TEDxLeeds: innovating out of the recession

Last week I spoke at the TEDxLeeds event on the recession and innovation, organised by Imran Ali and Herb Kim.

It was a well attended event with a very well-informed and engaged audience and judging by the twitter chatter, (#TEDxLeeds) the event seemed to go down extremely well. (Congrats to Imran and Herb and all involved! See the Ian Forrester’s blog post on cubicgarden.com for another view of the event). What was refreshing was the enthusiasm in the audience for challenging the existing culture of limits and low expectations. The points about the need for more risk-taking and greater experimentation, and opposition to the contemporary business culture of short-term pragmatism versus longer-term investment in research, appeared to resonate with a large section of the audience.This highlights that this is the time to develop bold new arguments for why we need

  • more long-term investment in research (as opposed to the short-term funding of development);
  • more experimentation and less emphasis upon predictable outcomes driven by narrow ROI considerations; and
  • more failure to build success.

Watch this space!

Below are some of the slides I used during my presentation. The key points should be obvious. But in case the Kennedy and Moon slides confuse, my point was simply that the US Space Program (despite being rooted in the politics of the Cold War) provided a bold vision and impetus to the generation of ground-breaking new research and innovation. The research created new industries while NASA provided impetus for the formation of thousands of new companies and product innovation. It is this kind of boldness that is so noticeably absent in our society today.

(This presentation has been selected amongst the ‘Top Presentations of the Day’ on the SlideShare homepage).

9 thoughts on “TEDxLeeds: innovating out of the recession

  1. It was a very good and thought provoking presentation that you gave Norman.

    In the process of blooging a piece on the talk for Innovation Manchester

  2. An inspiring, honest and thought provoking discussion Norman. Aim for the stars and we shall reach the moon. What next and where is higher than the stars? And if the moon landing was a filmed set up (and not real) we still have to officially reach the moon first! Enjoyed the chat and now deciding on how to creatively fix a client job without the budget to match. Then I am off working on developing my own 1 percent of success (a superheroes project with young people) into something profitable I hope…

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