Journalist and academic Aleks Krotoski presents the second of her three guest curated events on the theme of ‘Connections’.
James Burke takes a sideways look at the connective nature of innovation and its social effects. Two ideas come together to produce something that is greater than the sum of the parts. The result is almost a surprise (in the way, for instance, the first typewriters boosted the divorce rate!).
Innovation has usually attempted to solve some aspect of the problem with which we have lived for two million tool-using years: scarcity. As a result, our institutions, value systems, modes of thought and behaviour have all been shaped by the fact that there’s never been enough of everything to go around.
However, thanks to the internet and a radically-accelerated rate of connective, inter-disciplinary innovation, we may be on the verge of solving the problem of scarcity once and for all. In ways that may really surprise us. What will abundance do to us? And how should we prepare for it?