It’s time for Issue 9 of Sparks & Kindling, and we thought it would be a great opportunity to highlight some positive outcomes of innovation as an antidote to some of the more exhausting aspects of real life. So for this issue only we thought we’d avoid any long reads and offer instead a mini smorgasbord of great ideas, different ways of thinking and some quick to get facts.
Not all of us in innovation appear as euphoric as a celebrant in a happy, clappy cult, waving our jazz hands like a member of the chorus line in 42nd Street. And now we have some justification in being a bit grumpy, negative or pessimistic at times. It turns out focussing on the reasons why you might fail, using a pre-mortem, letting negativity make you unhappy and embracing feelings of hopelessness might actually be really helpful tools for life, for work and to get to genuinely new thinking. These short clips tell you more
Having said negativity can be a powerful agent of change, some negativity and particularly depression is just destructive. However, despite mental health increasingly being recognized as a national deficit and an area of need for the population, there just aren’t enough therapists to go around. The good news is that this chatbot (brilliantly named Woebot) is a surprisingly effective answer to at least filling some of the gap
It’s easy to dismiss The America’s Cup as being a bunch of chunky lads messing around in boats, but with budgets in the billions it has also been a crucible of innovation and new technology. But the disrupter that saw New Zealand beat the holders from the USA 7 races to 1 last week was one of those innovations that is so bleedin’ obvious, it’s genius. Meet (and be immensely impressed) by the cyclors of Team New Zealand
Over the last few years Ford have been placing some very big bets away from autos and towards the future of mobility, particularly in the urban setting. The latest is Ford GoBike, the relaunched bike share system in the Bay Area. Amongst many interesting aspects to the mobility experiments Ford is currently trialling, it surely is pleasing that a brand is focusing on developing new mobility answers in conjunction with cities rather than just using bikes as advertising real estate. This quick read details some more about their interesting plans around mobility
As it turns out you can now put a price on being nice. In this blog piece see how standard economic theory is being turned on its head by the application of reciprocity - the instinctive yearning to respond in kind if someone does something good for you. And as if trusting your customers is not a big enough idea to get your head around, take a second deep breath as the example comes from insurance, not the first place you’d look for a new model based on trust
Ikea have developed a frankly brilliant and bonkers way to encourage people to experiment with some new recipes. The instructions are visual infographics on baking parchment paper printed with food safe ink. So just collect the ingredients together, wrap it all up and put it in the oven. Brilliant, but possibly not pukka