Complex Ecosystems Require Co-Operation

Future of Innovation Relationships

It is becoming increasingly accepted that co-operation is more common than competition in the biological world. Dayna Baumeister and Robyn Klein have written about this multiple times and ecology research is diving deeply into how organisms “facilitate” conditions and relationships for one another. Survival of the fittest was always meant to be interpreted as the “best fit” to a particular condition, not the best at killing competition.

As the innovation landscape continues to get more and more complex, new relationships are emerging that seem counter intuitive at first glance and could be a sign of the changes to come in the future. The Green Tea Party is a real thing. It is a partnership between conservative political groups and eco-green groups. In Georgia they played a role in forcing local energy utilities to integrate more solar into the energy mix. This win is enormous as part of a broader energy shift, but the emerging relationships might be even greater. The Huffington Post states that the conservative group even went against the Koch brothers, the wealthy billionaires who were instrumental in the creation of the original Tea Party.

Scott Smith, the Changeist, has a brilliant essay on the emerging trend of “hippies and libertarians” becoming unlikely allies. This highlights to me, that as the innovation ecosystem matures it will become increasingly complex and require unique relationships to navigate pathways to change and creation of value. If that isn’t biomimicry, I’m not sure what is…

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