Wonder and The Importance of an Ecosystem
Updated: Aug 7/18 | By: Chris Herbert
While taking in Old Montreal on the evening before the McRock IIoT Symposium, we passed by a lot of historical sites with less than thorough stories on bronze plaques about the importance of people and places from the past, so we would whip out our phones and get the details. There is even an app you can download to give you more detailed accounts as you move around.
The question was asked – what did we do before? What did we do before all of this information was made readily available if we wanted to have a deeper understanding of something? The answer: we would wonder. And then – unless we were willing to spend a few hours in a library scouring microfiche searching for the answers – we would remain in wonder. Which begs the question… Is there nothing left to wonder about?
Wondering has driven humanity to every corner of the globe and into space. It has created cures for diseases and rules for societies. If we have all of the answers, and they are so easily accessible, we don’t need to be curious. So, what will drive humanity forward when we know everything there is to know – if we no longer need to wonder?
Wondering and the Industrial Internet of Things
While covering the 2018 McRock IIoT Symposium, I learned that wonder is taking a new direction when it comes to the Industrial Internet of Things. IIoT is no longer just about the accumulation of data and knowledge, the shift is now to wondering what kind of world we can create when all of that data and knowledge are connected and combined to solve what was considered the unsolvable. To eliminate the silos, to try different lenses, to find new levels of symbiosis.
To build a robust ecosystem that embraces diversity and pushes for inclusion from all verticals and levels – public and private – industrial and informational. To hear every voice. It will be an amazing World.
But, it will take some seismic shifts to get there – and the shifts are much less about the technology that continues to leap quickly forward, and much more about the business models, assets, people and values that drive innovation… and the need to co-create. Here are a few things that need to happen:
An end to ownership. Proprietary protection of assets, data, intellectual property and relationships needs to be downgraded in favour of the potential for the greater advancement of the ecosystem as a whole.
A change in roles. Solution development must become more fluid and inclusive, drawing from all affected parties at every level. Not us vs. them, vendor or client. Just Us.
The development of protocols. Simply, there needs to be a rulebook – a set of expectations and technical standardization – not for the protection of the individual or organization, but for the protection of the whole ecosystem – those who work in and on solutions and those who benefit from them.
A balanced advance. The amazing world we are trying to build will require the collective intelligence and passion of all – every industry, every business, every relationship and interaction needs to be pulling in the same direction. From founders to funders, large corporations to small, rookie to veteran.
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A new level of respect and partnership. Between people and between organizations. Common goals can be achieved, but the model of relationships needs to shift. To take a cue from the recent World Cup – playing for the tie can be very effective over competing for domination. We must learn to share our strengths more freely and adopt smarter solutions more quickly.
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An interconnected system. A community of interaction. It’s not impossible. It starts with well-intentioned groups of people with ideas and expertise to share – like Silicon Halton – and it grows from here, with more people with new ideas and expertise to share. Creating not just new connections, but innovative new ways by which to connect, and build an innovative ecosystem.
I wonder where we can go from here. It will be an amazing World.
Photo: Fitz and Follwell
Lisa Denis is the founder of Emoggo, a proximity-based mobile directory and marketing platform designed to improve foot traffic and customer engagement for local retailers, restaurants and service providers. She is the founder of the Silicon Halton Women in Tech Peer-2-Peer and co-founder of TechIgniters, a technology incubator/accelerator launching in January 2019.