Creating Generational Legacies

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Venture Capital in Australia: NICTA NAD CSIRO merge to create one of the largest...

Venture Capital in Australia: NICTA NAD CSIRO merge to create one of the largest.innovation companies in the world : NICTA ( Australia’s chief IT research facility)  has merged with CSIRO’s Digital Productivity flagship creating   a new organisation, Data6...

Leaders need to change from commanders to communicators

Posted by:-
Katz Kiely
Founder and CEO 
Kiely & Co
Skype:  katzkiely
Twitter: @katzy

It’s true many (most) C suiters are alpha types. They have spilled blood sweat and tears to scramble to the top. The idea of leader in the old world was all about being the best, the expert i.e. knowing better than anyone else in the organisation. Shifting to models based on crowdsourced knowledge and co - creation is hard and for some (of the less flexible) impossible.

They, like everyone else find it hard to let go of deeply embedded behaviours and attitudes …but they can be persuaded to try new more collaborative ways of working if they understand the commercial benefits- and by showing the positive effect of ring fenced networked experiments they can over time start to adopt new behaviours more appropriate to the networked organisation. 

Digital Transformation projects are never successful unless they have the full buy in (not just lip service) of senior leadership. Leaders have to display the behaviours and attitudes they expect their organisations to adopt.  The shift is from leader as Commander (which perfectly suited to mechanistic view of the organisation) to Communicator (who works with her teams to set the vision and inspires people to travel with her towards that goal) Collaborator or/ and Co- creator (who harnesses the full power of a connected, empowered workforce.) 

Networked organisations who understand the power of co-creation are the most valuable and profitable. Boards are already realising that new style (digital) leaders drive success - so C- suiters will have to adapt to survive

Are music festivals and doofs - a social experiment - solving the need for jobs? A precursor to the new kibbutz?

My daughters (22 and 25) love going to music festivals, (what they call "doofs" ) 

Are these festivals / communities , a social experiment that will be a base for a "new way" of connecting / adding value / living - creating for their community , a sense of self worth / finding ways to spend your day in a positive motivating way. Is this a better way than the "establishment - 9-5 work week - (for most) doing a job to survive, so they can feed and educate their family, and take 4 weeks a year annual leave - ( they say that job stands for "just over the breadline").

Is this a precursor to the revival of the "kibbutz" ?

Bellow, Katz Kiely talks about a potential new way of a connected community - finding meaning by taking out "the establishment" . 

From katz kiely

Katz Kiely
Founder and CEO 
Kiely & Co
Skype:  katzkiely
Twitter: @katzy

I was lucky enough to be invited by the founders a couple of years ago. I may not have accepted (“I’ve got work to do”) but Dan Ariely explained that I, with my passion for organisational transformation and behaviour change, should experience it.   

I now see Burning Man as a social experiment, exploring what happens when money and brands are taken out of the equation and volunteerism, creativity, collaboration and empowerment are put centre stage.

Participants come from all sorts of sectors: arts, media, finance - you name it. While there are elements of “pagan” festival, many of the activities are less widely understood. 

Contrary to the popular conception, I see the playa as a prototyping engine: with a wide variety of workshops, innovation camps, conferences, unconferences. The level of conversation and debate at Burning Man are, from my experience, exceptional. 

A couple of take aways to share a couple of experiences relevant to this discussion:

I had to visit the onsite hospital last year. The hospital, like everything else on the playa, is managed and manned by volunteers: professional nurses and doctors. I asked why they had given up their precious holiday time to volunteer. Each and every one said the same thing. At Burning Man the paperwork is taken out of the equation. They get to do what they signed up for : help people get better.  The service was impressive, and efficient, but human. The relationship between professional and patient is very different than in your typical hospital. The patients are genuinely grateful. The endless bureaucracy and paperwork is taken out of the equation. Most said they come back to volunteer year after year.

Impressed, and Infected by the volunteer spirit, I did a morning shift at the coffee centre the next morning. I brewed coffee for 4 hours. We served thousands of people. It could not have been a more menial job - but is one of my favourite memories of Burning Man. Why? Because of the work environment. We were working  together to support a connected community. Our efforts were respected and celebrated by those we served. Our playfulness did not get in the way of our work, but made the team more empowered and efficient. Empowerment leads to productivity.

In some ways the playa may have been an appropriate platform for Tuesdays meeting. Maybe next year :) 

Katz Kiely
Digital Strategist & Transformation Agent

Twitter: @katzy

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

How Institutions can change into an Innovation Entity

John Hagel - on how institutions can  change and disrupt themselves into an innovation institution

Jordan - You're absolutely right - the transition is going to be the challenge.  I suspect the bulk of the transition will come from new entrants who pioneer and innovate around the scalable learning model and use this as a basis for unseating the incumbents who hold on to the scalable efficiency model.  This will likely lead to a painful and tumultuous transition with great potential for backlash as incumbents mobilize to use regulation and other weapons to try to block the new entrants from undermining their position. 

On the other hand, as an optimist, I believe it is possible for existing institutions to transform themselves, but not through the classic top down, "big bang" approach to transformation that has proven to have a very high failure rate.  Instead, I have been a proponent of a different approach to large scale organizational change that I call "scaling edges" -  A few of our existing institutions will be able to navigate through the changes using this approach.

Thanks for the heads up on Dans ted Talk

Just checking you have seen Dan's TED talk what really motivates us at work 

Social Media disrupting the Established Economy

David Nordfors sites an example of radical innovation disrupting the economy:-

The media - mainstream- is becoming irrelevant in the social media communication Eco system. More people listen to the small movements than we might be aware of. People are looking for and finding new ways to relate to their environment through all the new channels available .
This blogging/ messaging/ visualizing ,new Eco system will not change legacy institutions,but will help build other options. If you examine education and the
New available materials in many formats,you have an opening for creative self actualization and enhancement. Innovative self education is already happening for millions. Mooc and Khan are just the beginning.

Innovation and economics - radical innovation needs radical change

A question by Curt Carlson 

 I can’t imagine that a society where 85% of the people don’t work would be a good thing.  Work is at the heart of being human — ones identity and self worth depend on it.   It seems unstable and likely to collapse from terrible policies that the 85% would impose on the 15%.  How do you think about that?

Response by Jordan Greenhall 

The key to creating an effective innovative economy is to get legacy systems and legacy habits out of the way while making people feel secure that their needs will still be met!

This can be done only with effective communication, connecting and collaboration! 

Changing the mindset and creating an innovative economy starts with education - and changing the way our education system links in with our economic institutions. 

These linkages make it nearly impossible to radically innovate in jobs without also radically innovating in education.   

Human beings don't need work.   They need more fundamental things like agency,  creativity,  community,  a sense of material safety,  etc.   Mileage will vary,  but my go to here is Max Neef on human needs.   

As it turns out, our civilization model has pushed a great number of these needs into "work".   Increasingly so over the past four centuries.   Indeed,  a big cause of the modern ennui is the fact that work is a poor satisfier for many of the needs that are being piled upon it.   Even really creative work,  but particularly the kind of stuff that usually goes under the heading "work". 

Now,  clearly,  we can not simply delete work.   85% of the population "just sitting around"  is a disaster.   What we must do is innovate entirely new satisfiers.   Optimally satisfiers that meet human needs much more effectively than our legacy approaches and do so much more efficiently.   Neef calls the best of these "synergistic satisfiers".   

Obviously a challenge for the ages,  but my sense is that we are very well positioned to meet it.   To me,  the hard part is doing it in the face of and in the midst of the broad institutional dysfunction that is characteristic of the current environment.   

For example,  take education.   When nearly every child,  teacher and parent is fully tapped day in and day out by the legacy system,  there isn't a lot of room for innovation.   Let alone radical innovation.   

But, if by some circumstance,  the entire educational system shut down all at once and,  as a consequence,  got out of the way; we would develop a dozen new models that are at least as effective in months.   And in a year we'd be well on our way to a set of satisfiers that are 10x more effective.   

In general,  a move like this is unwise.   New is usually a dangerous choice.   But as i believe that a decomposition of the legacy system is coming one way or another..... To create a radicL innovative economy one needs radical innovative ideas and action! 

Response by David Michaelis

We need to redefine WORK and its meaning. The writing of Hanna Arendt in the Human Condition might be relevant to this challenge. 

Arendt theorizes that the "human condition" is tri-partite, that is, composed of three dimensions: labor, work, and action.  To reduce the human condition to labor (as Marx did) and/or to work (as capitalism does), she argues, is to deny the fundamentally significant work that human beings can engage in, namely, action.  Understanding this, she believes, makes it possible to understand better how this allows political and economic systems to enslave human beings. 

Innovaton and Economics

Kiely Katz talks about the need to shift to a people based economy in order to maintain and sustain jobs in an innovation driven economy. A radical mindset change is needed 

A successful shift to a more sustainable employment model needs to involve significant changes in traditional mindsets, attitudes and behaviours. Embedding behaviour change is notoriously difficult. The more deeply embedded the behaviour, the more difficult to shift.

We have worked within the similar operating norm for a very long time. Work is not “life” but the thing people do to “make a living”. For 9 hours every day. Those lucky enough to be employed spend more time with their work colleagues that with their loved ones. Employers expect employees to wear a cloak of the “professional persona” during working hours. Most expect employees to stick rigidly within the confines of their role. Stepping outside these rigid “job” walls, even to share knowledge to help colleagues, is often regarded as disruptive behaviour: and thus a massive chunk of skills, knowledge and experience are kept locked firmly away to avoid upsetting the status quo. Frustrating and bad for productivity - but “that just the way things are.

A shift to a ‘people centred economy” has to start by understanding what makes people tick.

Lets look at this norm through the lens of the the way the brain is wired.

People are most receptive to change (and most productive) when they are in “reward” mode. In this mode, we do our best, most creative thinking, we are open to collaboration and feel secure enough to try new things. 

There are six key triggers to this reward state:

Respect: People feel that their opinions are valid. They feel part of decision making processes and that their voices are heard.

Certainty: When there are no unexpected surprises. As an example, Zappos make all of their live data open to everyone across the whole organisation all the time. Nothing is hidden. Everyone knows what is happening. There are no board room secrets.

Autonomy: They don’t want to be watched and micromanaged. People are most productive and most collaborative when they are trusted to do the right thing - especially as part of a community working toward a shared vision.

Connectedness: We are social creatures. We are at our best when we part of connected communities - where we feel safe to share, to give, to be involved. We are most empowered when we are connected by a shared vision or collective mission.

Fairness: People like to know how and why decisions are made. 

Empathy: Even a message saying that leadership understands that change is not easy for anyone makes an enormous difference to how change is adopted.

Check back to standard current organisational operating systems. 

Employees are expected to keep their opinions to themselves and to tow the line. Leaders see knowledge as power and keep it locked away from prying eyes. Most leaders find the idea of employee autonomy uncomfortable and most workers are accustomed to doing as they are told without question. Sharing and cross silo collaboration is not incentivised, if tolerated. Decisions are made behind closed doors and delivered with not even a nod to the people most affected by them.

The gap between organisational norms and more engaged, and therefore more sustainable, operating systems is enormous. Travelling between one and the other will involve significant change.

Therein lies the rub. 

When presented with any kind of significant change, or anything that feels different to the norm, the brain triggers a threat “fight or flight” response.  We become distracted as we try to figure out how that threat will affect us.

Faced with change, people start to see threats even where there are no threats. People are less able to focus or think clearly. Memory and decision making is impaired, the field of focus narrows. They become more emotional and stressed, which further impacts ability to perform.

Unfortunately, the threat response is contagious. When one person starts to behave in a defensive way, the people around them react to the change in their behaviour.

While we considering how to innovate employment through the use of technology, we should not underestimate the challenge of introducing and embedding organisational and systemic change. Throughout the brainstorming process we should imagine what kind of frameworks could support organisations and cities (leaders and employees) through the pain on change into a new more sustainable norm.

Access to affordable and pervasive data, neuroscience, social physics and behavioural psychology provide us with an unprecedented understanding of how humans make decisions, what drives action and how behaviour change can be “nudged.” This research should be kept front of mind as we are plotting

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Can innovation disrupt unemployment?

Today, most innovation is about helping people to spend money in meaningful ways. But in an ideal, sustainable economy, people need meaningful ways to earn money, as well—especially as the job landscape continues to change rapidly and dramatically, and certain forms of employment are either reduced or retired completely.

Luckily, innovation is the single greatest driver of job creation, and is propelling entrepreneurial companies to expand, even in a static economic climate. The Internet’s ability to match needles between haystacks enables a new labor market. Jobs may be tailored to fit each individual’s strengths and passions to the right opportunity.

Today, every second person is in the work force. Every fifth cares about their job. Human capacity is our largest underutilized resource.

6:00pm:  Registration and Refreshments
6:30pm:  Opening Remarks with Adiba Barney SVForum CEO and David Nordfors, I4J CEO
6:45pm:  Keynote Speaker: John Hagel, Center for the Edge @ Deloitte
7:00pm:  Panel Discussion, moderated by Robin Farmanfarmain, President, I4JEco Summit
7:50pm: Q&A
8:00pm:  Networking
8:30pm:  Program Concludes

Last night we had the interactive discussion outlined below.  It was rather amazing.  Robin, Dave, and John gave opening comments to set the stage.  John made excellent comments about how our mindset and institutions must innovate as well as our technology.  Robin, as always, was the most charming, supportive host.  David's comments were along the lines of underutilized human potential and how new companies are needed to utilize it.  

Vivek ripped off a long list of transformational innovations that will be increasingly disruptive and that will come at a rate society will be unable to adapt to.  

The poster child for this is driverless cars, which can eliminate between 6-10 million middle class jobs.  Uber, for example, is first creating independent agents out of the taxi business but obviously their goal is to run a fleet of driverless cars.  They will be smaller, cheeper, cleaner, and run non-stop (in-between quick charges).  The jobs go away but the value to society goes up enormously.  Curiously the car industry revenue per capita goes down for the same reason — smaller cars shared across society.  

That has been one of the themes of this group:  societal value goes up enormously and corporate value goes down.  GDP doesn’t capture this value.  

Vivek keep up this theme to remind us of the magnitude of what we are facing.  That is critically important.  Some in the audience found this highly disturbing, as they should.  

Chris was more positive about our ability to adapt and argued that these changes will take longer than suggested.  

I stuck to my normal themes:  we can do much better at innovation, US global competitiveness must improve, and educational performance is our biggest weakness.  All three of these areas are under our control and we now have examples about how major advances can be made in all three areas.  Viveck pointed out that I was just making things worse by speeding up the innovation cycle even more!  It was fun.  

David then ran a session with the audience to see how many were engaged in new companies to help people develop new skills, form new initiatives, match people up with new opportunities, etc.  It was a revelation to me that there were so many teams involved in these kinds of activities.  

radical innovation cannot be measured by economics

great thought by David Nordfors 

I believe radical innovative entrepreneurship must be difficult in economics, almost per definition.

Economics does quantitive measurement of parts of a grander narrative, for example ‘number of active job seekers’ and ’the US labor market'. It has a model of the grander narrative where it puts in the measured numbers. Then it says how the grander narrative is doing.

But radical innovation entrepreneurship isn’t about changing the numbers. It’s about changing the narrative. Radical innovation is a new way of relating, rather than just relating more to something (or less). And the narrative is a scheme of how things relate. 

In order to be able to do that, economics must work with scenarios. Projections of how the existing narrative of how things relate will perform is not relevant if some entrepreneur came along and replaced it with another narrative. When Apple presented the iPhone and the app store, that changed the narrative. If you measure old indicators applying it to the old narrative you won’t get it right. You’d for example get the impression that people stopped listening to music, because the sales of music players has dropped drastically. You’d get the impression that people find it much more important to talk on the phone, because the sales of mobile phones went up. But what actually happened is that the old narrative of the “phone” was disrupted, and there came a new one. 

Aggregates don’t explain (radical) innovation. 

The introduction of new narrative is highly non-linear. Perhaps if one can construct lots of scenarios and do a Monte Carlo or something, I don’t know. 

Should remind a bit of tracing infectious diseases but much much wilder. 

Venture Capital in Australia: Do share prices move because of quarterly profits ...

Venture Capital in Australia: Do share prices move because of quarterly profits ...: SEEKs share dips - apparently on Executive decision to invest strongly in R&D and Long Term Strategies of accessing offshore markets ...

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Esko Kilpi on the power of networks and the changing nature of firms

Esko Kilpi beautifully described the power of networks in an essay on Medium, “The Future of Firms,” reflecting on economist Ronald Coase’s theory of 20th century business organization.

 He wrote:

“The existence of high transaction costs outside firms led to the emergence of the firm as we know it, and management as we know it….The reverse side of Coase’s argument is as important: If the (transaction) costs of exchanging value in the society at large go down drastically as is happening today, the form and logic of economic and organizational entities necessarily need to change! The core firm should now be small and agile, with a large network.
The mainstream firm, as we have known it, becomes the more expensive alternative. This is something that Ronald Coase did not see coming. Accordingly, a very different kind of management is needed when coordination can be performed without intermediaries with the help of new technologies. Apps can do now what managers used to do. 
Today, we stand on the threshold of an economy where the familiar economic entities are becoming increasingly irrelevant. The Internet, and new Internet-based firms, rather than the traditional organizations, are becoming the most efficient means to create and exchange value.”

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Singapore's Success

From Mei Lin Fung 

The opportunity for everyone to have a world class education, for students of low income families  to receive generous scholarships to study at the top universities in the world, is just one of many investments in social infrastructure that has given Singapore a competitive edge in growing and keeping unemployment low even as the the world economy goes up and down.

Today 1 in 6 Singaporeans is a millionaire - this is achieved through home ownership - and as the city state has become the residence of choice for the rich and famous in Asia - the value of humble residences which 40 years ago cost from under $10,000 to about $20,000 to purchase has multiplied 50-100 fold. - The Economist 2 minute video of this is here

The health system in Singapore has one of the best outcomes while spending 4% of GDP - compared to about 10% of GDP in most developed countries and 18% of GDP in the US.

Yet Singapore struggles with disparities - while no one is left behind to starve or die of sickness on the streets - there are those who are not enjoying as many fruits of the success as others - and the government of Singapore appears to be working out how to do more balancing. 

Singapore is just an early pioneer in the digital transformation - and one institution they set up is the one Sandeep mentions, the Institute of Employment and Employability   - e2i - 

Rather than just looking to replicate Singapore, which I do not think is a good way to go - I would like to see the pioneers from around the world to share learnings and exchange ideas - no single country, no single person can work out all the answers. 

I4J can be an incredible force for good to be a Trading Post for identifying those examples of Positive Deviance  which against the odds have found pathways to progress.

Innovation, Employability and Singapore

Today Singapore celebrates its 50 years anniversary. Amazing what this small nation has achieved in very short time. Congratulations to Mei Lin Fung (i4j light house) and all other Singaporeans.

Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy has written an article for Huffinton Post that sums up the reasons for the success: 

Many countries have been of inspiration to Singapore – now it might be useful for others to look at why/how Singapore's per capita income has increased from $500 to $55,000 today, the largest increase any newly independent nation has enjoyed.

In addition to strong leadership, Singapore's success is due to "MPH": Meritocracy, Pragmatism and Honesty, according to the nations leaders. 

Unemployment is almost non-existing and today the Prime Minister in his speech proudly stated: “We have left no one behind”. 90 percent of residents living in homes they own and Singapore has one of the best educated populations.

One success element I would like to add to the well written article is: Employability. Singapore has an “Institute for Employability”. Do you know of any other nations with this kind of foresight? 

Employability can be defined as “doing value creating work, getting paid for it – and learning at the same time, enhancing the ability to get work in the future”. Maybe check out this article that I have contributed to on Wikipedia: 

The video about Employability by Johnny Boston is also relevant: 

Can i4j become the catalyst for some of the great ideas around employability?  Can we get corporations engaged in promoting employability solutions that works for the individual (and hence corporations and nations)?

Ideas, comments and questions are most welcome

Best regards


SanderMan Pte. Ltd. Singapore
Outperform Your Potential™. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Innovation is a collective Genius - Linda Hill TedX

from Curt:- 
PS Here is a remarkably insightful talk from an ethnographer!  Go figure.  

From Ivan :- 

Linda spoke really well ... Some gems that I got on innovation from the talk:-
1. Innovation rarely happens unless there is disagreement and conflict 
2. Innovation is mostly a collaborative effort and rarely a solo effort 
 3. Innovation is more about experimenting than prototyping 
4. Innovation can happen everywhere 

From Curt:- 
I was just at the business section of a book store looking through all the new books.  One of the things I first do when I pick up a business book is go to the index and look up "customer, value, value proposition,  business model, and innovation."  If those words are not entered I usually put the book down because the entire direction of the book is likely misplaced.  Most business books pretty much ignore the only reason a company does business.  In my little experiment it was only about 1 out of 5.  Amazing, no?  Everyone should be required to read Peter Drucker before they are allowed to say or write one word about innovation!  

Curtis R. Carlson, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO, Practice of Innovation
Former President and CEO of SRI International, 1998-2014

For those who've never read Drucker on innovation, here's one of his classic HBR pieces on the subject:

From Rick:-

In it, he writes, "Because innovation is both conceptual and perceptual, would-be innovators must..go out and look, ask, and listen. Successful innovators use both the right and left sides of their brains. They work out analytically what the innovation has to be to satisfy an opportunity. Then they go out and look at potential users to study their expectations, their values, and their needs."

Rick Wartzman, Executive Director
Mobile 323-896-0626


Vint Cerf, VP Google and David Nordfors, CEO IIIJ are the i4j Summit Chairs

Some say all jobs may be automated. Perhaps next thing consumption will be automated, too, and then we are really in trouble. Seriously, something does not make sense with this way of thinking.

Instead, innovation may disrupt unemployment. With a new mindset that appreciates the value of people, innovation can drive unemployment ‘out of business’. Everyone can have a good job.

It’s not that we are innovating too much. The problem is that we are trying to run the new economy in the old way. The old way is about doing more of the same, more efficiently. It’s about standardizing tasks, creating work manuals, and such things – many of them very tedious and non-rewarding. Well, that’s what machines are good at, so if this is only what the economy is about, yes – we will be losing more jobs all the time. And now we are worried, because we can’t imagine what people can do instead. So that’s what we are lacking: imagination.

It’s obvious: all people can create value for each other. There are no useless people. We ‘only’ need an economy that lets people create value. People are more enabled than ever before. The smartphone is such an amazing tool that we are surprised every day by people doing new things we just didn’t think of as something possible for people to do. Each unemployed person with a smartphone is in control of a super computer center packed with engineers, according to old norms. How can a sound economy of any sort avoid utilizing this amazing resource of empowered people? It’s not like there are too few problems for people to solve or that people stopped wanting more out of life. How about fixing the climate, eradicating disease and stopping wars, to start with? There are an infinite number of new things to do.

If we become as innovative in creating good jobs as we are in creating innovative products and services, then the innovation economy is sustainable. Today there is a product or service being developed for every possible need and desire. Can the economy develop valuable jobs for every person, letting them do something that fits them like a tailored suit, creating the highest possible value and satisfaction for everyone involved? Then there will be an infinite number of job possibilities for a limited amount of people. People will be the scarce resource, not jobs. Imagine instead of getting a job because you can do something that other people (or machines) can do, you get a job because you are special in a way that creates real value for other people. An attractive aim for the innovation economy, we think.

What could this look like? Imagine starting a company that recruits you to their service, let’s say it’s called Jobly just to give it a name. With smart technology Jobly scans your skills, your talents, your passions, your experiences, your values, your social network, and so on. Joibly finds ways of testing the market for things you can do. Perhaps you say “I would like to paint pictures but I don’t know how to earn money on it”. Well, there is a fair chance among all the billions of people on the planet there are some people who are willing to pay you. Perhaps you try that for a few weeks, then you try something else, until you decide to settle for something that feels really meaningful that you do together with people you work well with. Finding the right job is a bit like finding the right partner, isn’t it? Now, if Jobly takes a commission on what you earn, they have the incentive to make you as valuable as possible. Jobly will help you find the right courses so that you will earn better, increasing what they earn. Jobly may offer you health benefits, too, because if they have a few hundred million users, they can spread the risk, they will be your health insurance, too. You are the service they offer to their customers who buy work in order to create value. Jobly would be disrupting unemployment, tailoring jobs for the so called “unemployable”. It’s quite often that people carrying that label are among the best people we know, the ones that make us feel that something is seriously wrong with the labor market today. The ones that are amazing, only that they don’t fit the slots, so sorry, too bad.
A business model like this one is good for both the micro and the macro-economy. It is for-profit driven, maximizes the value of people and minimizes the cost of tasks. It distributes wealth, creating happier workers and wealthier customers. It seeks and creates diversification, enabling people in society to do as many different things as possible together, thereby strengthening the ability of society and economy to deal with all types of challenges. It is a model for nurturing a middle class society in the innovation economy.

The value proposition is attractive. Think about it, only a fraction of all human capacity is being used today. So many people hate their jobs, The market size for disrupting unemployment is the difference between the value created this way today and the value created by all living people, fitted with tailored jobs they are passionate about, giving one hundred percent of their capacity. This might be the greatest business opportunity ever.

So what about automation killing jobs, then? Innovation is actually a very good thing in the economy we have described, because it frees up people so that they can do other things. But it has to be combined with innovation in tools, making people able to do new things that they could NOT do before. Smartphones are great. So is software for creativity and productivity.

People with disabilities, or who have suffered severe social challenges or who have been ill, don’t have an easy time on the job market. But with the right tools they can be just as attractive as anyone else. They often have special skills that people with less challenging lives lack which can make them even more valuable. You won’t find these things in the job descriptions of listed jobs.
Or look at those who are unique in other, very special ways, for example those who say they can see auras around people. It’s not a recognized skill. A lot of scientists and other presumably rational people will say they are fakes. They are often into healing or alternative medicine which isn’t accepted by the healthcare systems. Insurance won’t cover it.

You won’t find a single job description saying “we are looking for people who can see auras”. There isn’t a big market for aura healers. In 2012 researchers found a possible explanation to seeing auras. It’s a condition called “synesthesia”, crossed wires between the senses. There are people who see colors when they hear music, often excellent musicians, such as Tori Amos or Leonard Cohen. Research suggests that people who seeauras have ‘emotional synesthesia’, their eyes see an augmented reality, colored by their feelings. This is a very valuable gift In a world where so many people are out of touch with themselves. People with emotional synesthesia will often be better at seeing when people are troubled, or spot when someone is lying, because they are emotional seismographs. They can excel in anything that requires gut feeling, which is quite a lot. They can be excellent neuropsychologists, work with improving human-computer interaction, or work with making video conferencing technology more efficient.

Almost no one knows about the 2012 research paper. Why should they? There is no incentive. Synesthesia is a very unusual gift and it’s not like aura healers are important for the economy today. You won’t see any job descriptions talking about it. This is a type of value that a company like Jobly can cultivate. Their intelligent system will be following the research and relevant discussions. They will know if you are a healer, because it’s obvious from your emails. They will notify you, saying something like “you can be very good at reading people, check out this 2012 paper and these other sources if you want to know more”. Jobly might go on asking “are you interested in working with something like building a new educational system in Country X?” because it turns out that country X, a place you like going to, is working on an anti-corruption program and are restructuring their educational system. They need people who are empathetic and can spot honest people that can be put to work with coaching kids. You already know people in country X that are involved in the project, it’s only you aren’t aware of it. They aren’t aware that you might solve their problem, and they definitely don’t know the 2012 research paper. Even if they know you are a healer, they won’t make the connection to their project. Jobly will not tell you all it knows, it needs to keep discretion, but links can be made in each case. Let’s say you are thrilled by the idea of spending some time in country X doing good work, and you are pretty excited about the 2012 paper which explained a bit more you who you are at the same time as suggesting how you might create value with it. So Jobly now gets in touch with your friends in country X, the ones working with the education system, presents them with the idea that people with emotional synesthesia might be relevant for building a corruption-free system. If they say this is something they would like to look into, Jobly lets you know, and then its up to you to get in touch. Jobly will let you know that some of your contacts might be good entry points. If you decide to go for a project together, Jobly will give you all the administrative tools you need to fix visas, taxes and so on. And 20% of the money goes to Jobly, for reinvestment in continued refinement of job and talent mining.

How big is the potential market for job innovation startups? Well, to start with, there is $100 billion in cash spent each year on unemployment insurance. Perhaps a part of that money can be used as incentive for job seekers and companies like Jobly to get going putting people’s most valuable talents into use.

But unemployment not only costs tax dollars. That’s the small part of it. Human capacity is probably the world’s most underutilized resource, the worlds largest potential market. Think about it: In an average western country, only about half of all people are in the work force. About a tenth of those are officially out of work. So there might be a doubling of GDP already there.

Next, consider this joke: A visitor is being shown around a large workplace. He asks “Who many people are working here?” His host answers “About fifty percent”. We all know it’s true. There is perhaps another doubling of GDP just there. The market for disrupting unemployment might, in principle, quadruple the GDP. Can we even imagine a larger market opportunity?

To be honest, we must also not forget: not all of the work we depend on is paid work. It’s a lot, spanning from being a good parent to community work, engaging in democracy, or developing Linux and Wikipedia. We DON’T even want this to be paid work. So disrupting unemployment means more than giving people paid jobs. It is about how we create wealth and wellbeing for everyone.