It was in Lisbon in 2022, when for the first time the BOLD COMMUNITY sat down and in a workshop outlined that today’s professional world needs “genuinely new approaches that begin from the assumption that the future must be different from what we can know and imagine”. In this spirit, the community sat down again and talked about what innovation can be, what it needs to be. And what it needs from us. We are happy to introduce you
to our second BOLD PAPER, the result of an intensive research and workshop in Austin, Texas.
HOW TO GO ON?
1. First, “we” must equitably make the “we”:
We cannot begin by assuming who the “we” is – the collective must be made and made in an equitable manner. Far too often it is imagined that not only we can speak for others – but we also know who the others are. This is the first creative challenge: who does the collective consist of? And how do we collectively make an equitable collective that has the agency to co-evolve and co-emerge with multiple different novel futures?
2. Develop And Work With Emergent Processes:
Experimenting beyond what we know involves following and experimenting with emergent newness. Our experiments can go beyond the known if we develop new processes that probe dynamic systems into revealing new possibilities that can be followed and stabilized into something paradigmatically different. These new processes will also need to be made in collaborative and equitable ways of being alive — in short new worlds.
3. We And The Novel Outcomes Will Co-Emerge With The Process:
Emergent processes do not simply lead to new outcomes that we can claim to be distinct and unaffected by – the dynamics of experimental processes change us, as well as what we are exploring. Radical innovation is a co-evolutionary process that changes us and our world – this is as much social as it is technological.
4. Favor Headings Over Plans:
The key to moving beyond the patterns and limits of knowing and the imag- ination is to favor a general heading or horizon as that which one is aiming towards, rather than a specific plan that everyone must carry out. This general “horizon”, when collectively equitably developed, orientates efforts while allowing diverse experimentation to proceed. Such an approach will allow novelty to emerge and diverse distinct communities to learn, pivot and adapt in novel dynamic manners to multiple unforeseeable emergent creative opportunities via unique self-generated processes.
5. We Are In The Business Of Inventing New Worlds:
The radical experimentation we are calling for involves the development of a new that is not a continuation, improvement or variation of what is known — but something qualitatively different. We need to be in the business of collaboratively and equitably inventing paradigm shifts and diverse new ways of being alive — in short new worlds.
6. We Need To Both Learn From The Past And Critically Refuse Habits, Practices And Assumptions From The Past:
There is a paradox at the heart of radical change: The new will not emerge if we do not actively refuse the old, but without learning from the old we open ourselves to repeating errors of the past – and additionally we run the risk of losing sight of how our current knowledge “stands on the shoulders of giants.” Refusing the old is thus an ongoing critical and creative practice of disclosing the deep seated patterns and habits of the past and skillfully blocking/refusing these within every concrete experimental situation – while simultaneously standing on the shoulder of giants – a paradox indeed.
7. Innovation Involves The Invention Of Creative Constraints:
Innovation requires more than the blocking of the old rules, it involves the development of new generative rules, enabling constraints and productive limits. These happen at the level of concepts, practices, environments, materials and tools. Limits are creative and the right limits (blockages)
are radically creative.
8. The Unexpected And The Unintended Are The Greatest Source Of Creativity:
Everything pushed into a new context harbors novel unintended possibilities. Here experimentation becomes critical — such possibilities emerge only in action. The unintended emerges most forcefully when the known is constrained. Iterating and following the unintended opens up qualitatively novel pathways that allow for novel paradigms to emerge.