Public lecture by Professor Muirhead, CEO of Eidos (05/11/09)
Background: Eidos is a research institute and public policy think tank that focuses on human capital development to reduce the growing gap within the knowledge economy. A big question facing us all is how do we bring the best skills to bear on the big issues that face organisations, government and civil society in ways that build core business and relevance in the knowledge economies.
Creative approaches are needed to be successful in the new Information Society environment. The impact of new and emerging information technologies is clearly demonstrating that segmented approaches within traditional disciplines and societal sectors are insufficient by themselves to be effective in addressing the main socio-economic problems we all face. Collaborations and economies of scale across Education, Government, Business and Civil Society that can react in meaningful ways to target specific high priority societal issues offer much promise.
However, establishing and managing these collaborations in ways that harness the best skills within encompassing new paradigms that recognise and valorise existing organisational positions and structures is crucial to developing effective approaches. Universities, governments, civil society and business are increasingly seeking well considered and independent work that can underpin policy development, service delivery and evaluation in addressing the hard issues. Eidos has developed a successful approach to this landscape; one that is emerging as a powerful attractant and influencer in Australia and internationally and one which may have application in South Africa.
Social networks shift us from monologue to dialogue
“Today I'm going to tell you a story and leave it at that…” (I like the idea of presentations being stories, rather than presenting dry facts. Most presentations are boring, but stories can be great ways of conveying ideas in an interesting way)
“Constellation of capital”:
The greatest universities work across local and international boundaries
Education is about investing resources in people
Aggregation allows you to scale
Good collaboration is dependent on:
Legal / traditional architecture is important for long term sustainability, but there has to also be an entrepreneurial side
What keeps a network together?
Is there a scarcity of human capital in higher education in South Africa? Is it looming? How can we tell? What percentage of our educators are over 45? What will happen when they leave? How can they influence the future when they won't be there?
Citizens must be involved in policy development (students must be involved in curriculum development)
“Becoming part of a narrative”
“Boundary spanners” see the opportunities and can connect people to resources. They will be important in a future of collaboration