u.lab helps envision a Creative Future for Port City Shimizu in Japan | CitySwitch 2012

For five days the CitySwitch program in the u.lab has been working intensively on a new vision for a retiring industrial port in the city of Shimizu in Japan.

Hosted by the fabulous Suzuyo Company, a key stakeholder and port company in the region, we broke into four teams and assessed the feasibility of floating stages, beach front Onsens, graffiti art camp, hot air balloon tours and a ambitious new community program of participatory urbanism.


Shimizu boasts a rare urban case in Japan: it is located in the region of the soon to be world treasure, Mount Fuji, and offers one of the only viewing locations where the ocean meets the mountain.


Shimizu has a rich industrial shipping history but is now facing dramatic changes due to the ever-increasing scale of container ships, pushing the business out of the inner harbour into the peripheral zone of Shimizu.


Over the five days, eight students from the u.lab and nine students from around Japan merged forces to create new ideas for the Shimizu port area. We visited local business, listened to the needs of the community and invested in heated sprints for diverse and novel ideas through the u.lab 5X5.


We are about to move into the final presentations – more information about these in the next post~!


GoGet and the Rise of Collaborative Consumption | UTS Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Seminar Series

TIME named Collaborative Consumption, a new movement, as one of the 10 ideas that will change the world. Businesses based on collaborative consumption are experiencing explosive growth as consumers can now connect, share, barter, lend, trade, rent, gift, and swap through network technologies on a unprecedented scale.

This free seminar series seeks to provide the opportunity to discuss entrepreneurial challenges and opportunities as a means to inspire researchers to develop entrepreneurial skills.

GoGet is one of Australia’s most successful collaborative consumption companies and its founder will share his insights and experiences in creating a new way of doing business.

Speaker: Bruce Jeffreys, Founder and Director GoGet http://www.goget.com.au/

Date: Tuesday 21 August, 2012
Time: 12pm to 2.30pm
Venue: TBA

About the Speaker
After graduating from Murdoch University in Perth with an Economics degree in the early 1990s Bruce moved to Istanbul in Turkey and in partnership with the Australian Government and Singapore Airlines organized the first Australian Film Festival to be held in Turkey. Upon returning to Australia he then Co-ordinated Australia’s first University-to-School Peer Tutoring program, called STAR and funded by BP Australia. After moving to Sydney he was a founding member of the Interactive Division at advertising agency Singelton Ogilvy & Mather and then joined the newly formed Sustainability Unit within the NSW Department of Planning. The Unit was responsible for the delivery of the BASIX reform, Australia’s first online tool with mandated ESD requirements for new residential homes and apartments. In 2003 Bruce, with business partner Nic Lowe, Co-Founded Australia’s first and now largest professional car sharing service, GoGet.

Company Profile
GoGet is a professional car sharing service operating in Australia. The company offers transport solutions to individuals, businesses as well as organisations.Established in June 2003 by Nic Lowe and Bruce Jeffreys, GoGet is Australia’s first car share scheme. The head office is located in Glebe, NSW. GoGet is a major player among two other competitors in a growing multi-million dollar business in Australia. Formerly known as Newtown CarShare, a twelve members, three cars program grew to over 10,000 members and more than 800 cars in major metropolitan areas such as Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane. Currently, the company operates 400 special reserved parking sports in Sydney alone. The idea, pay an annual fee and receive a smart card which unlocks and activates the car. Members can choose between hourly or daily rates and pay for the kilometer used. An online and over the phone booking system directs members to the closest GoGet car, located in ’pods’, special reserved parking spots. GoGet is the winner of several awards, including the ’2012 CHOICE Game Changer Award’ and the 2008 ’Telstra Business Award, MYOB small business of the year’.

IMPORTANT RSVP: Email to Gunasmin Lye (Gunasmin.Lye@eng.uts.edu.au) and receive notification of the venue.

Planting Entrepreneurial Innovation in Inner Cities – Daniel Isenberg – Harvard Business Review

Remember just a decade ago when the term “inner city” basically meant “dead city,” conjuring up images of destruction, dereliction and despair? Today, inner cities are “in” — innovative, hip hotbeds of convenient culture, commerce and connection. Scholars such as Richard Florida and Edward Glaeser, among others, are showing that although increasing problems accompany increasing density, urban access to the good things of life increases even faster. The centripetal force of today’s cities is pulling the ambitious and educated back in, and increasing cities’ innovative capacity, without sacrificing (at least some would argue) their inclusiveness.

Entrepreneurs, too, are moving downtown: London, Boston, Barcelona and Buenos Aires are balancing the suburban pull of Silicon Valley and Route 128. Venture capitalists are close behind. Smart mayors, such as Boston’s Mayor Menino and New York’s Mayor Bloomberg, are fostering holistic entrepreneurship ecosystems to strengthen and accelerate the trend. Nor do you have to be a mammoth metropolis to have an urban entrepreneurship policy: led by Mayor Jorge Rojas, this month a dozen public and private institutions in the city of Manizales, known throughout Colombia for its concentration of universities and safe environment, in partnership with the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project, launched a four-year initiative to dramatically increase the concentration of high growth entrepreneurship in the city.

What are we learning about what cities can do to foster entrepreneurship and innovation?

Develop an inclusive vision of high growth entrepreneurship. On the one hand, it is a reality that a small number of extraordinary entrepreneurial successes have a disproportionately stimulating effect on the environment for entrepreneurship in a city, such as the impact of Skype on Tallinn, Estonia. By definition, only a few can be extraordinarily successful, and city leaders need to communicate a coherent message to those “elites” about how important they are to your city’s future, that you need them there and will work to make it attractive. At the same time, the influx of ambitious, highly educated, opportunity-seeking entrepreneurs may risk creating social divisiveness. This can be countered with a strong message to entrepreneurs that they need to play a role in community building. With the encouragement of City Hall, entrepreneurs in Boston’s Innovation District created Innovation District Entrepreneurs After work (IDEA) to organize community events.

In parallel, you need to tirelessly communicate a coherent message to all of the stakeholders and residents, highlighting the entrepreneurial benefits of dignified job creation, quality of the environment, and innovative capacity. Boston’s Mayor Menino and his staff developed and have repeated hundreds of times the mantra of the Innovation District: “Live, work, play.” An intense social media strategy, combined with direct outreach, has led to numerous joint activities between the naturally less-affluent, creative Fort Point artists’ community and the Innovation District.

Use best processes, not best practices. As one of the leaders of the Innovation District put it to me, “We are a ‘platform,’ not a program.” An ecosystem exists in nature when numerous species of flora and fauna interact in a dynamic, self-adjusting balancing act. Thus, in cities, you need to provide a broad platform to support the inclusive vision, encouraging restaurateurs, designers, neighborhood groups, schools and universities, real estate developers, law firms and architects, chambers of commerce and other government agencies to interact with each other in innovative ways. Best processes are more important than best practices.

Boston’s Innovation District was launched with clear vision and commitment, but, surprisingly, one of its keys to success was that it had no detailed plan, budget, organizational structure, nor even an officially designated team. The fuzziness was a counter-intuitive advantage in engaging diverse stakeholders to define for themselves the role they would play. The mayor and his staff were inspirational facilitators, not controllers. They were not shy about making specific proposals and asking for investments from the private sector, but more as a way to concretize the projects’ feasibilities than to push particular programs.

One element of “best process” in fostering entrepreneurship ecosystems is experimentation. As Mayor Menino put it, “We’ll experiment with alternative housing models. We will test new ideas that provide live/work opportunities to entrepreneurs and affordable co-housing for researchers…. We’ll give architects and developers the challenge to experiment with new designs, new floor plans, and new materials. Our mandate to all will be to invent a 21st century district that meets the needs of the innovators who live and work in Boston.” Experiment. Test. Invent.

Define principles, not clusters. Innovation, creativity, design, sustainability, experimentation, entrepreneurship, inclusiveness: these are example principles to be infused into the city’s collective consciousness. But don’t prioritize specific sectors. One of the drawbacks of popular cluster strategies is that prioritizing sectors serves as a signal to entrepreneurs about where they should seek opportunity: currently, clean tech and mobile applications, for example, are de rigeur. Tomorrow it may be space travel. But you should ask, not tell. It is the entrepreneur’s job, not City Hall’s or that of a consulting firm, to learn how to identify opportunity, usually where most people think it doesn’t exist. In fact, many of the great opportunities defy definition and lie in the creative “inter-sectors”: health care and the environment; real estate development and information technology and cleantech; education and mobile communications.

Invest time, not money. Nothing is free, but one of the big temptations is for governments to step into the ubiquitous resource void with capital for either the ventures themselves, or financial incentives for capital providers, or direct funding of space for entrepreneurs. This is to be avoided: better to spend your energy persuading the stakeholders that it is worth their while to make those investments. In Boston, the mayor called on the major real estate developers to set aside a percentage of their developments for entrepreneurship and innovation. This led to the attraction of MassChallenge, the world’s largest startup competition and accelerator, which received a free floor in a new office building. This also led to the allocation of portions of high-end condominium developments to less lucrative, convenient live/work space for entrepreneurs, as well as the 12,000-square-foot Boston Innovation Center. At first, the developers seemed to be appeasing the mayor in exchange for City Hall’s good will in issuing permits. But as they are experiencing for themselves the impact of the Innovation District’s attractiveness and growth on the value of their properties, the investment is seen as enlightened self-interest.

Instead of hard cash, hardwire your calendar for entrepreneurship. Your time is one of the scarcest resources you can invest. Look at your schedule: how do you allocate your 70-hour-plus work week? Even just one hour for entrepreneurship out of the 70 will go a long way. Go to office openings of new ventures, make a congratulatory call to those who raise money, write a thank you note to the entrepreneur who hired a few engineers or a high school summer intern. Invite an entrepreneur for a short chat and a chance to have a photograph with you. Have a monthly breakfast meeting with a different group of entrepreneurs to solicit their ideas for how the city can be better for them. Ask, don’t tell. Celebrate the success.

Fight the battle for talent, not capital. Although entrepreneurs will always complain first about the chronic difficulty of raising money, the smart ones know that talent is the more important battle to win, because money follows talent. Make your city an amazing place for the most talented entrepreneurs, innovators, and creative people to come to seek their futures, to live, work and play in. The coffee shops, environmental art, evening bars, museums, bicycle lanes and rent-a-bikes, all build the buzz. In every city I work with, I start by asking entrepreneurs where they really want to be — and the unfailing consensus is uncanny: entrepreneurs need to crowd around these urban watering holes. In Boston it has become the Seaport. In Istanbul, it is Beyoglu. In Manizales, it is El Cable. Invite colleges and universities to establish presence or hold classes there, as Babson has done in the Innovation District, and as Harvard’s Kennedy School has done with its program for innovation policy makers. Successful later-stage ventures that need dozens and hundreds of talented people, and provide dozens of jobs, will take notice, and will not be able to afford to stay away.

Building on urban entrepreneurship policies such as these, and creating new ones, is the keystone for creating jobs and reinvigorating the global economy.


Let???s Be Less Productive / Via NY Times

HAS the pursuit of labor productivity reached its limit?

Productivity — the amount of output delivered per hour of work in the economy — is often viewed as the engine of progress in modern capitalist economies. Output is everything. Time is money. The quest for increased productivity occupies reams of academic literature and haunts the waking hours of C.E.O.’s and finance ministers. Perhaps forgivably so: our ability to generate more output with fewer people has lifted our lives out of drudgery and delivered us a cornucopia of material wealth.

But the relentless drive for productivity may also have some natural limits. Ever-increasing productivity means that if our economies don’t continue to expand, we risk putting people out of work. If more is possible each passing year with each working hour, then either output has to increase or else there is less work to go around. Like it or not, we find ourselves hooked on growth.

What, then, should happen when, for one reason or another, growth just isn’t to be had anymore? Maybe it’s a financial crisis. Or rising prices for resources like oil. Or the need to rein in growth for the damage it’s inflicting on the planet: climate change, deforestation, the loss of biodiversity. Maybe it’s any of the reasons growth can no longer be safely and easily assumed in any of today’s economies. The result is the same. Increasing productivity threatens full employment.

One solution would be to accept the productivity increases, shorten the workweek and share the available work. Such proposals — familiar since the 1930s — are now enjoying something of a revival in the face of continuing recession. The New Economics Foundation, a British think tank, proposes a 21-hour workweek. It may not be the workaholic’s choice. But it’s certainly a strategy worth thinking about.

But there’s another strategy for keeping people in work when demand stagnates. Perhaps in the long run it’s an easier and a more compelling solution: to loosen our grip on the relentless pursuit of productivity. By easing up on the gas pedal of efficiency and creating jobs in what are traditionally seen as “low productivity” sectors, we have within our grasp the means to maintain or increase employment, even when the economy stagnates.

At first, this may sound crazy; we’ve become so conditioned by the language of efficiency. But there are sectors of the economy where chasing productivity growth doesn’t make sense at all. Certain kinds of tasks rely inherently on the allocation of people’s time and attention. The caring professions are a good example: medicine, social work, education. Expanding our economies in these directions has all sorts of advantages.

In the first place, the time spent by these professions directly improves the quality of our lives. Making them more and more efficient is not, after a certain point, actually desirable. What sense does it make to ask our teachers to teach ever bigger classes? Our doctors to treat more and more patients per hour? The Royal College of Nursing in Britain warned recently that front-line staff members in the National Health Service are now being “stretched to breaking point,” in the wake of staffing cuts, while a study earlier this year in the Journal of Professional Nursing revealed a worrying decline in empathy among student nurses coping with time targets and efficiency pressures. Instead of imposing meaningless productivity targets, we should be aiming to enhance and protect not only the value of the care but also the experience of the caregiver.

The care and concern of one human being for another is a peculiar “commodity.” It can’t be stockpiled. It becomes degraded through trade. It isn’t delivered by machines. Its quality rests entirely on the attention paid by one person to another. Even to speak of reducing the time involved is to misunderstand its value.

Care is not the only profession deserving renewed attention as a source of economic employment. Craft is another. It is the accuracy and detail inherent in crafted goods that endows them with lasting value. It is the time and attention paid by the carpenter, the seamstress and the tailor that makes this detail possible. The same is true of the cultural sector: it is the time spent practicing, rehearsing and performing that gives music, for instance, its enduring appeal. What — aside from meaningless noise — would be gained by asking the New York Philharmonic to play Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony faster and faster each year?

The endemic modern tendency to streamline or phase out such professions highlights the lunacy at the heart of the growth-obsessed, resource-intensive consumer economy. Low productivity is seen as a disease. A whole set of activities that could provide meaningful work and contribute valuable services to the community are denigrated because they involve employing people to work with devotion, patience and attention.

But people often achieve a greater sense of well-being and fulfillment, both as producers and consumers of such activities, than they ever do in the time-poor, materialistic supermarket economy in which most of our lives are spent. And here perhaps is the most remarkable thing of all: since these activities are built around the value of human services rather than the relentless outpouring of material stuff, they offer a half-decent chance of making the economy more environmentally sustainable.

Of course, a transition to a low-productivity economy won’t happen by wishful thinking. It demands careful attention to incentive structures — lower taxes on labor and higher taxes on resource consumption and pollution, for example. It calls for more than just lip service to concepts of patient-centered care and student-centered learning. It requires the dismantling of perverse productivity targets and a serious investment in skills and training. In short, avoiding the scourge of unemployment may have less to do with chasing after growth and more to do with building an economy of care, craft and culture. And in doing so, restoring the value of decent work to its rightful place at the heart of society.

Tim Jackson is a professor of sustainable development at the University of Surrey and the author of “Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet.”



Value Conflict [BZ5]

Ideation is something that Is totally affect by diversity. If in a group everybody has the same point of view there will be no discussion and no sharing of values form different profession.  I our ideation process we discussed a lot about the what should have been our design concept because  each of us was caring more of some aspect. All this aspect must be included in the project to get a god and reasonable project. There was who was caring more of the value and selling point, maybe because she was supposed to write the business plan of the project…  There was who was thing about the technological aspect and how our shapes can fit with an Ipad… and in the end there was three industrial designer  that where only pointing to that the project was an object. All this different point of view, also if maybe driven by mere practical purpose, brought to the concept such a good complexity and interesting values that was difficult they would have come out from a mono-disciplinary group.

As example I’m posting the summary of the name ideation in which there was people that wanted to be strong and remarkable but in the same time someone bring the fear to not be professional with some names. Or the possibilities that the name was totally not liked with the values of the project.