Leif Edvinsson

Professor, University of Lund, Sweden

Future knowledge societies are in an accelerating, exponential dynamic. Is it chaos or is there an intelligence pattern to be observed? An emerging approach was shared by the founder of VISA, Dee W. Hock, who labeled this evolution ‘Birth of the chaordic age’, based on his experiences from developing the global networked enterprise, VISA.

I started to see this as a knowledge navigation system, with a focus on position, direction, and speed. And some decades ago, we developed the holistic platform, the Skandia Navigator, which captures 7 perspectives, namely five times broader intelligence horizons than the traditional financial economy focus. The origin of this vision is to be found in the tree metaphor, emerging from the inspiration of the Asian perspective on knowledge. The tree with its roots represents the flow of knowledge in an ecosystem. And the power focus on the roots to be nourished bottom up for future fruits.

Today, the economy is more and more intangible. One distinction is the Intellectual Capital (IC) as the derived insights of ‘head’ value for future earning capabilities. This might be mapped as National IC (NIC). Today, we have a unique database with some 60 countries, and more than 48 systematized indicators, showing the evolution over some decades. The pattern is clear: the Nordic countries, USA and Singapore are at the top. Around 70% of the GDP formation in Sweden is dependent on NIC. How sustainable will this position be? For national knowledge performance, it is essential to address the investment efficiency of knowledge and knowledge productivity. The renewal dimensions have a major impact.

The Knowledge Agenda has to address the whole spectrum of IC beyond Industry 4.0 to grasp the new Triple Bottom Line: economic, cultural, and experiential value. In today’s economy, it is becoming obvious that the so-called knowledge economy is a quest for a better system. The action needed reflects Leonardo da Vinci’s motto: learning to see.