D A Y # 5

DESIGNOPHY – Articles & Interviews

When Ideas Have Sex
What Cross-Fertilisation Teaches Us About Innovation
Matt Ridley, 11 Nov 2010

Designophy is a design website featuring a number of interesting articles and interviews. One particularly captivating article was one titled ‘When Ideas Have Sex’, initially comparing the similarities and great differences between an ancient hand axe and a modern computer mouse.

Ancient hand axe & a modern wireless mouse

The example conveyed two different stories: the hand axe representing a technology that did not change for millions of years, and the wireless mouse representing technological advancement and modernity. The article explained that it is our ability as human beings to exchange ideas, trade and trust foreigners which sets us apart from any other living creature. We have been able to conquer the earth and fuel prosperity and progress over the past 100,000 years by moving away from self-sufficiency and towards the greater exchange of information and knowledge.

I found this concept really interesting and agree that the global exchange of information has indeed triggered innovation and development. Countries that open their borders to the free exchange of goods, services and ideas flourish – and it is this approach which I think we should be adopting in our Business Innovation Tasks. The lectures, the discussions and my own personal research is already helping me to grasp a better understanding of the subject and will hopefully enable me to cultivate innovative and creative ideas.

With the world growing ever more connected as the internet and information technology advances at an alarmingly fast rate, it is inevitable that the global exchange of ideas will become instant and second-nature in the future. I see the future world relying on technology even more than we do now, our interconnectedness perhaps eliminating physical interaction yet speeding up the exchange of information and innovation.


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