TED Conversations

Scott Townsend

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Just like an incubator . . . but completely different.

There’s a big question that should be burning a hole in everyone’s head. Never before in history have so many people had so much knowledge and so much technology to make things happen. Yet never in history has the gap rich and poor been so vast and so vicious or the world so chaotic. What’s going on? With all we have, with all we know and with all we can do, why is the world in such a bad way?

I've been thinking that the answer is in how we harness, channel and direct creative energy. Think about this: the traditional structures for putting creativity to work - innovation centres, think tanks, creative agencies . . . are all built on structures designed primarily to generate revenue. Now that’s fine, we love money just as much as anyone else. But the problem is that you end up with a structure designed to do one thing (make money) and use it for something different (build creative change for good).

Now think back to the old artists collective or the studio model. A co-operative model where a group of highly passionate, highly skilled individuals would share a physical space and resources and feed off each others talents, abilities and “networks” to push the creative envelope to place nobody had ever thought of. These were the most creative places in the history of our species. They changed the world. For good.

A Tech Hatchery would use that model to bring creativity into the world of technology and business to change things for good. It’s different to an incubator. It's a way of tapping into an ocean of gifted, talented individuals who are out there beavering away in obscurity, waiting (or not) to be discovered. They’re passionate, they’re unique and they’re amazing. A T.H. would connect these people through an online framework, bringing them together in true communities, sharing physical work / learning / creating spaces, resources and infrastructures. Network? Perhaps. Playground? Absolutely. Think about it.

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    Nov 23 2012: "...never in history has the gap rich and poor been so vast and so vicious..."

    This is very simply not true. Did you consider the nineteenth century, or the middle ages? This sounds to me suspiciously like a bait statement to set up your biased point of view. The truth is that the gap has, in fact, been closing.

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