Innovation Edge 2: overall thoughts + Sir Bob

The rest of Innovation Edge was….OK. Great turnout, great venue, but caught between a few stools I think: neither a trade fair of new innovations, nor a genuinely interactive forum, nor a traditional conference (keynotes + seminars). Networking was good, though not enough time for it….and the expert seminars (at least the ones I attended / heard about) were average at best: meandering was the word.

Gordon Brown gave an engaging, concise, warm speech (without notes…with jokes), but the highlight for me was definitely Bob Geldof. [you can hear audio etc of lots of the speakers here]

It sounded very much like he’d been reading John Elkington and Pamela Hartigan’s book,The Power of Unreasonable People, as he used the same George Bernard Shaw quote (unreasonable people shape the world around them… etc) to frame his address. Without notes, he was passionate, coherent, fluent, intelligent and engaging: really impressive. A few excerpts that stood out for me (make of these what you will):

– "Desperation is the father of necessity, just as necessity is the mother of invention"
– [on Britain being more risk averse]: "We so fear failure that nobody dares try anymore….we need to celebrate the attempt at trying"
– "in a world of hyper-democracy, the notion of leadership comes to the self….decisions will increasingly be made locally"
– "co-operation and interdependence must be the way"
– "we need our social entrepreneurs to consider [ideas of a different world], to be innovative and progressive"

He then ended with a quotation from W H Murray, which he said should be written on the chests of social entrepreneurs, politicians and changemakers in the world; certainly a powerful call to arms, to the doers of the world:

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back,
always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and
creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills
countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely
commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events
issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of
unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man
could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for
one of Goethe’s couplets:

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!
Share Button

One thought on “Innovation Edge 2: overall thoughts + Sir Bob