Author Archives: Scott Bowden

Innovation Doubts

One of the first concepts I learned in a university course on statistics was not about regression analysis or significance of results but, rather, on the importance of doubt. Our professor drilled home the point that no matter how large our dataset and how clever our hypothesis, our results should always be presented using language such as “suggests” or “points ...

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A Shining Light of Innovation in the Syrian Civil War

A Shining Light of Innovation in the Syrian Civil War

Innovation practitioners sometimes complain about the interruptions of daily life that make our jobs of developing creative new ideas challenging.  We bemoan full inboxes of emails arriving daily or a calendar stacked with back-to-back meetings with no time available to think deep (and hopefully great) thoughts about whatever problems we are trying to solve.  We complain about the traffic jams ...

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Learning Innovation from Leonardo Da Vinci

This article focuses on a series of observations about Leonardo’s work and applies those to the challenges of the present-day innovator. When one thinks of Leonardo da Vinci and innovation, the typical picture that emerges would be some of Leonardo’s amazing designs for flying machines, military equipment, or even the Vitruvian Man, perhaps the most famous drawing in history.  I ...

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7 Days Sans Voiture for Innovation

7 Days Sans Voiture for Innovation

One of the activities I undertake to force my brain to step outside of any regular patterns is to listen to an internet stream of an all-news French radio station, known as FranceInfo. I lived in Aix-en-Provence, France, in 1991 and FranceInfo was my favorite local station. I recently heard an interview with a French government official discussing an upcoming ...

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Innovation from the Summer of 1927 – Part II

This is the second in a series of articles based on Bill Bryson’s One Summer: America, 1927, which takes a whirlwind tour through a series of major events that occurred in the summer of 1927.  Bryson relays the story of the architect Harvey W. Corbett, whose ambitions were larger than physics would permit.  Corbett, Bryson notes, “predicted that skyscrapers would ...

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Innovation from the Summer of 1927 – Part I

As the summer of 2016 draws to a close after Labor Day weekend, I’d like to reflect back on an amazing summer nearly 90 years ago. Bill Bryson’s One Summer: America, 1927 takes a whirlwind tour through a series of major events that occurred in the summer of 1927 which saw events ranging from Charles Lindbergh’s flight across the Atlantic ...

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Innovations of the Incas – Part II

Innovations of the Incas – Part I

I recently wrote about innovation lessons from the Inca citadel at Machu Picchu in Peru.  This article focuses on other Incan innovations from Machu Picchu and elsewhere in Peru.  As mentioned in the previous article, some scholars believe that the purpose of the site at Machu Picchu was to serve as a research station for the Incas as they expanded their ...

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Innovations of the Incas – Part I

Innovations of the Incas – Part I

This is the first in a series of two articles on innovation of the Inca civilization.  One of the best-known Inca sites is the mountaintop citadel of Machu Picchu.  The site is breathtaking in its location, with steep slopes rising from the Urubamba River and huge mountain peaks all around.  Some visitors consider it a highly spiritual place, sensing energy ...

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SPQR Innovation

Modern travelers in Rome sometimes notice the abbreviation “SPQR” in various places throughout the city, such as manhole covers.  Students of Latin know that this stands for Senatus Populusque Romanus, which translates to “The Senate and the Roman People.”  This phrase represents the government of the ancient Roman Empire and continues to this day to serve as a symbol of ...

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