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There be Ecosystems Yonder...

Industrial corporations are waking up to the opportunities flowering across city Universities and Science Parks. When creative functions (people) in corporations collide with Research, Start-ups and Scale-ups gravitating around cities, then a wave of nutrients can flood the fertile plain of potentiality, providing a burst of energy helping to kick-start growth.

Try "stepping out of the building" for long periods of time and fill your senses with the possibilities spinning out of these emerging ecosystems. Opening up the aperture of opportunity requires stepping out of the traditional mindset of short term incentives and matrix-driven frictions.

Conceptualising and capitalising on business growth opportunities often requires stepping out of the organisation chart to go and see what is going on, often just across the street. Or across the country. Many corporations suffer from "capital city syndrome" where they assume that all of the "market" required to sustain their growth targets sits within the capital city ring road of a given country or region. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Given the laws of digitisation, dematerialisation and democratisation, universities and science parks across diverse regions are tapped into global food chains of nutritious innovation and are often the fulcrum of deceptive growth. But visualising this can be complex given the immediate pressures on businesses.

The ability to make new things, or think of new ideas requires a combinational approach across multiple organisations. Corporations can bring technical and R&D resources as well as sales channels to boost ideas spinning out of universities and start-up hubs. Those same universities and start-ups, unconstrained by the frictions that affect large corporates, bring ideas, experiments and business model designs and expose the corporates to a torrent of new market opportunities. Getting out of ones own way is naturally part of the puzzle.

Like Generative Design concepts, when you are no longer constrained by historical assumptions of manufacturing or productivity, vast vistas of growth come into view. Generative design techniques allow designers and engineers to enter design goals coupled with parameters such as materials, manufacturing methods, cost & resource constraints, and then let the algorithm loose on offering up the optimum design(s). Combined with 3D printing capabilities and the ability for the system to design, build, test and loop back results into its own design process, gives the designer and manufacturer an exponential number of options compared to traditional methods.

What if we could use generative design techniques to optimise ecosystem and individual organisational designs? What if we could feed into the algorithms all existing organisational design points, targets, incentives, resources and expected outputs...and see what happens? What if we fed all organisation charts, spreadsheets, meetings, sales targets, matrices, emails with cc lists, partnerships, local and international institutional alliances and historical assumptions into the generative design engine?

Visualising and manipulating these results using Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality (AR/VR) techniques and allowing the organisational or ecosystem designer to comprehend and simulate organisational structures and interactions with emerging ecosystems would take a lot of guess work out of investment decisions across the spectrum of human interaction. What if we brought to organisational and ecosystem design the same level of capability as we see across manufacturing?

By combining techniques borrowed from manufacturing and design disciplines with AR/VR and business model design based on digital platforms, one can forsee the emergence of a new organisational engineering skill-set; the Generative Organisational Designer.

How best to take advantage of these evolving ecosystems to simultaneously contribute and profit from what is going on? Universities with multi-talented scientific, engineering and business faculties are well placed to investigate how fusing modern manufacturing techniques with business model design using AR/VR capabilities, can help ecosystems optimise themselves.

Lets modernise ecosystem design and throw in a bit of science...

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