NEW YORK TIMES | Technologies have become more highly sophisticated than they were during Jane Jacobs time. And “smart technologies” such as smart power grids, cyber security and intelligent traffic and surveillance systems are being further developed to make our cities “smarter.” Yet New York Times op-ed columnist Greg Lindsey considers, the smartest cities are the ones that embrace openness, randomness and serendipity, as Jane Jacobs herself observed. Can these characteristics be replicated by technology? Researchers seem to think so.


To Cultivate Innovation, Work like an Artist


INNOVATION EXCELLENCE | Innovation calls for so much more than just hard work, Michael Hugos explains to Innovation Excellence. Artists have a lot to teach us about how to cultivate new ideas. Artists describe that ideas “come” to them from outside of themselves and what they do is give form to those ideas. Hugos describes four basic practices that the innovative business person learn from artists: immerse yourself, collaborate frequently, tolerate uncertainty, and look for simple patterns.


Taking things into our own hands


RE/CREATING TAMPA | We are in the middle of a manufacturing revolution, Re/ explains. “For those involved in this revolution, and those who watch culture along the fringes, this is old news. Mainstream America and policy makers, however, seem to be completely unaware of the revolution taking place… As long as this manufacturing revolution stays on the fringes it will have little economic impact. If we can harness it, support it, incubate it, we have the possibility of generating an economic boom akin to the Internet economy of the 1990s.”


Intersection for the Arts advances the Paradigm

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Intersection for the Arts and Forest City Development have forged a unique partnership rooted in a shared belief that art and creativity realized through meaningful, inclusive, and collaborative places fuels vibrancy and facilitates positive change. We believe that innovation is social. The change the world needs now happens when we are outside of our silohs - colliding with complex experiences, grappling with new metaphors, learning to participate in new worlds, understanding people who are different than us, having to find new ways to communicate and problem solve.


Funding winning social enterprise ideas in chocolate, points, and poop

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Three “social enterprises” from the first cohort of the Hub’s Accelerator Program, Hub Ventures, have been selected by their peers to receive $75,000 each in seed funding.  “Social enterprises” consider impact on people and planet along with the creation of profit as markers of business success. The winning and world-saving use chocolate, points, and poop (yes, poop!)


Campaign for 100% Local

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BAY CITIZEN | SFMade has a few talking points in this interesting article about the growing movement for locally made apparel in the Bay Citizen “In California, Campaign for Clothes 100% Local“, published on July 7th, 2011.


New Business opportunities are based on Shared Value

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HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW | “Business needs to create shared value,” HBR explains. But shared value is not about personal values, nor is it about sharing through redistribution the value that companies have created. It is about expanding the pool of economic and social value; recognizing that societal needs, not just conventional economic needs, define markets. Shared value creation focuses on identifying and expanding the connections between societal and economic progress. Shared value allows business to meet customer and societies’ demands, while preserving the societal and ecological environments that allow them to flourish.


Exploring the world of industrial maker culture

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BOLD ITALIC | Dennis Yang ventures away from his world of HTML coding into the “real-world” of making things with his hands - and a industrial-sized laser cutter. The result? Wonderment, awe, a pint glass with his bother’s face etched in the side,  and a new perspective on the world.  “Every surface becomes ripe with opportunity,” he remarks. A laser-cutting opportunity in this case, but an eye for opportunity none the less.


Clinton recognizes Urban Manufacturing Alliance

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With support for local manufacturing gaining momentum across the country, SFMade’s executive director Kate Sofis (pictured left) was a key participant at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America conference in Chicago this week, where she announced the launch of the Urban Manufacturing Alliance, an initiative to form a national network of regional manufacturing efforts across major US cities, beginning with San Francisco and New York City.


The democratization of making and design

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WIRED MAGAZINE | AutoDesk and Techshop both want people to make things. And their partnership makes ‘making’ that much more easy and accessible for all. Know best for AutoCAD product, AutoDesk released a new product 123D, a free downloadable design tool that allows anyone to design 3-D models and build an entry level skills to graduate onto the more sophisticated AutoCAD. Techshop, a member-based DIY workshop, gives people access to over $750,000 worth of tools to make their ideas into reality. Autodesk is partnering with Techshop to have the new 123D software available in all Techshop locations.