LIFT @ Austria, day 1 – part 1

Notes from the first Lift @ Austria conference from 19. to 20. March 2010 in Vienna, Austria.


After a bus tour through various enabling and open spaces in Vienna at the day preceding the conference (detailed program at Lift @ Austria program page), the first day of the regular Lift @ Austria conference started with five framing talks to give impulses for thoughts and discussion about the topic “enable”.

The abstracts of all these talks can be read at the Lift @ Austria speakers page.

Pictures of the speaker are either shot by myself or taken from the website of the conference.


Marcus F. PeschlUniversity of Vienna

Enabling – introduction

Trends to mechanise innovation and the desire to create new knowledge end up in a contradiction – as this just makes the implicit rules visible

Alternatives: enabling

  • facilitating framework
  • leave behind the “regime of control”
  • only moderation – give up the control

Important for such an approach

  • openness & the ability to reflect
  • listening and observing (weak signals & details)
  • wait & let come

Overall, a new humbleness and alternative attitudes and values with an application and mening for various contexts, domains and disciplines are required

The conference itself is an enabling space

  • location
  • design
  • frame (bus tour, talks)
  • concepts (workshops)
  • documentation


Stefan WiltschnigCopenhagen Business School, Denmark

Enabling creative processes as framing between openness and rigidity

Concept of enabling in the context of creative processes / profound innovation

  • “insight” – seeing something and acting on it, new viewpoint
  • European / Greek vs. Chinese perspective of innovation: forcing vs. non-interventionist


  • constraints limiting, but also being a prerequisite for (= framing) creativity
  • Openness between relaxing and “lost in space”
  • enabling takes place somewhere between these extremes

Enabling attitude, process, “art of hosting”, spacing & staging

Bruno Latour – cautious Prometheus

  • drawing things together


Michel BauwensPeer to Peer Foundation, Chiang Mai, Thailand

An integrative approach to enabling open infrastructures

Currently: deep revolution of human productivity

  • peer production
  • voluntary work
  • sharing
  • filtering fear and greed as motivations for work

Old company model is in deep danger, new models appearing

  • freemium
  • open source – pay for service, not for intellectual rights
  • exchanging – e.g. couchsurfing
  • sharing economy – working on a common object
  • crowdsourcing

What’s wrong with our society?

  • belief in a system of infinite growth
  • artificial scarcity to promote innovation
  • products are not built to last, but to break down to encourage more consumption


  • open source car factories
  • sustainable design
  • open infrastructures

Different levels of change we go through

  1. Revolution in our value system (transparency, sharing, openness, people don’t trust institutions but each other)
  2. Enablers of openness emerge (social charta: open definitions, open access, open standards, …)
  3. Infrastructures of openness (global villages, barcamps, social lending; e.g.: Arduino, eCars – now, product hacking)
  4. Practices of openness (free & open source software, open hardware)
  5. Domains of openness (open education, open politics, open science, open spirituality, open business)
  6. Products of openness (open journals, open courseware)
  7. Open movements (Appropedia, open materials, social movements)
    We have to be smarter than what we replace
    We need a system that makes innovation flow in the whole community
    Top down & bottom up reconfigure themselves
  8. Open consciousness – people being changed

An extensive repository of initiatives mentioned above can be found at the P2P Foundation wiki.


Silja GraupeAlanus University of Arts and Social Sciences, Germany

And the Ruler of the Central Sea was “Chaos” – Cherishing Chaos from Asian Perspectives

Uncovering assumptions of our own worldview

Discovering assumptions of the Asian worldview

  • space vs. ba
  • Asia: people’s attributes are not definite, but defined by the circumstances

Order determines space vs. order never underlies ba, but can arise from it

Where does “the new” come from?

  • Western worldview – creator is independent from his creation, institutions enforce order, change is planned from “outside”, master plac
  • Asian worldview – change is inherent in ba, everybody is involved, innovation before creativity, self-transformation

Radical innovation drivers

  • Western worldview – knowledge, skills, incentives, constraints; is radical change even possible?
  • Asian worldview – context, process, long term commitment, relationships, communication


Florian BrodyCimbal Inc., CA, USA

Enabling the Right Mindset

Enable yourself

  • Innovation and progress come from the work you do, not from an “innovative process”
  • Find the permanent core values and the values which change
  • Not just thinking outside the box, we have to get rid of the box

Accomplish more by doing less – Marc Lesser

Silja Graupe: It’s more like a fly bumping against the window – we can’t even see the box

Business models for doing less – Bad Blumauer Manifest

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LIFT @ Austria, day 1 – part 1
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