David Fessell: «Wish you were more creative? Try taking a walk»

Michigan Radio

«What is the mental fuel for innovation? What internal power plant do we tap into?

»Creativity. It drives innovation, collaboration, and in many cases, success. It involves everything from the everyday creativity of the hard­working woman who figures out how to make a pound of hamburger feed her family for a week, to the genius-­level creativity of Steve Jobs.

»However, it’s common for individuals to have a belief that “I’m just not creative,” or, “Creativity is something you’re born with — either you have it or you don’t.”

»In reality, creativity is something we all possess, from our sometimes bizarre night dreams and our often escapist daydreams, to what we are continually learning about how the brain can, in some ways, rewire itself to compensate for damaged areas. Science can lead us toward more creativity. And here in Michigan, we can certainly use more of this highly-­prized quality to enrich our economy, our institutions ... and most of all, our kids.

»My life’s journey is one example of how creativity can make us more productive.

»Though I was successful in school and eventually became an M.D., I felt and acted very un­creatively throughout my time as a student. I was used to coloring inside the lines and checking the boxes — boxes others had drawn — to advance in our educational system. Despite the fact that much of my work at an academic medical center involved teaching and presenting in front of groups, when it came to public speaking, I actually felt nauseated and scared in front of a crowd.

»At the urging of a friend, I tried an improvisational comedy class. The fundamental improv concept of “yes, and ...” was transformative. “Yes, and...” meant accepting what was offered by my classmates in an improv scene and adding to it. Combined with the tenet that nothing is a failure — it’s all just fuel for making the scene go — I was hooked. My personal creativity and confidence began to grow. I noticed that I had access to a more playful energy within me. I began showing up in meetings, relationships, and everyday encounters with more spontaneity and presence. And it drew me to wonder about the connection between that creativity and the science behind it.

»So, what is going on in the brain when we are creative?

»A specific type of MRI scan of the brain is unlocking some of those secrets. Recent studies have put rappers, jazz improvisers, and poets in the MRI scanner and looked at what's going on in their brains when they're in the act of creation.

»The images showed that those who are experienced with creativity tend to “dial down” activity in brain areas that typically filter out unusual ideas or thoughts, and “dial up” activity in specific areas involved with creativity. Thus emerging science suggests that creativity is not due to special parts of the brain that only some people have, but rather it can be learned and improved with practice.

»Scientifically, it makes total sense that the “nothing is a failure,” and the “yes and...” rules of improv do actually help us be more creative. Being safe from failure allows us to move beyond using the primitive “critter” part of our brains and the “fight or flight” response that has helped us survive over eons. We can then access the more complex and highly developed parts of our brain that “connect the dots,” and combine two or more things into something greater than the sum of their parts.

Scientifically, it makes total sense that the “nothing is a failure,” and the “yes and...” rules of improv do actually help us be more creative. Being safe from failure allows us to move beyond using the primitive “critter” part of our brains and the “fight or flight” response that has helped us survive over eons.

»Here are a few ways that you can help train your brain to be more creative while also having some fun:

»Play games

»How does this translate into daily practice? Simple improv games can be played with two or more people. Games like “One Word Story” are easy and fun. Going back and forth, each person contributes one word to create a story that has never been told before. “One Line Picture” is similar but is played in silence. Each person silently adds one line to a sheet of paper to create a picture that has never been drawn before. Such games develop presence, deeper listening and observing skills, teamwork, and yes, creativity.

»Meditation is another easily accessible activity and is spreading in popularity. Many kinds of meditation have shown a positive impact on well­being and mood. Scientific studies are also showing that some, but not all, types of meditation can boost creativity. This appears to work by dialing down those filter areas of the brain and improving one’s ability to observe the world and have those treasured “ah-­ha” moments.

»Go for a walk

»Two scientists at Stanford liked to go for walks and talk about their research ideas. Recently they decided to study if the very act of walking has an effect on creativity. It turns out that a simple eight-minute walk does have a measurable and positive impact on generating creative ideas. Walking inside is good, and walking outside is even better. Virginia Woolf, Henry David Thoreau, Charles Dickens, Beethoven, and many others credited their frequent walks as essential parts of their creativity. Now we have the science to support their secret!

»Take up a challenging hobby

»Most recently I’ve taken up juggling. I was encouraged by a report in the scientific literature that showed a positive impact on the brain, as well as by a friend’s success. I grabbed a few balls, watched a free on­line video, and just tried it. Juggling may seem like an impossible task, but it’s fun, and helps break down the fear of failure. Two things are certain — ­­balls will be dropped, and you will improve with practice. Learning new things — a musical instrument, a new language, or a new dance — has wonderfully positive effects on the brain and on our confidence, and can provide yet another safe space for our creativity to emerge.

»So take an improv class or play some improv games with your family, students or team members. Learn to juggle. Partner up in the fun. Get outdoors and walk. But beware — your creativity will soar!

»Listen Listening... 9:24 Our conversation with Dr. David Fessell

»Dr. David Fessell is a professor of radiology at the University of Michigan Medical School.»

The innovation execution


Julia Ingalls: «What drives creativity among architects?»


«What makes a person creative? What are the biographical conditions and personality traits necessary to actualize that potential? These were driving questions behind a 1958-59 study conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, which attempted to divine the elements of creativity by analyzing and interviewing several prominent architects of the time, including Mies van der Rohe, Charles Eames, Gregory Ain, and Quincy Jones. The architects were also encouraged to rate each other. Bottom line? Richard Neutra “has intellect” while Mies Van Der Rohe was considered to be “a great sculptor” although “human comfort is disregarded.”

»The study languished in obscurity until this year when Pierluigi Serraino published The Creative Architect (and spoke about it on Archinect's 1:1 podcast). On reading the book, Steven Holl commented: “We now know that childlike wonder, an absence of fear, and strong intuition are key aspects of creativity. The Creative Architect is a thought-provoking and inspiring documentation, richly illustrated with mosaic constructions and drawings made by some of the twentieth-century’s most important architects.”»

An innovation


Seb Joseph: «How a marketer's need for certainty is redefining creativity»

The Drum

«There’s a gaping disconnect between marketers and agencies that’s in danger of widening at a time when creativity plays second fiddle to distribution.

»It’s a tired tension in the current business landscape, one that’s being stretched by a mismatch between the expectations of advertisers and the realities of agencies.

»What’s fuelling that discord will be widely debated at Cannes Lions this week, particularly when it comes to the role of creative agencies now that distribution drives more advertising revenue than content creation. A closer look at the yachts on show in the south of France will show this; where it was once the creatives who’d brandish the money, it’s now the Facebooks and the News Corps of this world who are the biggest spenders. That’s not a shift that’s happened overnight. Media agencies have emerged from the digital revolution as the architect of the modern day advertising strategy, a rise predicated on their ability to drive a hard bargain on the basis of volume.

»That focus on quantity over quality spawned an appetite for paid media that then became an obsession in the wake of the financial crisis in 2008. Efficiencies rather than creativity now dominate the minds of cost-conscious marketers, which is arguably doing more harm than good. Look no further than the recent furore around rebates in adland as proof of the damage “the more for less” pressure on both brand and agency is wreaking on their relationships.

»Over the past decade traditional creative agencies have come to face some significant new challenges. These began with a shift towards CRM and have since been compounded by additional factors that are all-too-often often raised when the holding companies make their results announcements. Recurring themes include the move to programmatic; the decoupling of creative and production; the rising power of procurement; and budgeting constraints at many large corporates.

»Modern marketers want to buy certainty

»It’s no wonder then that the agency of record relationship concept is dying a slow death. Or as Alex van Gestel, former senior marketer at Bacardi and now chief executive at agency Verbalisation, puts it: “Clients want to buy certainty and yet the industry is still very compartmentalised.”

»He sees this as a symptom of a market where “everyone’s trying to sell rather than really understand how best to engage people’s behaviour in order to drive commercial growth”. “We’ve just looked at one media consolidation strategy and it was about fundamentally cutting the agencies and increasing efficiency and efficacy,” he reveals. “I think it was 10 per cent of global saving they were targeting. But there was a significant expectation of more platform-driven thinking and much more focus on engagement rather than eyeballs.”

»Finding an agency that can wrap up engagement in platform-driven thinking is the tricky part for marketers. It’s no secret that some aren’t happy their creative agencies aren’t instinctively digital in thought, deed and action, casting fresh doubt on whether one agency can do it all. Perhaps that’s the wrong question and maybe brands need to prize collaboration as highly as creativity to see improvement.

»“I don’t know one single agency that is consistent when it comes to really big overarching strategic thinking, developing huge creative ideas and then understanding how to execute those ideas across many different platforms and many different content genres and then track and place all of that,” opines Airbnb’s chief marketing officer Jonathan Mildenhall.

»“I work with best of breed agencies; I work with a brilliant social media agency, a brilliant ad agency, a great digital agency, great content partners and I sit here at Airbnb looking out at the world of creative agencies and I know that in order to optimise my budget and optimise the brand I have to work with a roster of agencies because no one agency can do it all.”

»More evidence of this perma-trend came earlier this year when luxury hotel chain Shangri-La appointed DigitasLBi as its lead global agency. The “days of a creative agency developing a big idea that is then passed on to other agencies is really at an end,” says chief marketing officer Steven Taylor, who has BBH and Zenith working together with project manager DigitasLBi to tackle projects ranging from establishing a DMP to transforming its loyalty programme.

»One early task for the agencies is working to ensure Shangri-La’s programmatic campaigns link to its owned platforms. Projects like this are part of Taylor’s wider plan to better understand the importance of owned and earned media in order to avoid being reliant on bought audiences. “We no longer see a distinction between a digital and a creative agency when it comes to really understanding our branding, our customers and our markets,” says Taylor.

»“We don’t have a creative agency anymore; we don’t have a digital agency anymore; we really don’t separate them. We’ve got one problem and one brief. It’s channel agnostic and we get a unified approach. Most importantly we’re able to react and respond to real-time events. I think that’s probably one of the biggest pivots that is important to the marketing landscape today. Previously, we had these creative briefs and you worked on a big idea that you had months to execute the campaign. Now it’s much more important to be a brand that’s listening and taking part in real-time conversations.”

We no longer see a distinction between a digital and a creative agency when it comes to really understanding our branding, our customers and our markets.

»Marketers need to inspire change from their agencies

»The “shift to digital marketing can only start with clients,” says UKTV’s chief marketing and communications officer at UKTV Zoe Clapp, who argues it’s “not realistic for creative agencies to drive the change alone”. What agencies can do, she explains, is become experts in creative best practice for new formats, and “that alone is evolving on a daily basis…. It’s a radical shift but clients don’t care where the good ideas come from so long as they are beautifully, expertly executed.”

»As UKTV’s brand boss, Clapp expects those ideas from her agencies Edelman, Joint, Mmmultiply and Omnicon’s Rocket as well as the broadcaster’s in-house creative shop – no one team has a monopoly on creative thinking. Like her peers at Airbnb and Shangri-La, Clapp’s attitude shows a growing willingness to brief and buy digital in every campaign they ever commission.

»For example, in March the broadcaster ran its first Facebook Live stream – a 15-minute, behind-the-scenes film with magician Dynamo. Some 239,000 people watched it live, and the stream had over 55,000 likes, comments and shares. The show went on to be its W channel’s most watched programme since its launch in January. And there’s a legacy: the organic reach of the film is now 2.2m.

»“And we simply do not brief for a TV idea. Working in TV, and believing in TV, that’s not often the natural thing to do. But it’s important to start with a big, platform-neutral idea. The TV ad is always going to be incredibly important to us – we believe in (and invest in) the power of TV to reach people in a way that no other platform can. But unconstrained from 30 second ideas, there’s a world of opportunity for agencies who are smart enough, and flexible enough, to take it.”

»The agency of the future

»Some are already rising to that challenge; since the turn of the year agencies including Iris, Analog Folk, St Luke’s and Golin have recalibrated their offerings to data grounding everything they do in order to prove their worth for clients. That means being able to use the data to demonstrate a real understanding of consumer behaviour and linked to the ability to measure and articulate results.

»There’s also an increasing emphasis placed on the use of freelancers and outsourcing. The former is an attractive option given the flexibility of the staff and the ability to draw in a wide range of specialist skills to specific projects. However, the downsides are it becomes more difficult to get the culture right/maintain consistent training etc. In certain cases the outsourced model can be more successful and a successful team can be deployed into a client permanently.

»“The opportunity has only just got to creative agencies because marketers are only now starting to brief in that integrated way,” claims Neil Henderson, chief executive of St Luke’s. To deliver on those broader briefs, the agency’s data scientists, channel experts, creatives and planners are all involved at the beginning and go on to map the campaign on different channels. It sounds straightforward in theory but not every creative agency wants to do it to the required depth as shown by Heineken’s revelation about an agency’s disinterest in digital last year.

»“We’re having to think if this is the idea for the campaign then what’s the flexibility of the assets we create for it and what’s the generic imagery that can carry multiple messages as well as a host of other details,” says Henderson, who has invested in getting the agency up to speed with how multiple messaging translates into creative and all the production that goes into achieving that.

»“That changes the ratio of production, media and potential fee to the agency that has to be worked through with client and agency,” he continues. The reality being that the agency will either get bigger production costs from a client or will be forced to find cheaper ways of producing more creative.

»Without a more robust view of creativity that considers everything from programmatic to Facebook videos’ silent auto-plays, agencies like St Luke’s know clients will move their budgets elsewhere. It’s no surprise then that one of Heineken’s most ‘fit for purpose’ creative assets in 2014 was created by its DSP partner TubeMogul rather than a traditional creative shop.

»The ad tech business has an in-house creative team that runs the gamut from purely executional campaign builds and design services to video post-production and strategic consulting. Staffed by a team of 40 that include interactive designers, front-end developers and strategic consultants, its size is testament to the fact that marketers need expertise now more than ever in order to test and learn.

»“Our desire is not to compete with creative agencies. Rather, it's to use our skills to help clients - whether they be creative agencies, media agencies or brands - find new ways to reach consumers by merging creative and programmatic together,” says Jeff Parrish, senior director of global creative at TubeMogul.

»“Brands work with us because we’ve got a platform that enables them to serve up all these disparate creatives and we can run these at both a global and local level so that it becomes cost-effective.”

»Global vs local? How much is too much automation? To centralise or specialise? These are the challenges the modern marketer has to overcome. And in turn those demands have brought about the demise of the generalist and the rise of the specialist.

»Fundamentally what marketers are increasingly being challenged about is results, it’s not just about clicks and open rates," adds Joydeep Bhattacharya, managing director of Accenture Interactive's business in the UK.

»"Therefore our strategy is unique in that it makes accountable for outcomes and results. Because we are a partner that uses a pay-for-performance model, clients prefer working with us and in an outcome oriented mind-set often want us to lead in managing other agencies too."

»The rise of the new breed

»Where agencies once held a tight grip on upcoming creative talent, more and more they’re being wooed by the technology powerhouses like Google and Facebook and management consultants such as Accenture and Deloitte. What’s more is they have proactive in trying to keep those businesses ahead of the game through a number of strategies such as introducing different remuneration models, which are more closely aligned to data and thus more accountable. Agile working has also become a key skill – which is very much in keeping with a technology and software development mind-set.

»“The convergence of tech and marketing means there’s a growing demand for people that can talk both languages. After all, you might be a great data scientist, but that’s not useful if you can’t explain to a marketer what this insight actually means for them,” says Mark Cox, director, Results International.

»“That said, I don’t think we’ll see Facebook or Google building their own agencies. We have certainly seen agency staff make the move towards the tech giants though – particularly around media buying. You only have to consider how much WPP and other agencies holding companies spend with Facebook and Google to appreciate why the tech companies would want to bring some of that expertise in-house.”

»According to Richard Robinson, managing partner at marketing consultancy Oystercatchers, “it’s not a question of upping your digital game anymore it’s acknowledging that there is no game without digital”. Robinson warns: “Digital in creativity today has become no different to breathing, it just happens 24/7 without you thinking about it, and if it doesn’t you die.”

»“From my side I think that too often marketers perpetuate the myth that if only the agency changed its model then everything would be OK. The reality is that clients need to create the environment and decision-making systems where they are willing to buy the model that they claim to seek. Too often when faced with the opportunity to create a new model of true full-service, end-to-end commercial creativity delivered in real-time to the consumer marketers and brands are unwilling to accept the price-tag and the responsibility that this brings with it.”

»Remuneration then has to play a key role in establishing this new model of “true full-service”. It’s not lost on Shangri-La’s Taylor, who is moving away from appraising campaign performance on a “semi-regular basis” to actually appraising campaign performance almost each day. “Instead of using standard metrics like click throughs, banners and conversions to keep our agencies honest, we’re looking at what degree has the content we create actually drives conversations. We’re focused on what can we do in real-time to drive greater conversations around the campaigns.”

»On that point, DigitasLBi’s global client services director Laurent Ezekiel, adds: “We’ve got several relationships where we have set out to engage in a truly commercial partnership with a client through a revenue share model. There was one project where we invested upfront and the client put in some money and essentially we share the profits. With another client we get remunerated based on the cost savings the digital services and products we produce for them make.

»Fundamentally what marketers are increasingly being challenged about is results, it’s not just about clicks and open rates anymore.

»“We talk a lot about budget and expenditure yet the industry still seems to be taking a suck it and see approach,” says Verbalisation’s van Gestel.

»“However brands communicate with their consumers, be it through paid or earned media, is irrelevant if all our insights ignore audience psychology. There’s just nothing cost-effective about it. The creative execution and the medium it’s housed in will fundamentally fail unless we work from a starting point built on certainty instead of sand.”»

An innovator


Mmanti Umoh: «Imaginit School Of Creativity Graduates Africa’s Youngest Creative»

Mmanti Umoh (@MissChangeGene). TheHuffingtonPost.com

«Imaginit School of Creativity is raising Africa’s next generation of talent through a creative process of problem solving, creative thinking and design. iSOC will boost their creative ability while making professionals in every industry who communicate effectively. iSOC provides a comprehensive hands-on guide to mastering creativity, deploying creative subjects to the education curriculum and .graduate skill.

»Gideon Utip Ekong 12 is. He arrived the Imaginit School Of Creativity (iSOC) like most under 30 creatives do (blank sheet) but full of ideas and intrinsically motivated taking his tutors on a discovery tour, breaking limits of thought, creativity and design. Creative Thinking, Fundamentals of Design, Graphic & Design Tools, Photography & Design, Brand Development, Video Editing, New Media, Motion Graphics, App Development & The Business of Creativity he was a willing learner. Rather than simply collect information in class, his brain played with it. He took all the time he needed to ask a question, however when he did get to ask it would keep his tutors in an upward think mode. In less than 20 Hours he made a precise copy of a top brand logo from shapes.

Gideon Utip Ekong 12 is. He arrived the Imaginit School Of Creativity (iSOC) like most under 30 creatives do (blank sheet) but full of ideas and intrinsically motivated taking his tutors on a discovery tour, breaking limits of thought, creativity and design.

»At his graduation he had this to say, “I am grateful to my mom who gave me this opportunity she never lets me feel that I have learned sufficiently there is something new to learn, I barely could fathom my ever being able to contribute to a creative design space because I can’t handle a pencil on paper but I knew I had all the ideas and couldn’t match them with reality but with my new found abilities I realise that I can excel not only in my computer class, as I am able to do what I see our final year students try to achieve with a lot of struggle. I am above all, able to bring my ideas into tangible designs that create real life solutions for my community and continent. I do not think in terms of ‘what’s the problem’ I am equipped to see “what are the options and how do I create a solution from the problem.” I wish creative thinking would become a compulsory subject in my school.

»If there’s one thing that distinguishes highly creative people from others, it’s the ability to see possibilities where others don’t — or, in other words, vision. I have seen how creative encounters build vital cognitive skills — an area that has been the subject of redundancy in African education. Opportunities for this sort of activity are being increasingly restricted, not simply by money, but by lack of changes to the educational curriculum that encourages African schools to prioritise away from the creative subjects. We are seeking to bridge this gap from education to corporate and commercial branding.

»iSOC is a creative academy that is raising Africa’s next generation of creative thinkers.»

Public Administration and innovation


Newsletter L&I, n.º 114 (2016-07-25)

n.º 114 (2016-07-25)

TAGS: # inovação social # innovación social # innovation sociale # social innovation

Administração Pública e inovação | Administración Pública e innovación |
Administration Publique et innovation | Public Administration and innovation

Um inovador | Un innovador | Un innovateur | An innovator

Uma inovação | Una innovación | Une innovation | An innovation

A execução da inovaçao | La ejecución de la innovación | L’exécution de l’innovation |
The innovation execution


Liderar Inovando (BR)

«Brazil Lab define os projetos que serão acelerados durante o programa de inovação» ( ► )
Renato Cunha: «Conheça a Malha, o maior espaço de moda colaborativa do Brasil» ( ► )
Leo Branco: «Crise vira motor para expansão de startups no Brasil» ( ► )
Débora da Silva Cândido: «Coopera: Professores participam de palestra com Max Haetinger» ( ► )

Liderar Inovando (PT)

São José Almeida: «Governo procura co-financiadores de projectos de Inovação Social» ( ► )
José Ribeiro: «Uma União Africana actuante» ( ► )
César Cruz: «Inovação pouco Social» ( ► )
«Municípios apresentam projetos para combater problemas como desemprego e despovoamento» ( ► )

Liderar Innovando (ES)

«Conozca a los innovadores sociales que buscan construir paz» ( ► )
Valle Sánchez: «Un colegio innovador en Torrijos» ( ► )
«Las empresas se suman a la innovación social con el cliente» ( ► )
Agustí Sala (@agustisala): «¿Quién gana más con la economía colaborativa?» ( ► )

Mener avec Innovation (FR)

«Appel à Projet National – Incubateurs d’innovation sociale» ( ► )
Fabrice Rusig: «Pour oublier la crise, réinventons la monnaie» ( ► )
Hubert Guillaud: «Quels enjeux pour les innovations démocratiques?» ( ► )
Corinne Manoury: «FairEvoluer, pour des marathons de l’innovation emploi et handicap» ( ► )

Leadership and Innovation (EN)

Howard Lake: «Social innovation fund open for applications» ( ► )
«MOU creates social innovation, ideation lab for China» ( ► )
Smeldy Ramirez and Svante Persson: «Drones: From Tools of War to Tools for Social Innovation» ( ► )
Anne Rodier: «France's ADN makes mark on social innovation» ( ► )

Licencia Creative Commons Licencia Creative Commons
Atribución-NoComercial 4.0 Internacional


Anne Rodier: «France's ADN makes mark on social innovation»

Anne Rodier/Le Monde. China Post. English translation: John Tittensor.

«Ask, give, receive, return: this gift/counter-gift mechanism has been revealed as the key to business efficiency by sociologist Norbert Alter. In the recent book, “La Revolution du don Alain,” Caille and Jean-Edouard Gresy argue that giving is the “hidden driving force” behind the sound functioning of all forms of human organization.

»When they founded L'Agence du Don en Nature (ADN) seven years ago, Jacques-Etienne de T'Serclaes and Stephanie Goujon extended gift theory to the market by inventing a specific business model. Since then, their venture has seen success after success: initially running at 1 to 3 million euros, the annual market value of gifts collected is now 18 million euros.

»So how does the system work? ADN goes to firms and collects unsold products scheduled for destruction for all sorts of reasons: discontinued lines, damaged packaging, etc. France's Agency for the Environment and Energy Management (ADEME) reported that every year “manufacturers and retailers destroy 600 million euros worth of new non-food products.”

»Initial donors to the project were large firms, like Procter & Gamble and L'Oreal; then came smaller concerns, like household appliance maker Seb. Contributors in 2014 include Leroy-Merlin (furniture, heating equipment) and Celio (clothes). ADN now has around 100 partner businesses.

Initial donors to the project were large firms, like Procter & Gamble and L'Oreal; then came smaller concerns, like household appliance maker Seb.

»This is no cloud cuckoo land though. Donors get a kickback in the form of a tax credit, which, together with the recycling of commodities that would otherwise be destroyed, means double optimization on the loss front. Donors control where their stuff goes, which stops unsold products from finding their way into parallel markets. In addition, the “gifts” that shows up on donors' “social and environmental responsibility” balance sheets gives a nice boost to their public image.

»Thanks to these loyal suppliers — and there are more and more of them — ADN continues the giving cycle. Every year it sees to it that home maintenance, hygiene and wellness products, school items, handyman equipment and clothing, (all strictly non-food items,) go out to 600,000 people.

»“In France, we have 8.7 million people living below the poverty line,” said ADN Executive Director Stephanie Goujon. It goes without saying that food is not the only issue. Demand comes from students and impoverished families — the whole range of solidarity store customers. They pay for their products, but much less: between 10-20 percent of the market price. “On average our prices vary between 10 to 30 percent of the market level, but ADN suggests a ceiling price,” say representatives of ANDES, the national network of solidarity stores. ADN would rather see its products supplied free of charge, but a lot of the non-profit community associations it works through view payment as the difference between solidarity and charity. They insist it is “a question of dignity.”

»The associations buy products from ADN for 5 percent of the average shopping mall price — this covers the wages of ADN's seven staff and its logistical costs. The ADN warehouse is in the Loiret Department, south of Paris, “so as to facilitate service for the whole of France.” Distribution works via a network of 550 associations dedicated to the fight against social exclusion. The best known are the Salvation Army and Secours Populaire, but there are also many tiny local bodies like La Cravate Solidaire in Paris and Deux Mains Ensemble in Douai.

»To broaden its reach, all ADN has to do is inspire new followers. As Jacques Defourny and Marthe Nyssens point out, “When pioneer ventures come up with original responses to social problems, public sector policy often follows up as a major channel for innovation.” Last June ADN was chosen to represent social innovation as part of the Presidential initiative “La France s'engage” (France Commits). This might just be the beginning.

»Share your ideas and become part of the story: sparknews.com/ijd/makesense

The innovation execution


Smeldy Ramirez and Svante Persson: «Drones: From Tools of War to Tools for Social Innovation»

Economonitor.com. Photo: Aris Messinis/Matternet.

«The evolution of information and communications technologies late last century enabled the development of new military weapons guided by onboard computers, like the Tomahawk cruise missile, which were first used during the 1991 Gulf War. These missiles were the precursors to what would become the first unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), today known as drones, which are piloted by remote control or onboard computers and began doing military reconnaissance flights in the late 1990s.

»Whereas cruise missiles were a one-way ticket, drones could fly more hours remotely, return to base, and receive new missions. Drones joined nuclear energy, the Internet, and GPS navigation systems as military creations that have been widely adopted for commercial use. Drones became mainstream at the end of the last decade, mostly due to the development of electro-mechanical systems that were created after the production costs of small components of mobile technology lowered, because of the widespread demand for smartphones.

»By 2013, smaller drones begun to be used commercially for recreational purposes. The use of drones is now taking off in many different ways—including as humanitarian tools and for social innovation projects.

»It’s projected that by 2035, drones will surpass the number of piloted aircrafts, according to a recent study by the firm Oliver Wyman. Another study, by PricewaterhouseCoopers, notes that labor costs and services that can be replaced by the use of these devices account for about $127 billion today, and that the main sectors that will be affected are infrastructure, agriculture, and transportation. For example, drones can survey agricultural lands and help producers make more efficient use of seeds, fertilizer and water.

»Drones useful as tools for humanitarian and social innovation projects

»Recent pilot projects in different parts of the world have proved that drones can be successfully used as humanitarian tools in the areas of environmental protection and disaster relief, and to enable social innovation projects:

»The Amazon Conservation Association uses drones to monitor illegal mining and logging in the Peruvian Amazon, to prevent deforestation.

»In disaster relief, drones can conduct search-and-rescue operations after accidents or natural disasters have struck, and can also better predict where hurricanes will strike.

»As for social innovation, drones can deliver vaccines to rural mountainous areas of the world that are inaccessible to medical teams, and can collect samples from patients much faster than by other means of transport. Matternet, a Silicon Valley-based drone transportation development company, has launched pilot projects in Bhutan and Malawi with the support of organizations such as Doctors without Borders and UNICEF. Soon, Matternet will be testing similar initiatives in the Dominican Republic, in partnership with the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank Group. This particular project may prove that drones can lower the costs of medical transportation between different remote locations.

As for social innovation, drones can deliver vaccines to rural mountainous areas of the world that are inaccessible to medical teams, and can collect samples from patients much faster than by other means of transport.

»Legal and ethical issues surrounding the use of drones

»Despite their obvious attraction, the use of drones poses some serious legal, financial, and practical challenges. Therefore, lawmakers and public safety officials must try to balance the benefits provided with the protection of public safety, civil liberties, and privacy rights. The issues involve:

»Public safety. Drones are small and hard to detect for radar and air traffic controllers, who sometimes mistake them for large birds. Drones have been found flying dangerously close to commercial aircraft, violating aeronautical rules. Increasingly common “hobby drones” fly in residential areas and even around landmarks such as the White House in Washington, D.C., prompting all sorts of safety concerns. Regulations for where drones can and cannot operate are needed.

»Privacy rights. Since drones can collect and store personally or commercially sensitive data, regulations are needed to avoid violations of individual rights to privacy.

»Intellectual property rights. The use of drones that are equipped with cameras is problematic, especially if the devices take photos of public events or public buildings.

»Insurance issues. Drones raise new questions for the insurance industry, especially regarding property damage and liability. If a drone fell on a person or a car, industry experts say that in most cases, a standard homeowner’s policy or optional comprehensive insurance policy would cover any damages.

»Ethical concerns. The United Nations has raised the concern that it could be problematic using commercial drones in conflict zones, since they would be hard to distinguish from military drones.

»Despite the potential problems, pilot projects have shown that drones can be used to improve people’s lives in remote and inaccessible areas in fast, safe, and cost-efficient ways. With the rise of these kinds of drone applications, the RoboWarrior stigma may fade away in time.»

An innovation


«MOU creates social innovation, ideation lab for China»

BIZ Community

«At the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, WPP and Tencent, a provider of internet value added services in China, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) and entered into a strategic alliance to create a social innovation and ideation lab.

»The ‘China Social Marketing Lab’ will leverage Tencent’s strengths in the local online space and WPP’s global marketing expertise. The lab will develop enhanced solutions that cater to clients and their target audiences. Through knowledge sharing, the collaboration will harness technology, analytics and creative input to build social ideas and campaigns for Tencent’s QQ and Weixin/WeChat platforms.

The ‘China Social Marketing Lab’ will leverage Tencent’s strengths in the local online space and WPP’s global marketing expertise.

»Martin Sorrell, founder and CEO of WPP said, “This partnership combines the best of talent and technology within WPP and Tencent. Fostering innovation in the social sphere is key in today’s world of hyper-connectivity. Collaborating with partners and clients is a strategic way forward for WPP and its agencies to create stronger products for better engaging end-users.”

»Davis Lin, VP of Tencent said, “This partnership represents Tencent’s efforts to create a vibrant content industry through creative social advertising formats, data and technology. Tencent’s QQ and Weixin/WeChat are among China's most-used mobile applications. In conjunction with WPP’s global agencies, we will connect businesses with people while offering both businesses and users an enhanced social experience.”»

An innovator


Howard Lake: «Social innovation fund open for applications»


«Social enterprises, charities, and other not-for-profits in Ireland are being invited to apply to a new €1 million fund which wants to use technology and innovation to make Ireland better.

»THINKTECH has been created by Social Innovation Fund Ireland with support from Google.org and the Irish government. It aims to support the “most innovative, technology-driven solutions to Ireland’s critical social issues” to grow and scale, within Ireland or beyond.

»Applicants should be able to demonstrate how they will use both technology and innovation to make Ireland better. Proposals can involve a broad range of technologies, should have already demonstrated progress towards measurable social impact, and have the ability to scale or spread across Ireland.

»THINKTECH anticipates that winners could be innovating in one of several ways; including:

»_ Have developed a new technology that offers a solution to a critical social issue

»_ Applies an existing technology in a new way or with a new target group

»_ Uses the technology to grow the reach of the solution

THINKTECH has been created by Social Innovation Fund Ireland with support from Google.org and the Irish government.

»THINKTECH anticipate that a range of technologies can qualify, from leveraging the power of the web and open internet platforms, through apps, and assistive technologies.

»Applications must meet the following criteria:

»_ The project must address a critical social issue in Ireland.

»_ The solution proposed must be innovative in an Irish context.

»_ The solution must have potential and a desire to scale or replicate in Ireland (it may also have potential internationally, but this is not a requirement).

»_ The solution must provide evidence that it is up and running,and have been tested at least in a minimal way.

»_ Could the project create jobs? (Preferable not critical).

»_ That it is based on the island of Ireland and will make its main impact in the Republic of Ireland.

»THINKTECH is open for applications until Sunday 31 July 2016.»

Public Administration and innovation


Newsletter L&I, n.º 113 (2016-07-18)

n.º 113 (2016-07-18)

TAGS: # responsabilidade jurídica dos robôs # responsabilidad jurídica de los robots # responsabilité juridique des robots # juridic responsibility of robots

Administração Pública e inovação | Administración Pública e innovación |
Administration Publique et innovation | Public Administration and innovation

Um inovador | Un innovador | Un innovateur | An innovator

Uma inovação | Una innovación | Une innovation | An innovation

A execução da inovaçao | La ejecución de la innovación | L’exécution de l’innovation |
The innovation execution


Liderar Inovando (BR)

«Sugestões vencedoras do concurso Robotização no Judiciário preveem ferramentas inovadoras» ( ► )
Fábio Zugman: «Por que você não vai perder seu emprego para um robô» ( ► )
«Arie Halpern: a nova construção civil será disruptiva» ( ► )
«Parlamento Europeu apresenta proposta sobre robôs e “sobrevivência de espécies”» ( ► )

Liderar Inovando (PT)

«Investigadora da Universidade de Coimbra estuda a Responsabilidade Jurídica dos Robots» ( ► )
«As seis novas regras da robótica e IA, segundo a Microsoft» ( ► )
João de Sousa: «A personalidade jurídica dos robots» ( ► )
«Estátua Heterodoxa de Leonel Moura homenageia Eduardo Lourenço» ( ► )

Liderar Innovando (ES)

Javier Puyol: «¿Los robots son personas electrónicas?» ( ► )
Miguel Ángel Ossorio Vega: «Los robots podrían cotizar a la Seguridad
Social» ( ► )
Miguel Ron Rodríguez: «Coches autónomos: ¿estamos preparados?» ( ► )
Javier Antonio Nisa Ávila: «Robótica e Inteligencia Artificial, ¿legislación social o nuevo ordenamiento jurídico?» ( ► )

Mener avec Innovation (FR)

Alain Bensoussan: «Pour un statut juridique des robots intelligents similaire aux humains» ( ► )
«Les robots autonomes bientôt considérés comme des personnes aux yeux de la loi?» ( ► )
Guillaume Champeau: «Droit et éthique des robots: 3 propositions futuristes à lire ce week-end» ( ► )
Elena Roditi: «EuRobotics: Livre vert sur les aspects juridiques des robots» ( ► )

Leadership and Innovation (EN)

«EU laws should recognise liability of robots, says MEP» ( ► )
Olivia Goldhill: «English robots will miss their big shot for a “bill of rights” when Brexit takes hold» ( ► )
Orsolya Zara: «Robo sapiens: a new legal person on the horizon? Re-framing the law to account for responsibility of autonomous robots» ( ► )
Peter Morici: «Bad government policies block good jobs» ( ► )

Licencia Creative Commons Licencia Creative Commons
Atribución-NoComercial 4.0 Internacional


Peter Morici: «Bad government policies block good jobs»

Investor's Business Daily

«Jobs are getting scarcer, and bad public policies are making matters worse.

»The Labor Department reported that the economy added 287,000 jobs in June, but that was a bounce from only 11,000 the prior month. Over the last three months, new jobs have averaged only 147,000 — about two-thirds the pace from 2013 to 2015.

»Unemployment increased to 4.9% from 4.7% in May, and wages were up only 2 cents per hour or less than 0.1%.

»The U.S. economy is growing again — about 2.5% annually in the second quarter and going forward — but good jobs remain scarce and wage gains are lackluster. New technologies are reducing the demand for workers, but poor government policies are making matters worse.

»The robotics and artificial intelligence revolution is all around us — even if we don't yet have an android doing our housework.

»Uber brings patrons cars without the dispatchers who once took calls at the local car services. At Amazon Prime, customers point and click without the aid of sales clerks and packages are increasingly assembled by robots at fulfillment centers.

»Tasks requiring complex manual dexterity have proved tougher to replace, but automated checkouts are spreading, and robots are at the cusp of not just taking orders at McDonald's but also grasping and handing you hamburgers, fries and soft drinks. Globalization accelerates these trends by forcing more-aggressive substitution of machines for high-wage Americans in factories.

»The next generation of Boeing jetliners will be assembled with more robots — moving and fixing components into place. What few people are left will be greatly assisted, for example, by Google Glass and software that aids in assembling the complex wiring and programming of cockpits.

»Sweeping labor-saving innovations have confronted us since the spear and the wheel, but in the past we moved redundant workers who often did repetitive manual tasks into emerging industries.

Sweeping labor-saving innovations have confronted us since the spear and the wheel, but in the past we moved redundant workers who often did repetitive manual tasks into emerging industries.

»As agriculture mechanized, workers moved to repetitive tasks in manufacturing; and as factories automated, workers moved into services — for example, at convenience restaurants, shopping malls and dry cleaners.

»As those jobs disappear, the economy has too few new uses for workers who can't perform complex, intellectually demanding work. Major institutional failures make these challenges more wrenching.

»Bad trade agreements permit other nations to boost exports into U.S. markets without accepting comparable amounts of American-made goods and services. Subsidies, currency manipulation and non-tariff barriers to U.S. exports accentuate pressures on companies like Boeing and Ford to automate or outsource more.

»The Obama administration promised thousands of new jobs from the 2012 Korean-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, but it boosted the trade deficit by $16 billion and unemployment by 130,000.

»The Affordable Care Act and the mandatory overtime and higher minimum wages imposed by many states and cities raise the cost of employing Americans, compelling businesses to purchase labor-saving devices more quickly or close.

»Our high schools and colleges are better at preaching social justice than producing enough graduates who can do the complex cognitive work that machines still leave to humans. Skilled technicians with a year or two of training and graduate engineers and systems analysts remain too scarce.

»Too many Americans simply don't qualify for the jobs that pay high wages in a globalized, technologically advanced economy. Consequently, average family incomes continue to cycle down, even as the upper middle class — the top 20% or so — gets richer. Passing laws — taxing the upper middle class to subsidize child care or forcing consumers to pay more for hamburgers to support a higher minimum wage — do not address those fundamental policy failures and leave America vulnerable to moreaggressive societies in Asia.

»Policymakers must more effectively manage globalization by negotiating better trade deals, not pandering to voters with giveaway programs, and forcing schools and universities to shift from proselytizing about the evils of American capitalism to equipping young people with the skills they need to compete.

»Morici is an economist and business professor at the University of Maryland and a national columnist.»

The innovation execution


Orsolya Zara: «Robo sapiens: a new legal person on the horizon? Re-framing the law to account for responsibility of autonomous robots»


EuroScientist. Photo credit: Jiuguang Wang (CC BY-SA 2.0).

«The emergence of a new generation of autonomous robots, capable to learn on the fly, brings a fresh set of challenges to issues of responsibility. Examples include robots embedded in a self-driving car or an algorithm on the stock-exchange market concluding business deals. This article examines the legal conditions under which these robots can be considered liable for the consequences of their actions, when they have caused damage. We will also explore the consequences of a shift in how the law attributes a legal status—not so distant to that of legal persons—to this new breed of robots.

»Responsibility from autonomy

»Autonomous robots have been the focus of interest of the French commission of reflection on the research ethics related to digital science and technology, CERNA, since 2013. Some private companies have been looking into this as well. What has attracted the attention of legal experts is their very nature: their autonomy.

»Indeed, their ability to adapt to new inputs and to act independently, without any external control or intervention, means that they could cause damage and even be considered liable for it. Legal experts are debating what happens if the robot takes a decision that causes harm, as a consequence of its own learning process that modified its pre-programmed commands. Legislators need to decide whether such robots have non-contractual or even contractual liability. Typically such liability issues are covered under well-established legislation covering product safety, consumer rights and liability for defective products.

»Legislative gap

»Existing legislation currently fails to address the issue of autonomous robot liability. Let’s take the case of a robot, compliant with all safety regulations when put into circulation. As a result of an autonomous learning and adaptation process, this robot could make unforeseen decisions causing damage. So should this decision be considered wrong?

»In the scenario where the robot’s decision is wrong, legal experts may seek to attribute responsibility for the damage. They may therefore need to consider whether the robot, as a product itself, was defective by consequence. They would also need to understand whether the state of scientific and technical knowledge at the time of the product release could have identified such a defect. In the case of autonomous robots, they would only be regarded as defective if they were unable to learn—not if they make a damaging autonomous decision.

»In addition, once the robot is put into circulation, the liability of a producer or programmer could only be proved in exceptional cases. Indeed, a normal functioning robot would be unpredictable. Alternatively, the producer could enjoy a form of immunity similar to that of the protection of firearm manufacturers in the United States.

As a result of an autonomous learning and adaptation process, this robot could make unforeseen decisions causing damage. So should this decision be considered wrong?

»Robot liability

»All these questions point to the need for new legal regulations. Such new legislation might lead to the full or partial direct liability of the robot for its own acts or omissions. It might sound far-fetched but it is no longer the territory of sci-fi writers.

»To establish a robot’s liability, we need to find the answers to a series of questions. First: does an autonomous robot have a legal capacity? After all, it is able to engage in transactions, handle the business of its owner and maintain a particular relationship with others. If we assume that an autonomous robot has a certain legal capacity, can it acquire rights and undertake obligations? Can it conclude contracts? Going one step further, can an independently acting robot be sued?

»Furthermore, assuming that they possess a degree of self-determination, shall we treat them as a legal person? Or do we need to create a special legal e-person status for robots? What would be the extent of this e-persons’ rights and obligations? How do we separate an e-person’s limited from unlimited liability? Will an e-person be authorised to instigate court proceedings? Can it be sued if it caused damage to a third person, should no natural person be found at the end of the chain of liability?

»Liability cover

»A possible solution could be a compulsory insurance scheme for robots, similar to our car insurance. However, obtaining compensation for punitive damages could be too complicated or too costly within the framework of an insurance scheme. Another solution could be the creation of a special compensation fund for people affected by robot-induced damage. The advantage of this is that it precludes from establishing the fault or liability of the robot and removes the need for robot insurance. The fact that the robot caused damage, creates a sufficient basis for indemnification in itself.

»But who will pay into this compensation fund? Those who have an economic interest in the robot’s functioning would be the primary contributors. The economic interest is not limited to those who manufacture, programme, sell or use them. Indeed, everyone is likely to enjoy the benefits of robotics, both on a private and on a societal level. Therefore paying into a compensation fund is in the interest of all and could be raised as a new tax.

»Yet, a scenario where robots themselves will pay into the fund also seems possible. Think, for example, about driverless taxis that might transfer the fare–or part of it–into the fund. Part of the fund that has not been used for compensation payment could be re-invested in research and development. This would encourage manufacturers to develop safer robots and help spread their use in further areas.

»The European Parliament is currently working on answering these kinds of questions. _EuroScientist_ readers are invited to join in the discussion of these highly important legal questions.

»Orsolya Zara

»Orsolya is the legal and policy advisor to an MEP at the European Parliament, Brussels. She is also a member of the Association on the Rights of Robots (ADDR), based in Paris, France.»

An innovation


Olivia Goldhill: «English robots will miss their big shot for a “bill of rights” when Brexit takes hold»


«The United Kingdom’s decision in a referendum to withdraw from the European Union will transform the legal rights of its citizens and Europeans hoping to live and work in the UK. But there’s one other demographic that could be legally affected by Brexit: Robots.

»Last month, the European Parliament’s legal affairs committee published a draft report calling for the EU to vote on whether robots should be legally considered “electronic persons with specific rights and obligations.”

»The report, led by Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Mady Delvaux from Luxembourg, notes that robot autonomy raises questions of legal liability. Who would be responsible if, for example, an autonomous robot went rogue and caused physical harm?

»The proposed solution is to give robots legal responsibility, with the most sophisticated machines able to trade money and claim intellectual copyright. Meanwhile, the MEPs write, human owners should pay insurance premiums into a state fund to cover the cost of potential damages.

»These plans explicitly draw on the “three laws of robotics” set out by the 20th-century science fiction writer Isaac Asimov. (A robot may not injure a human being; A robot must obey human orders unless this would cause harm to another human; A robot must protect its own existence as long as this does not cause harm to humans.)

»Though rights for robots may sound far-fetched, the MEPs write that robots’ autonomy raises legal questions of “whether they should be regarded as natural persons, legal persons, animals or objects—or whether a new category should be created.” They warn of a Skynet-like future:

»“Ultimately there is a possibility that within the space of a few decades AI could surpass human intellectual capacity in a manner which, if not prepared for, could pose a challenge to humanity’s capacity to control its own creation and, consequently, perhaps also to its capacity to be in charge of its own destiny and to ensure the survival of the species.”

Though rights for robots may sound far-fetched, the MEPs write that robots’ autonomy raises legal questions of “whether they should be regarded as natural persons, legal persons, animals or objects—or whether a new category should be created.

»Peter McOwan, a computer science professor at Queen Mary University of London, says rights for autonomous robots may not be legally necessary yet. “However I think it’s probably sensible to start thinking about these issues now as robotics is going through a massive revolution currently with improvements in intelligence and the ways we interact with them,” he says. “Having a framework about what we would and wouldn’t want robots to be ‘forced to do ‘ is useful to help frame their development.”

»John Danaher, law lecturer at NUI Galway university in Ireland, with a focus on emerging technologies, says that the proposed robot rights are similar to the legal personhood awarded to corporations. Companies are legally able to enter contracts, own property, and be sued, although all their decisions are determined by humans. “It seems to me that the EU are just proposing something similar for robots,” he says.

»Both professors say they had not heard of any comparable legal plans to draw up robot rights within the UK.

»As Britain makes plans to withdraw from the EU, MEPs will vote on the robot proposals within the next year. If passed, it will then take further time for the plans to be drawn up as laws and be implemented. By that time, the UK may well have left the union. So for machines in the UK, Brexit could mean they’ve lost out on the chance for robot rights.»

An innovator