Forces for Change in Ecosystemic Innovation

Martha Russell is Executive Director of mediaX at Stanford University and Senior Research Scholar with the Human Sciences Technology Advanced Research Institute at Stanford. She leads business alliances and interdisciplinary research for mediaX at Stanford University. With people and technology as the intersecting vectors and with a focus on the power of shared vision, Russell has developed planning/evaluation systems and consulted regionally and internationally on technology innovation for regional development. In her talk Martha opens the symposium and dives into these points…

1. Innovation ecosystems are sustainable business networks built on collaboration, meant for producing innovation in a non-linear way, through the collective action of legally independent actors that increasingly relies on horizontal, peer-to-peer linkages among different agents.
2. They are differentiated from other types of business networks by patterns of interactions, receptivity to feedback and innovation capacity in responding to changing conditions.
3. Seen through the lens of complexity thinking, innovation ecosystems are open non-linear systems characterized by multi-faceted motivations and undergoing persistent transformations through recombinatorial patterns of interactions, implying a holistic integrity of partners’ mutual activities and governance.
4. The vitality and resilience of innovation ecosystems can be fostered by increasing the number of network nodes, promoting the quantity and quality of feedback linkages, encouraging autonomous relational contracts, removing inner and outer communication gaps, cultivating shared vision of interdependencies and collective resources, and maintaining a balance of exploration and exploitation.