Weeknotes Week 130

When the calendar looks like this you know it's going to be a steamroller of a week.

Names blurred to protect the innocent
Names blurred to protect the innocent

The easiest place to begin is with the book that we mentioned last time. One week on from launch and we've had a modest bit of attention on that. So far a lot of encouraging feedback, so we are happy to hear that it is finding its way usefully into peoples' lives.

On Wednesday we held a launch event here in Helsinki to discuss some of the broader innovation challenges that the Studio Model was designed to tackle. And of course to give away copies of the book. We were humbled by the fact that About 60 people showed up on a rainy and blustery afternoon. Kiitos, kaikki!

Colors changed to hide the fact that these were low resolution pics taken on a camera phone
Colors changed to hide the fact that these were low resolution pics taken on a camera phone

On that note, if you're in London we will be in town this week for some meetings and are taking advantage of the opportunity to have a book launch there as well. See the Facebook page for details and please RSVP (soon!) if you would like to come.

As I was cleaning my desk I came across some sketches done in preparation for the book trailer video. We stayed pretty true to these thumbnails. Not bad for ideas drawn on a sick bag.

Enough with this book thing. Things continue apace on other endeavors. This includes work in-house that Dan and I are doing with our colleagues Olli and Tapio to prototype some of the working environments and habits we anticipate fostering in the eventual new offices which are part of Low2No. More on this soon.

It also means Justin, and to a lesser extent myself, spending late nights working on the new Low2No website which we will be soft launching soon. It should look familiar to readers of this blog.

Because three's a charm, another piece of great news came in for Low2No this week. The project has received an Acknowledgement Prize from the Holcim Foundation. Thanks to our partners at Arup, Sauerbruch Hutton, and Experientia are due as well for this.

Thursday morning while Marco was in Estonia presenting at the Nordic Council of Minister's Modern Eco-Cities conference, the rest of the team had breakfast with Joi Ito and Markko Ahtisaari.

Joi @ Nokia Haus
Joi @ Nokia Haus

Markko kindly invited us along to hear Joi give a talk at Nokia. Joi deftly connected many dots and it was a true pleasure to hear him talk about his plans for the MIT Media Lab, which he now directs. I'll keep this brief because the thoughts deserve a more careful bit of writing, but if there's one thing I took away from Joi's presentation it was this:

Because of the declining cost of doing things and increasing levels of complexity in the systems around us, it's often cheaper to prototype (and recover from potential failures) than it is to assess risk.

Update: Joi has posted about this on his website.

This dovetails nicely with some slow burn research we've been doing into what you might call 'cultures of decsion making.' Ultimately the ways in which we perceive, assess, and mitigate risk shape so much of what we allow ourselves to do. Likewise, the manner in which we anticipate, plan for, and recover from failure defines the outer limits of what we allow ourselves to reach for.

When we look at the rise of the open source software movement, agile project management, and the popularity of design these things add up to a new culture of decision making. The better we can coherently articulate the value of these approaches as ways to cope with the GFC and other black swans, the more likely we are to find a way through.

Or at least that's the hypothesis we're prototyping.