Today I was at the remarkable Innovation Edge 08 Conference in London that was hosted by NESTA. The line up of speakers included Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the man who invented a little thing called the World Wide Web, Sir Bob Geldof and the UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. I was very impressed by all of these, even Gordon Brown who was quite funny and didn’t try to be political. It would be definitely worth checking out some of the speeches. Perhaps the best bit was a quote that Bob Geldof read out written by an explorer called WH Murray, as follows:
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
There were a range of follow on sessions and I went to one on Climate Change and then one on Entrepreneurs vs Investors – somewhat different from each other in tone. Both were enjoyable and it was very interesting to get various perspectives on both issues which are rather important to me at the moment! I think a clear message from the day was that there is an absolutely critical need to be innovative in the way we live and work, and that there is a need to adapt our lives in recognition of some of the very big sustainability issues that exist.