More than one way to co-create

Co-creation helps generate a hothouse environment for fast innovation. But, as Steve Gibbons notes, it is not the only technique

While trying to doze off the other night, I caught a magnificent BBC World Service Business Matters broadcast about the growing gap between the rich and the poor. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, who recently published The Second Machine Age, discussed some of the mega trends that are changing our world.

Amazon’s description of their book notes the following: “Digital technologies – with hardware, software and networks at their core – will in the near future diagnose disease more accurately than doctors can, apply enormous data sets to transform retailing and accomplish many tasks once considered uniquely human.”

We’ll have access to an immense bounty of personal technology and increasingly sophisticated automated infrastructures. But at the same time, the wrenching change will require many of us to reinvent our working life, or be condemned to an ever-reducing standard of living. It’s as scary as it’s exciting. Professionals of all kinds who once undertook particularly skilled jobs, from lorry drivers to lawyers, will forever be displaced.

I’m prepared to bet that creativity is one area of human endeavour we’ll continue to need, that won’t be usurped by a machine or clever algorithms. I admit I may be slightly biased, because as a brand designer, it’s at the very heart of what I do.

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