An article by Panayotis Tzinis, Pirate @Ignite Hellas, published on the Jul-Aug issue of Business Partners
For many entrepreneurs and innovators slogging away building real companies and inventions, an Innovation Ecosystem may seem abstract, remote.
We have been seeing, however, manifestations of the Big Missing Something. The financial crisis in 2008 was such a manifestation, and is keeping Greece in recession. The increasing inequality between the richest and poorest is another such manifestation. The protests of young people that started from Greece and circles the world said many different things on the surface, but they all seemed to point to some common, invisible thing underneath. There is deep discontent, and not only in Greece. Financial instability. Social inequality. Political disruption. We see footprints of this elusive, mischievous beast!
We will gather in Athens on September 20, kick starting a new conceptual approach, attempting to observe these untamed elements, to grapple with them, and to tame them. A lot must be done, deconstructed and re-constructed! Lost principles, values and interactivity should be our first priority—to scale up our growth! Culture matters. Community matters. Trust matters. Dreams matter. Values matter!
“The reason that fuzzy things matter is because they help us overcome the barriers that naturally divide us. And only when those barriers are lowered do the raw materials of innovation and economic growth – ideas, talent, capital – flow more efficiently throughout the entire system, like vitamins in an inter-linked root system.”—Victor W. Hwang
Society in Greece has vast potential and must come together with common purpose to achieve economic prosperity and growth. Innovation ecosystems, basic models that foster “social” activities and clearly state the needs and requirements of shareholders and stakeholders, must be unified and clustered to become sustainable.
“Highly productive human networks resemble natural rainforests in this way –it is not just the presence of basic ingredients; it is the recipe of serendipitous tinkering that causes the bounty.
“In Silicon Valley, a living, breathing system emerges when a trust-based, collaborative community reduces countless transaction costs in the innovation process. We need freedom from the informal social constraints caused by distrust, fear, miscommunication, and distance! Fortunately, the social networks of the future no longer need to be imprisoned in geotagged positions, as we can build overlapping social networks that traverse the boundaries of the past!”—Victor W. Hwang
If humans can define the detailed surfaces of Mars, discover the subatomic particles that create mass, surely we Greeks can understand and shape the process by which we will interact with one another productively. Greece needs freedom from constraints!
That is what we hope to achieve in Greece with Ignite: Begin an Innovation Ecosystem! In Greece there is a consistent critical mass. There is momentum for the innovator and startup community to build what will be the next Generation Innovation, even though there is fragmentation, silos distant from each other and isolated, but that, with a common understanding, can influence one another! It is time for all of us to come together and together build our future!