork the PeaceTank. Seven masked and costumed riders toured the city on one of Staller’s circular ConferenceBikes. The team was led by a  symbolic Barack Obama (prior to his election) steering the PeaceTank, while past and present world leaders helped to power the pedals, contributing to the forward motion and the tour of the city. Staller believes in change.

John Wood –  I cannot have a list such as this, without including a man who is all about change. The author of Leaving Microsoft to Change the World, which he did, Wood changed his life –and was soon to change the course of a myriad more lives.

  • This change followed a 1998 trekking holiday through Nepal, where he became aware of the absolute lack of educational resources available there. He determined to build an international organization to work with villages in the developing world to meet the educational needs of villages and villagers.
  • With the help of a committed group of global volunteers,  Wood created the award winning charity, Room to Read. The Room to Read business model includes measured, sustainable results, low–overhead and Challenge Grants cultivating community ownership, along with strong local staff and partnerships. Perhaps most importantly, it is inculcated with the GST attitude (Get Sh*t Done).
  •  When I first met Wood, in 2005, in his role as part Dr. Seuss and part Andrew Carnegie – the Scottish philanthropist who built 2,500 libraries throughout the U.S. – Wood explained his long term goals to me. He wanted Room to Read to have opened 5,000 libraries by the end of 2007, and long-term, to have  provide educational access to 10 million children in the developing world by 2020. In later meetings he upped the ante stating that he wanted to have reached his target of 10 million children by 2015.
  •  Room to Read is well on its way to not only meeting, but surpassing those targets. By the end of Q1 2011 Room to Read’s accomplishments included: having built more than 1,400 schools and 11,000 libraries; they have published more than 553 Local Language Books, distributed more than 9 millions books, given more than 10,500 Girls’ scholarships and benefitted the lives of more than 5 million children. Now that’s GingSD on a monumental scale!

Thoughts of all of these inspiring innovative men and women make it particularly pleasant for me to, with today’s post, announce the launch of a new interview series, ‘The Capital I Interviews’.

These interview subjects come from a wide range of industries and crafts. They include technologists, futurists, artists and artisans, business leaders, market changers, venerated vintners, garrulous gastronomes as well as the great unwashed and underutilized. The group includes individuals who work in all types of circumstances, be they lone-wolves, or part of SMEs, large organizations or institutions. They are part of the public sector, the private sector. The only requisite is that ‘Capital I’.

I look forward to introducing you to this new group of ‘Capital I’ Innovators in the coming weeks and months.  The lineup is growing bigger everyday, and we look forward to delving into  a wide range of topics such as:

  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship;
  • The imperatives and barriers to enabling ‘Capital I’ Innovation to occur, let alone flourish;
  • How Innovation has affected particular career paths;
  • ‘Capital I’ Innovation heroes, and,
  • Does Innovation have a nation?

If you think we’ve missed something – don’t hesitate to let us know by posting a comment here.

I hope you join me in celebrating their successes, supporting them in their attempts, and standing together in our determination to move forward – together.