Innovations; yes, but what for?

 

February in France is ski-time.

For those (quite unfortunate) who couldn’t go, well there were the 2nd Square Maker salon at ‘Le Carreau du Temple’ in Paris Central, an innovative cultural and sport venue; a sort of new agora dedicated to urban way of live.

There you could mingle among drones, robots or 3D printed objects, you could try wood laser cutting, modular pianos or new internet platforms, you could join an electronic or a sewing workshop. And using high-tech new innovations to reinvent traditional chore such as fixing a hoover, or to re-engineer or recycle scrap into a 21st century modular piano seemed to make people happy. And yet indeed the salon was full, with lots of children but their dads seemed to enjoy the show too! And compared to lots of other tech. salons, there were something nice; it felt good.

But how come?

Maybe it was just the right mix.

There were technologies and new breakthrough to catch your imagination, but at the same time there were reasons to use them. And that’s what usually missing in tech. salons: a meaning.

Let’s take the drones as an example. It’s brilliant. We can now all shoot our holidays from the sky. It’s well fun. But it’s only a gadget. Now used in conjonction with cartography opensource softwares for young doctors to contribute to map malaria infested areas, like they do in the Ouagalab, then there’s a bit more depth straight away.

Or 3D printers. Combined to a scanner ‘makers’ were able to reproduce exactly a broken piece, and thus save that vacuum cleaner from being discarded and replaced by a new one.

Funnily enough we’ve bumped into this already few years ago with Bustle Music.

‘Geo-localisation of music? Great, but what for?’ was a recurrent question we got a couple of years ago. Problem: answering ‘just because we can’ is intellectually a bit short thinking. In our case this lead us to talk with a lot of people in the music industry, and it appeared that geo-localisation of music could actually trigger our ‘stream & fund’ system, by creating a ‘think globally, act locally’ dynamic.

Ouf. Bustle Music was saved.

By nature science (and technologies) won’t stop discovering new things and creating new ‘possible’. But it’s only if we lead how we use this new ‘possible’ that all those new great ideas and inventions will truly support a genuine development. And that’s really what has created that none superficial-but-deep feeling of peace and possitiveness at 2nd Square.

Not convinced? You just had to look to all those kids fixing hoovers with 3D printers; didn’t they look peacefully happy?!

Cyrille

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