Delingpole’s latest article http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100190697/hands-off-our-trough-says-wwfs-uk-boss/
led me to look at an organisation called the Finance Innovation Lab, a love child of the WWF out of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.
This organisation was one of the winners of the hilarious Observer/ NESTA 50 New Radicals Award earlier this year. (I’m all for opening charity shops and helping people with dementia, but clearly the word “radical” has changed its meaning since the Observer was founded two centuries ago. A new term will have to be found to describe the French Enlightenment, the Socialist International, and even the economic policy of the new French Government).
According to Delingpole, quoting Richard North, the Finance Innovation Lab is supported by DEFRA, i.e. you, the taxpayer. So I had a look at their website. Here’s what they say about themselves:
We aim to incubate and accelerate new forms of prosperity, for people and planet.
We believe we need to innovate across the whole financial system at once, for change to happen.
We do this in three ways;
1. We incubate new business models, innovation in mainstream and new forms of civil society
2. We accelerate the capacity of leaders to create change
3. We create the wider conditions for change by raising awareness, creating supportive communities and advocating for policy change.
.. and so on. And on and on.
There’s a forum page for interaction. Their last 20 articles have gathered a total of 2 comments, the latest one being in June. So much for the internet as a tool for dynamic interaction. And this is one of the country’s top radical innovators.
I had a quick look at the past twenty articles. There are reports on a conference in Brussels, a dinner/discussion in London, a workshop at the Cabinet Office, and a meeting with a fashion house in Paris; announcements of upcoming events in Singapore and Sweden, an invitation to a breakfast workshop in Rio, and a report on a pop up lab (?) and video game they’re developing.
I turned to NESTA who decided, in partnership with the Observer, that organising breakfast workshops (or should that be workfast breastshops?) in Rio is just about the most radical thing you can do in Britain today. They’ve got a lottery funded website. They say about themselves:
We are the UK’s foremost independent expert on how innovation can solve some of the country’s major economic and social challenges.
The headline item on their news page is last February’s “Britain’s New Radicals Awards”. Clearly innovation isn’t moving as fast as it did in, say, the eighteenth century.
Last night, they hosted a talk by one of their trustees, who is also a member of their Creative Economy Committee, Stephen Emmott, Microsoft Professor of Life, the Universe, and Everything. There’s a video of the talk embedded at http://www.nesta.org.uk/home1/assets/events/nature_and_necessity_of_a_scientific_revolution
Unfortunately technological innovation hasn’t penetrated NESTA. The sound quality is dreadful, Emmott’s reputation as the world’s worst public speaker remains intact, and the pause button and cursor on the video don’t work, so transcribing will be difficult.
Does anyone know a way of remedying this?
The subject of the talk is actually very interesting. It’s about whether the data revolution changes the nature of science. It’s entitled “Nature and Necessity of a Scientific Revolution” (or “Where’s the Effing Pause Button?”)