The transformative and creative power of walking. Walking as co-becoming with the world

© M.Peschl

„Rather, it seems that I become my walking, and that my walking walks me… And with every step I am not so much changed as modified, in the sense not of transition from one state to another but of perpetual renewal. I am indeed a different person when I arrive… Walking is itself a habit of thinking. This thinking is not however an inside-the-head, but the work of a mind that, in its deliberations, freely mingles with the body and the world… I do not so much think while walking as think in walking… Perhaps the meditative power of walking lies in precisely this: that it gives thought room to breathe, to let the world in on its reflections. But by the same token, to be open to the world we must also surrender something of our agency. We must become responsive beings.“ (Ingold 2017, p 23)

Walking is not just moving from one place to another. Tim Ingold offers a perspective on this activity from the inside out by relating it to a habit of thinking, and even more, to an existential dimension. Cognition, no longer understood as capacity bound to the brain only, is embodied, embedded, and extended. In the activity of walking it enacts our mind (and body) through engaging in a relationship of correspondence with the world. We co-become with the world and the world is transforming us, enabling renewal and re-generation. The world becomes a source of novelty for us.
In the context of innovation and future-oriented work, we might think of walking as an activity of exposing ourselves to and engaging with the creativity of the world by giving our minds room (and time) to breath the fresh air of novelty. Surrendering parts of our agency and projections from past experiences proves key in this endeavor. Correspondence with the world means responsiveness to emerging future potentials.

Ingold, T. (2017). Anthropology and/as education. Oxon, New York: Routledge.

How the future can drive innovation | Markus F. Peschl | TEDx Med Uni Graz

TEDx talk by Markus F. Peschl: How the future can drive innovation (April 1, 2022)

Innovation entails anticipating and shaping the future.

Why is it that most innovations are not so much about the future, but about extrapolating the past and coming up with more of the (almost) same? Taking a closer look at our cognitive capacities reveals that our mind has great difficulties dealing with a future that is highly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (i.e., today’s VUCA world).

This TEDx talk shows how assuming a radically future-oriented perspective will change the game. It is about actively engaging with future potentials and co-creating thriving innovations by making use of an unfolding future.

This talk was given at the TEDx Med Uni Graz event (April 1, 2022)  | #TEDxMedUniGraz #innovation #perspective # neuroscience

Innovation vs. disruption: Shifting our focus from disrupting markets to creating them

Greg Satell shows in a recent post why it is necessary to rethink our obsession with disruptive innovation and replace it with a mindset of profound innovation. Such a shift is based on value creation for “real” human needs as well as on scientific knowledge rather than on a strategy of disrupting existing markets by increasing returns of a few large companies with almost no increase of productivity.


Amazon: Reinventing retail?

Amazon is a huge lab for retail. It is perfect in making high impact experiments in the field and follows an explorative mindset when it comes to finding new opportunities to sell all sorts of goods. Amazon’s job is “to get you the thing”, not to be a website, so what are the best ways to do it? By doing that it does not even hesitate to go into physical retail. It does not follow an ideology of “internet-only” and even tries out things that have been done before – bringing about interesting results.

The real challenge Amazon is facing: Can it work out how to let us shop rather than just buy?


On Frictionlessness

Frictionless experience has become a requirement—even more so in times of COVID-19. What is frictionlessness actually about?

It turns out that when one removes friction from a system, process, business, organization, experience, etc., you offer your users what is almost the most valuable and nonrenewable/unique for them: time.

Friction is what costs you (time); frictionlessness is priceless.

Dancing with systems in unpredictable complex situations

What can we learn from  COVID-19 crisis and almost every other bigger crisis?
We are not in control, at least not to such a degree as we have thought.

The solution is not despair or fight against something that can be barely changed, but to assume a humble and open attitude, to try to “dance with the system”.

Have a look at Donella Meadows´ really inspiring ideas about dealing with complex unpredictable systems by way of “dancing with the system”

Towards a culture of flourishing. Reflections on designing our complex future with machines, exponentiality, and singularity

How should we design our futures? What is the role of technology, and, more specifically, of Artificial Intelligence and cognitive technologies in this context?

In his manifesto “Resisting Reduction”, Joichi Ito points us a way—not blindly following the “new religion” of singularity and exponentiality—into a future that is taking seriously the insights from complex adaptive systems and second-order cybernetics. He describes how we can transform complex, self-adaptive systems by intervening not primarily with a strategy of problem solving and optimizing, but by following a more organic and evolutionary approach aiming at regulating growth, increasing diversity and complexity, and enhancing the system´s  own resilience, adaptability, and sustainability. It turns out that changing parameters or even rules is not nearly as powerful as changing the system’s purpose, goals, and paradigms, if we want to engage in creating a culture of flourishing.