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July 08, 2005

Disruptive behaviour

A breathless email from Tony Perkins invites me to Stanford to watch lions eat Christians. Or so it sounds. Tony writes that his conference, Always On, is about “the sweet spots in the technology markets…where innovation is disrupting behavior and creating new business opportunities”. His website concludes, “come play in our spontaneous and uncensored arena”. The text does not specify whose behaviour is being disrupted, and whether we will all experience it as “sweet” when it happens. But something tells me the investors who dominate the AO roster don’t expect their own lives to be disrupted. For a moment I thought Chai Ling, former student leader at Tiananmen Square, was there to speak up for the forcibly disrupted masses; but it turns out she went on to do an MBA at Harvard and now runs a software company. Old-paradigm events like Always On don't matter if you regard disruptive innovation as inevitable, and therefore morally neutral. But if innovation - which used to be called modernisation - can make things worse, as well as better - should not innovators, and the guys who bankroll them, take responsibility for the consequences of their actions? Maybe I should stand outside the hall with a placard saying "Repent!".

Posted by John Thackara at July 8, 2005 07:22 AM

Comments

If you want, I'll appliqué you a banner 1 2 3.

Posted by: debra at July 8, 2005 09:55 AM

Hey John

You're right. I attended the conference last year - but not in the live-action. I used the streamed media possibility over the internet. It was almost like being there.

Last year China was very much on the agenda - what will be the theme for this years event?

Maybe you should attend a different kind of event in september - here in Copenhagen - www.index2005.dk?

Posted by: Hans Henrik at July 9, 2005 07:04 AM

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