Are we doomed?

Pretty much so according to this article in the New Scientist. I am blogging about this not because the future of the human race is part of NESTA’s remit (it’s not) but because of NESTA Connect’s interest in putting together large innovative networks.  New work in complexity theory suggests that the more complex a system is the more it is prone to instability and collapse (Just look at what one oil refinery strike in Scotland is capable of if you doubt it).  If we are trying to build complex on line systems for innovation this is a watchout – will they be more vulnerable than tried and tested ways of innovating?  One last sobering thought.  This article quotes Joseph Tainter, an archaeologist from Utah: " I sometimes think of [technology] as a faith-based approach to the future" he says, and the article concludes that innovation might be subject to diminishing returns or perhaps absolute limits governed by our resources, the complexity of our systems and a desire for growth at all costs.   


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