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The Economics
of Innovation

TEDx Brussels 2013

Article by Andreea Hirica

When looking for patterns in European macroeconomics, microeconomic traits, or international inventions that Europe explores, TEDxBrussels is the research landmark not to be missed. With one of the biggest live audiences of all TEDx events in the world, during the last five years the event brought an eclectic mix of thought-provoking minds clustered together in a constellation of breakthrough concepts at the forefront of innovation.

the 2012 event aggregated Bits Atoms Neurons and Genes , 2013 features the DIY movment as the new manufacturing business model; with 3D printing as industry norm. Humanity will now be able to 3D print “ex nihilo” hardware and spare parts directly in space, grow hamburgersin its own kitchen, grow its own night light.. And may be even DIY celebrities cells in a not so distant future (see below).

Letter from Woody Allen to Professor Mumbaerts, on the subject of cells cloning. Credit @vangeest

Last year, the DIY trend had already revealed a sneak pick into the future through empowering concepts such as: “We are all Designers” (Yasaman Sheri) “We are all Reporters” (Xavier Damman) “We are all Creatives” (Peter Jansen) “We are all Artists” (Seth Godin ).

“Ex Nihilo”

Niels ‘Shoe’ Meulman live performance

This year, however, the focus shifted sharply from pure creativity to science. As if in 2014, the technological and economical innovative business models are expected more from science than art alone. And much more from the DIY paradigm of “getting down and dirty” with blending together multiple sciences, arts and crafts.

Value creation in the DIY economy

As the Open Source already did, the DIY movement is about to alter the very fabrics of macroeconomic patterns, to the more localized “cells” of regional economies, to microeconomics (consumer behavior) and up to the microscopic level: the individual. What can consumer’s DIY business model be? “If I can DIY everything at all times, how will I invest my limited resource - time - best?” Which thinking model is the consumer going to employ when discerning and selecting what he or she is going to DIY, and what is going to outsource? Thanks to the rising DIY movement made possible by the Internet, by crowd-sourcing and last but not least, by the new ways of manufacturing (3D printing), we are now on the brink of seeing more and more differentiating, eclectic and constantly changing individual business models.

A TEDx Event. Much likely ending in question marks,
rather than full stops

Where and how does the DIY movement create unique, added value? Where does it make it redundant? How are business models shifted under its reigns? How are the current DIY science entrepreneurs riding its wave?

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