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Media Ecology - Technogenic Cultures


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Media Ecology Association, Toronto, June 20, 2014
“We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us” John Culkin, SJ
Technogenic cultures, such as ours, demonstrate tightly-coupled economic systems with cultural production. This has become a self-reinforcing societal process, where the production of technological efficiencies becomes an inviolable social good desirable as product of culture.

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Media Ecology - Technogenic Cultures

  1. 1. Copyright © 2014, Peter Jones Technogenic Cultures How Innovation Regimes Reproduce Culture Peter Jones, PhD OCAD University, Toronto Redesign Network Media Ecology Association June 20, 2014
  2. 2. Copyright © 2014, Peter Jones
  3. 3. Copyright © 2014, Peter Jones What seems to be the problem? No Growth: We’re All Greek Now
  4. 4. Copyright © 2014, Peter Jones Are startups the answer? We have been enchanted by the cultural furnishings of startup culture: Energy, youth, lifestyle, get-rich drive, freedom, opportunity.
  5. 5. Copyright © 2014, Peter Jones Globalization has exported and socialized the technological culture of economic growth values associated with Silicon Valley venture capitalism.
  6. 6. Copyright © 2014, Peter Jones
  7. 7. Copyright © 2014, Peter Jones We are all advised to become as entrepreneurs • The once-protected: Universities, researchers, profs • The “social”: Non-profits, “Sharing businesses” • The vulnerable: Emerging economies, immigrants Placing the outcomes of research, and increasingly culture, into the realm of global markets & competition.
  8. 8. Copyright © 2014, Peter Jones Embedded quickly in new curricula … • Universities are promoting entrepreneurial careers • (Not a critique in itself, but - when did an MBA become the key to small business?) • IP regimes designed to commercialize student inventions • Do we (academy) offer guidance on the social value of innovation? • We defend ethical research. Do we defend “good business outcomes?”
  9. 9. Copyright © 2014, Peter Jones The Evil Genius - Voice of Silicon Valley Culture “Strangely, it is the very implausibility of straight talk that makes it astoundingly effective for disqualifying all the other modes (of existence). Once one makes the mere supposition of a transfer … of information without any transformation, of displacement without any translation, all the other ways of speaking are suddenly subject to deep suspicion. And, even more strangely, the other modes start to doubt themselves and their own capacity to distinguish between truth and falsity. (Including and especially, Science)” If Double Click managed to discipline political speech, to rectify it, he would only produce a much worse monster, since one could no longer obtain the proper curvature that outlines the collectives in which we learn to protest, to be represented, to obey, to disobey—and to start over. Add some transparency, some truth (still in the sense of Double Click), and you still get only dissolution, stampede, the dispersal of that very agora in which the fate of all categories is judged.” (Heading & text from) Bruno Latour An Inquiry into Modes of Existence
  10. 10. Copyright © 2014, Peter Jones Cultural shifts? Enhances The Pitch Selling Solutions “App tasking” Reverses into The Answer Networks as instrument “Yo” Obsoletes Community Intimacy Service Clubs “Tenure” Retrieves Founder as Great Man Initiative Cottage industry
  11. 11. Copyright © 2014, Peter Jones Yet we have real concerns this culture doesn’t cope with.
  12. 12. Copyright © 2014, Peter Jones Entrepreneurial Social Systems Entrepreneurship as “skill of cultural innovation” • A deeply democratic approach to innovation • History making – from the everyday to new futures • Exploiting anomalies discovered in practices Jane Jacobs – Diversity-enhancing, import replacement & shifting within current economic regime • The small business has solidarity with its community, supplier networks, customers • And must achieve some level of “sustainability” Spinosa, Flores and Dreyfus . (1999). Disclosing New Worlds: Entrepreneurship, Democratic Action, and the Cultivation of Solidarity
  13. 13. Copyright © 2014, Peter Jones Gunderson, LH and Holling, CS. (2002). Panarchy: Understanding Transformations In Human & Natural Systems. Panarchy as Tetrad.
  14. 14. Copyright © 2014, Peter Jones
  15. 15. Copyright © 2014, Peter Jones Sustaining a true place-based SME ecosystem. • Can we envision the adaptive cycle in social systems of small enterprise? • With hundreds of startups & new small firms … • How can we develop supportive ecosystems? • Rather than just rewarding individuals with profit – Can we reward business risk-takers with support?
  16. 16. Copyright © 2014, Peter Jones Thank you. Peter Jones, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Faculty of Design, Strategic Foresight & Innovation program Strategic Innovation Lab (sLab) @redesign