The New York Times has a thoughtful piece today on Model T hacking — which kicked off the modern sport of customizing, bending, modding and otherwise repurposing a commercial item for unintended-by-the-manufacturer uses. As Steve Lohr writes: The early Model T hackers were really pioneers in a realm of creative activity that academics call “user […]Continue reading
Why you should listen
Charles Leadbeater's theories on innovation have compelled some of the world's largest organizations to rethink their strategies. A financial journalist turned innovation consultant (for clients ranging from the British government to Microsoft), Leadbeater noticed the rise of "pro-ams" -- passionate amateurs who act like professionals, making breakthrough discoveries in many fields, from software to astronomy to kite-surfing. His 2004 essay "The Pro-Am Revolution" -- which The New York Times called one of the year's biggest global ideas -- highlighted the rise of this new breed of amateur.
Prominent examples range from the mountain bike to the open-source operating system Linux, from Wikipedia to the Jubilee 2000 campaign, which helped persuade Western nations to cancel more than $30 billion in third-world debt. In his upcoming book, We-Think, Leadbeater explores how this emerging culture of mass creativity and participation could reshape companies and governments. A business reporter by training, he was previously an editor for the Financial Times, and later, The Independent, where, with Helen Fielding, he developed the "Bridget Jones' Diary" column. Currently, he is researching for Atlas of Ideas, a program that is mapping changes in the global geography of science and innovation.
What others say
“Charles Leadbeater is an extraordinarily interesting thinker. His book asks critical questions. I know it will be widely read and debated.” — Tony Blair
Charles Leadbeater’s TED talks
Charles Leadbeater on the TED Blog
Four of the speakers that participated in the first TEDGLOBAL in Oxford (July 2005) have all published new books recently. Former Afghani minister and head of Kabul University Ashraf Ghani (watch his TEDtalk), together with Clare Lockhart, has penned “Fixing Failed States: A Framework For Rebuilding A Fractured World“. They discuss the “between forty and […]Continue reading
In this deceptively casual talk, Charles Leadbeater weaves a tight argument that innovation isn’t just for professionals anymore. Passionate amateurs, using new tools, are creating products and paradigms that companies can’t. Get TED delivered:Subscribe to the TEDTalks video podcast via RSS >>Subscribe to the iTunes video podcastSubscribe to the iTunes audio podcastGet updates via Twitter […]Continue reading