The Age of Ideaship

This week, on October 3, we will officially be launching our new “laboratory for Great Ideas”, called L’Institut Idée, or just L’Institut for short. L’Institut operates in the realm of breakthrough strategy, and lies upstream from Wunderkind, which is a creative agency. L’Institut was born as a joint venture of Wunderkind, sister firm Scientific Intelligence, and Montreal agency Bleublancrouge. We came together to create this new think tank because of a shared belief system and a perceived gap in the marketplace.

Here’s our world view: Most of us have come to understand that we are no longer in the Information Age or the Knowledge Economy. Information and knowledge are commodities, readily available to everyone.

It is what one creates with that information and knowledge that matters.

Wealth and progress are driven by concepts and ideas, especially the ideas that go deeper than a mere fad, because they correspond to more profound and recurring needs in the marketplace. We call these “Great Ideas”, and they can range from a game-changing new technology or process, such as the combustion engine or Toyota’s “just in time” supply chain process, to an experiential idea that creates a new category, such as the Starbucks model, to a new kind of organizational design or innovation process, to a new way of delivering a cause and raising money such as Because I am a Girl or Kiva.

Great Ideas can shift the way we think and behave. Often, they can become intellectual property that creates wealth. Great Ideas depend on good leaders, but they also transcend those individual leaders. For Americans, while we revere such figures as Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin, the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution far transcend these individual figures and continue to play a pivotal role in how American society operates.

We’re in the Age of Ideaship. A time in human history where the mediums of cultivation and transmission of Great Ideas are exponentially greater than at any other time in human history. And there’s never been a greater need for such ideas.