Peripheral Vision at Venturefest

I went to Venturefest on Monday for the first time. The event was packed, had a good buzz and it really struck me how well networked places like Oxford/Oxfordshire really are.

As a relative outsider I enjoyed presenting on the theme of open innovation to a packed and rather warm room. My general argument was built on several themes I’ve blogged about before (here, here and here) around how most organisations are support innovation in terms of ‘invention’ but increasingly need to develop their ‘search’ capabilities. As specific examples of this trend I cited three projects with P&G, Virgin and Oracle, and how they are finding new ways to collaborate with their customers, supplier and clients.

The overarching premise is simply that the solutions to most, if not all of our problems are already out there so we need to be better at finding them. In the words of the late, great JG Ballard:

“The future reveals itself through the peripheral” 


  1. A very interesting presentation. It brought to mind the argument for greater porousness amongst organizations for the purposes of collaboration and innovation. This was something discussed by AnnaLe Saxenian in her piece, “Silicon Valley and Route 128: Regional prototypes or historic exceptions?” which I found during my research on collaborative innovation.

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