Innovation is popular in aid at the moment, so much so that there is a steady spate of articles which range from trashing its potential contribution to development through to challenging Western, donor, countries’ assumed roles as the ‘providers’ of innovation. In this post I want to argue that there is a middle  ground between […]

I’ve come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies: 1.  Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. 2.  Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and […]

Innovation is getting a lot of attention at the moment in development and humanitarian work. Many, including myself, see this as long overdue. But, according to an article in this  weeks Economist, this attention may be misplaced. The piece makes a strong argument for the importance of imitation  in business, and its advantages over innovation. […]

This is the text of an article in the Washington Post by Dominic Basulto about last week’s events in the financial markets. Great stuff. When news first broke Thursday that JPMorgan’s credit derivatives portfolio had sustained a loss of $2 billion, and potentially as much as $5 billion, on trades gone awry, there was an […]

The eurozone, like the rest of the world economy, is a complex networked system. That gives it properties economists rarely consider but which could help us understand the current crisis. This New Scientist ‘Science in Society’ Briefing examines the issues. What is a complex network? Complex networks have many interconnected components which influence each other’s […]

Ricardo Hausmann of Harvard and Cesar Hidalgo of MIT (whose work I have blogged about previously here) have just published the deeply impressive Atlas of Economic Complexity. It is built around an innovative, network-based methodology for understanding economies and their potential for  growth. It represents perhaps the most systematic and in-depth application of the ideas […]