Creativity Imperative Tpotf 10 07 Nus


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The Creativity Imperative & the Tech Professional of the Future, a Distinguished lecture at NUS

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Creativity Imperative Tpotf 10 07 Nus

  1. 1. The Creativity Imperative & the Technology Professional of the Future (TPOTF) David E. Goldberg University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Urbana, Illinois 61801 USA [email_address]
  2. 2. Times of Concern & Opportunity <ul><li>Globalization shaking economies. </li></ul><ul><li>Cheap, effective talent around world can be hired & managed at distance. </li></ul><ul><li>Some claim creativity is current imperative. </li></ul><ul><li>Are tech professionals creative enough? Creative at all? Michael Davis comment. </li></ul><ul><li>Talk considers historical development of status quo and why it must change. </li></ul><ul><li>Concludes with thoughts on how it should change. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Roadmap <ul><li>The world is flat & all that. </li></ul><ul><li>How’d we get cold war curriculum in internet world? </li></ul><ul><li>The academy & 3 missed revolutions. </li></ul><ul><li>Technoeconomics behind the revolutions. </li></ul><ul><li>A landscape of Os: 3 Os and the missing O. </li></ul><ul><li>Postmodern systems & the qual-quant divide. </li></ul><ul><li>2 frameworks: Pink & Illinois TV research. </li></ul><ul><li>6 thoughts on the TPOTF. </li></ul>
  4. 4. The World is Flat & All That <ul><li>Widely asserted that world is flat and returns to creativity are increasing. </li></ul><ul><li>For example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tom Friedman, The World is Flat. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Richard Florida, Rise of the Creative Class. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dan Pink, A Whole New Mind.. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Root causes & implications for the TPOTF. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Cold War Curriculum in Internet World? <ul><li>Post WW2, US was only major nation not devastated by war. </li></ul><ul><li>US actions influential beyond borders. </li></ul><ul><li>In final days of the Vannevar Bush era. </li></ul><ul><li>Headed US wartime Office of Scientific Research and Development. </li></ul><ul><li>Report, The Endless Frontier, set stage for NSF and ongoing funding of scientific research. </li></ul><ul><li>Curriculum, funding, P&T, and institution adapted to this change. </li></ul>Vannevar Bush (1890-1974)
  6. 6. Bigger & Centralized was Better <ul><li>WW2/CW organizations were big and centralized. </li></ul><ul><li>Economies of scale dominated organizational economics. </li></ul><ul><li>Hierarchy dominated organizational thought. </li></ul><ul><li>Universities followed suit, funded in part from new stream of research monies & new imperative to pursue same. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Myth & Embrace of Science <ul><li>World War 2 myth: Science won the war (bomb/radar). </li></ul><ul><li>World War 2 reality: Engineering won the war (P-51, Liberty ship, engineering, manufacturing, logistical prowess). </li></ul><ul><li>Liberty Ships: 16 shipbuilding yards, 230 days down to 42 days each, 2751 made </li></ul><ul><li>See DEG 1996 article Change in Engineering Education. </li></ul><ul><li>Effect on academy profound. </li></ul><ul><li>Computer science chose to call itself a “science.” </li></ul>
  8. 8. Papers, Proposals, & Grants, Oh My! <ul><li>Tech academy sought stature & influence through applied science. </li></ul><ul><li>Aped the basic sciences. </li></ul><ul><li>Tech faculty judged by PPG: papers, proposals, & grants. </li></ul><ul><li>Two effects: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Short term : engineering colleges seemed successful. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Long term : Disconnected from practice & marginalized in academy. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Business colleges seek stature in their arena of practice— the business community . </li></ul>
  9. 9. Thomas Kuhn & Paradigms <ul><li>Working from Wittgenstein’s discursive turn, Kuhn published, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions in 1962. </li></ul><ul><li>Argued that science proceeds in fits and starts, not gradually. </li></ul><ul><li>Old paradigms, ways of thinking about the world, are overturned by revolutions, not gradually. </li></ul>Thomas S. Kuhn (1922-1996)
  10. 10. Paradigm of Tech Academy <ul><li>The following assumptions were/are sacrosanct in many universities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Basic engineering science is the key to college success. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Government funds superior to industry or foundation funds. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Faculty demonstrate mettle as individuals in narrow specialty with peer-reviewed journal papers in top journals. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Question one of these  incredulous stare, derision, and ridicule. </li></ul><ul><li>These beliefs are not themselves scientific. </li></ul><ul><li>They are a paradigm or a mindset that appeared to be successful in the 50s and 60s. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Function & Dysfunction of Paradigms <ul><li>Paradigms are helpful because they become an unquestioned habit: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Masses work under the paradigm without question. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Share its values and form cohesive, unified organization. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When times change, paradigm is THE major obstruction to change. </li></ul><ul><li>The paradigm was major contributor to success of many universities in 1960s and 70s. </li></ul><ul><li>Now a major obstacle to change. </li></ul><ul><li>Tech academy victim of its past success. </li></ul>
  12. 12. The Missed Revolutions <ul><li>The paradigm was OK for WW2 & Cold War. </li></ul><ul><li>Slow to adapt to external changes thereafter. </li></ul><ul><li>Missed revolutions since WW2: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality revolution. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Entrepreneurial revolution. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IT revolution. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Teach the “revolutions,” but do not integrate lessons into academy or curriculum. </li></ul>
  13. 13. A Technoeconomic Framework <ul><li>Place revolutions in framework of underlying causes. </li></ul><ul><li>Missed revolutions enabled by technoeconomic effects: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Transport and communication improvements. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Network effects. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transaction costs. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Puts past in perspective & project future trends. </li></ul>Karl Mark (1818-1883)
  14. 14. Using the Free Market not Free! <ul><li>Why has change been so relentless over past 50 years? </li></ul><ul><li>In institutional economics, a major determinant of organization size & structure are transaction costs. </li></ul><ul><li>Get up in morning and sell services to highest bidder? No, join organizations. </li></ul><ul><li>Using the free market is not free. </li></ul><ul><li>Relentless improvement of communication and transportation reduced transaction costs. </li></ul>Ronald H. Coase (b. 1910)
  15. 15. The Landscape of Os <ul><li>The O’s as “hot” areas in 21 st century: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bi O </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nan O </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inf O </li></ul></ul><ul><li>First two are different than the third: Science push, easy for cold warriors. </li></ul><ul><li>Info is customer pull. </li></ul><ul><li>Suggests the missing O. </li></ul>
  16. 16. The Missing O <ul><li>Radically networked world is having profound cultural effects. </li></ul><ul><li>Postmodern systems engineering demands better understanding of HomO sapiens (let’s call it SociO). </li></ul><ul><li>Homo sapiens as engineering concern: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>QC: design for homo sapiens. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Postmodern systems: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>HS-centered design: IT systems </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Design a HS: engineered </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Design like HS: Computational intelligence </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Homo sapiens as actor, object, and collective. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Humans as Error in the Loop <ul><li>During the Cold War, humans were an obstacle to the proper functioning of a system. </li></ul><ul><li>Tom Wolfe’s, The Right Stuff, plot: tension between pilots and techies who would eliminate them. </li></ul><ul><li>Cold War view: Humans are error in the loop, and error is to be eliminated. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Postmodern: Humans are the Loop <ul><li>In internet world, human beings are integral part of the system. </li></ul><ul><li>Google as human preference engine. No humans, no Google. </li></ul><ul><li>Brute facts of physics not dominant in postmodern systems. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the “physics” for Ebay? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What equations of motion govern Google? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What constitutive relations for MSOffice. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Soci O : Tech Pull, Humanities Push <ul><li>The gap between qual and quant knowledge of human beings is an invitation. </li></ul><ul><li>New engineering discipline of human-centered design requires transfer of models from humanities, social sciences, & arts. </li></ul><ul><li>Requires reassessment of engineering canon in areas touching systems and socio. </li></ul><ul><li>Invites generation of new knowledge through combination of technology pull & humanities push . </li></ul>
  20. 20. TPOTF: How to Create One? <ul><li>Where should we turn to create tech professional of the future? </li></ul><ul><li>Consider two frameworks: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dan Pink. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Illinois tech visionary (TV) research. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Category creators and how to create them? </li></ul>
  21. 21. Category Creators v. Enhancers <ul><li>Premium is on category creators —those who creates new categories of product and service. </li></ul><ul><li>This requires different skill set. </li></ul><ul><li>Right-brained thinking: integrative, creative, intuitive. </li></ul><ul><li>MFA + Engineer vs. MBA + Engineer. </li></ul>
  22. 22. 6 Senses (Skills) for WNM <ul><li>Design : Beyond function to meaning. </li></ul><ul><li>Story : Beyond data to narrative. </li></ul><ul><li>Symphony : Beyond specialization to integration. </li></ul><ul><li>Empathy : Beyond logic to empathy. </li></ul><ul><li>Play : Beyond seriousness to lightheartedness, games, & humor. </li></ul><ul><li>Meaning : Beyond material plenty to transcendence & meaning. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Tech Visionary Research <ul><li>Recent studies at the University of Illinois. </li></ul><ul><li>Ray Price, Abbie Griffin, Bruce Vojak studied individuals responsible for bulk of new products. </li></ul><ul><li>Variety of industries, consumer, low-tech, hi-tech. </li></ul><ul><li>Looking for common threads. </li></ul>Ray Price
  24. 24. Distinctive Findings of TV Research <ul><li>TV personality. </li></ul><ul><li>TVs as problem finders in customer needs. </li></ul><ul><li>TVs as amateur market researchers. </li></ul><ul><li>TVs as market penetrators. </li></ul><ul><li>TVs as consumate corporate insiders. </li></ul><ul><li>TVs as consumate modelers. </li></ul>
  25. 25. TVs as Problem Finders <ul><li>“Well there was this problem with being able to X.” </li></ul><ul><li>TVs universally start from interesting customer problems. </li></ul><ul><li>“When you come across an area where your customer says this is too difficult to do, that is a license to go into business.” </li></ul><ul><li>Customer pull, not tech push. </li></ul>
  26. 26. 6 Thoughts toward Creative TPOTFs <ul><li>TPOTF = Tech professional of the future. </li></ul><ul><li>Want category creators, TVs, & supporters. </li></ul><ul><li>6 thoughts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cannot change in current departments alone. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cannot do it with tech knowledge alone. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cannot do it without human-centered design understanding. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cannot do it by ignoring widespread tech ignorance. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cannot ignore challenge of tabula rasa. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cannot stick with PPG: papers, proposals & grants. </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Can’t Change in Departments <ul><li>Have reasons, motivation to change. </li></ul><ul><li>Have will (in some quarters). </li></ul><ul><li>Even have good models of change. </li></ul><ul><li>But departmental system is designed to resist change. </li></ul><ul><li>All traditional curriculum change is painful & at best, incremental. </li></ul>
  28. 28. iFoundry : Org Innovation for Change <ul><li>Separate, temporary, pilot unit. Permit change. </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration. Large, key ugrad programs work together. Easier approval if shared. </li></ul><ul><li>Connections. Hook to depts, NAE, ABET (?), industry. </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteers. Enthusiasm for change among participants. </li></ul><ul><li>Existing authority. Use signatory authority for modification of curricula for immediate pilot. </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment. Built-in assessment to overcome objections back home. </li></ul><ul><li>Scalability. Past attempts at change like Olin fail to scale at UIUC and other big schools. </li></ul>
  29. 29. Can’t Ignore Non-Tech Skills <ul><li>Course: TEE at UIUC: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The joy of engineering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Money & you: engagement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Write for your life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Present, don’t speak </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The human side of engineering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethics in matters small, large, and engineering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Master the pervasive team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organizations and leadership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology opportunity assessment </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Can’t Leave Out Homo Sapiens <ul><li>Human-centered design requires attention to all knowledge sources. </li></ul><ul><li>Humanities, social sciences, and arts will contribute. </li></ul><ul><li>Must build networks from tech/engin schools to those disciplines. </li></ul><ul><li>Engineering and Technology Studies at Illinois (ETSI) does this with lecture series and social network of trusted contacts. </li></ul><ul><li>The discipline of being interdisciplinary. </li></ul>
  31. 31. Can’t Ignore Tech Ignorance <ul><li>Technology ignorance is widespread. </li></ul><ul><li>Anointed receive training & others treat tech as black magic. </li></ul><ul><li>Can we get BA/BS degree holders up to some speed with technology? </li></ul><ul><li>MBA programs: Teach ugrad business knowledge at graduate level. </li></ul><ul><li>Possibilities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Master of Tech Innovation (not tech management). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Post-baccalaureate certificates. </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. How to Combat Tech Ignorance? <ul><li>Outlined (1993) as part of technology program for business students. </li></ul><ul><li>4 courses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Qualitative technology: Building blocks and systems. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quantity & measurement. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Qualitative and quantitative modeling. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sketching, diagramming, and drawing for technology. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>These things would also work well in revamped engineering curriculum. </li></ul>
  33. 33. Can’t Ignore Tabula Rasa <ul><li>Being a category creator is tough. </li></ul><ul><li>Face the blank slate or tabula rasa. </li></ul><ul><li>How do we design when we don’t know how to talk about what we are designing? </li></ul><ul><li>This is linguistic challenge. </li></ul><ul><li>It is also categorical challenge. </li></ul><ul><li>Philosophy as (1) methodological & (2) crisis response. </li></ul>
  34. 34. Philosophy as Creative Method <ul><li>Where in human history did large number of new thoughts take off? </li></ul><ul><li>Tech around for a long time (millions of years). Worth studying history of tech. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider thought explosion of 5 th century BC in Greece. </li></ul><ul><li>Presocratics  Socrates  Plato  Aristotle. </li></ul><ul><li>Mechanisms of the new thought: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Socratic dialectic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aristotelian data mining </li></ul></ul>Socrates (470-399 BCE)
  35. 35. GE498 TV : Creative Modeling for Tech Visionaries <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Models of creativity </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorming </li></ul><ul><li>What is a model? What is a TV? </li></ul><ul><li>Construction of engineering reality. </li></ul><ul><li>2 techniques from Athens </li></ul><ul><li>Visualization and napkintalk </li></ul><ul><li>Canonical models </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Qual-quant shift </li></ul><ul><li>Little models </li></ul><ul><li>Tales from the trenches. </li></ul><ul><li>Squeezing little models. </li></ul><ul><li>Mixed, patched, and meta-models </li></ul>
  36. 36. Why Philosophy? Why Now? <ul><li>Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: Response to crisis: </li></ul><ul><li>“ I think, particularly in periods of acknowledged crisis that scientists have turned to philosophical analysis as a device for unlocking the riddles of their fields. Some have not generally needed or wanted to be philosophers. Indeed, normal science usually holds creative philosophy at arm’s length, and probably for good reason…But that is not to say that the search for assumptions cannot be an effective way to weaken the grip of a tradition upon the mind and to suggest the basis for a new one.” </li></ul>Thomas S. Kuhn (1922-1996)
  37. 37. Philosophy: Crisis Response Tool <ul><li>Scientists: New physics was disorienting and scientists turned to philosophy for “foundations.” </li></ul><ul><li>Engineers: Today’s tech world as disorienting to techies as Einstein’s world was to scientists. </li></ul><ul><li>Workshop on Philosophy & Engineering (WPE-2007). TUDelft, 29-31 October 2007. </li></ul>
  38. 38. Can’t Stick with PPG Alone <ul><li>Can’t do it with papers, proposals & grants (PPG) alone. </li></ul><ul><li>From PPG to AOK: Artifacts, organizations, and know-how. </li></ul><ul><li>Have limited influence in science & tech worlds & engineers feel inadequately trained. </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasize artifacts & IP, real companies & practice-oriented books: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Achieve influence in practice. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alignment of tech education with practice. </li></ul></ul>
  39. 39. Bottom Line <ul><li>Technoeconomic analysis of where we are. </li></ul><ul><li>3 Os & the missing O. Postmodern systems. </li></ul><ul><li>Pink & Price: Category creators & tech visionaries. </li></ul><ul><li>6 thoughts: depts., tech knowledge, human-centered design, tech ignorance, tabula rasa, PPG. </li></ul><ul><li>Speeding ahead at Internet time. Race is on. </li></ul><ul><li>Will Singapore lead or follow a failing status quo? </li></ul>
  40. 40. More Information <ul><li>TEE, the book. </li></ul><ul><li>TEE, the blog. </li></ul><ul><li>TEE, the course. </li></ul><ul><li>MTV, the course. </li></ul><ul><li>Engineering and Technology Studies at Illinois (ETSI) ). </li></ul><ul><li>2007 Workshop on Philosophy & Engineering (WPE) </li></ul><ul><li>iFoundry: </li></ul><ul><li>Illinois Genetic Algorithms Lab: </li></ul>