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I am an incurable and persistent listener to the BBC’s World Service on radio (AM, 1323), even though the BBC is consistently anti-Israel in its reporting – doubtless, because of its millions of listeners in the Arab world.
    
The programs I find most relevant and helpful in tracking global innovation are Global Business, with Peter Day, and Culture Shock. Day travels the world and interviews innovators (recently, for instance, he visited Philips’ R&D sites in Enthoven and elsewhere). But my favorite is Culture Shock. This program tracks trends in global culture.

For instance, a recent program segment titled “For Better or Worse” interviewed Prof. Clay Shirky from New York University, who related  how mobile phones and the internet are fundamentally changing the way people organize themselves in single-interest groups – and why this might be bad. In the segment “Preserved in Rice”, Richard Kimber described a trend from Japan where new technology and traditional gift-giving culture have produced unique mementoes for parents and grandparents: customized bags of rice each of which is exactly the same weight as the new born was on his or her Day 1.

If you believe, as I do, that innovation is NOT about technology, but rather about lifestyle, in turn deeply embedded in culture – then listening to Culture Shock is a must. It opens a window on cultural trends that we might miss otherwise.

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Blog entries written by Prof. Shlomo Maital

Shlomo Maital
April 2008
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