Beginning in April 2011 I will take up a four month guest professorship in Berlin. I will be associated with the Greenlab project and working with students and developing research for a Slow Summit which is to take place in July this year in London.

We are going to be thinking about slow principles and thinking and process driven ways of generating work. I have just been putting together my presentation for the Greenlab symposium that will take place on 5th April in Berlin and have been reading more by Steven Johnson the American writer and thinker. I think we will be employing some of this collaborative thinking when we take to the streets of Berlin in search of the unknown or over looked. I will post regularly about my experiences of Berlin and the progression of thinking towards the Slow Summit too, in the meantime a little bit from the conclusion of Johnson’s book Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation where he emphasises that most of history’s greatest innovations have come about through collaboration rather than competition.

“You need only survey a coral reef (or a rain forest) for a few minutes to see that competition for resources abounds in this space. . . . But that is not the source of its marvellous biodiversity. . . .What makes the reef so inventive is not the struggle between the organisms but the way they have learned to collaborate – the coral and the zooxanthellae and the parrotfish borrowing and reinventing each other’s work.”

“The patterns are simple, but followed together, they make for a whole that is wiser than the sum of its parts. Go for a walk; cultivate hunches; write everything down, but keep your folders messy; embrace serendipity; make generative mistakes; take on multiple hobbies; frequent coffeehouses and other liquid networks; follow the links; let others build on your ideas; borrow, recycle, re-invent.”


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