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Context

The impetus for this project began about six months after the closure of the initial ThoughtKite code school on Yonge Street. Around July 2016, I started reading heavily into the broad area of Neo-Schumpeterian / Evolutionary Economics after an initial exposure to Carlota Perez. The failure of the code school prompted me to look more deeply into the intersection between technology and society. Beyond what can be called “the entrepreneurship and startup thought realm” – books and blogs that most individuals in the startup arena read – which I have regularly kept up-to-date with, the two core nodes from which most of my readings stemmed from are: (1) Carlota Perez along with the nexus of SPRU researchers, and (2) Erik S. Reinert. From these two core authors, I explored chain upon chain of research papers and books which they cited. One book led to a paper which led to another paper and then another book etc.

I have 21 notebooks, of varying sizes, filled with notes from July 2016 to January 2017 – a period of intensive reading, which I’m presently continuing in the direction of at a less intense pace. I only realized recently that a wiki would be an ideal format for capturing the model that was slowly emerging from the notes. Trying to capture the model on scaffold paper was sufficient for initial explorations but I needed a dynamic way to show the links between concepts and categories (not to mention that the notebooks were growing too numerous).

One aspect worth noting is that I was developing an individual theory of technology – an –ology of technology – when I started to see the core role that it played. Through all of my readings – combined with my experience – it was as if all the arrows were pointing back to technology, when thinking about the economy and society. I only stumbled upon W. Brian Arthur’s The Nature of Technology recently and it looks like I was slowly building up to his framework, though with different terms. For instance, I was consistently using “tools” and “techniques” in my notes to describe the twin aspects of technology, whereas Arthur prefers “devices” and “methods.” His model is robust and I will be synthesizing my raw thoughts on technology along with his framework.

Finally, in terms of the scope of this project, I eventually want to arrive at a concise framework that I can open source – I consider this innovating upon the infrastructure of innovation. However, I’m unsure how much time I can devote to this given that this is purely a passion project of mine. What I can guarantee is that I will devote a significant portion of my free time to this – I am truly enthralled by the subject matter. Moreover, at some point, I will compile the notes from my 21 notebooks into this wiki to help document the evolution of thought.

-IGK