To innovate, think like Robespierre, Socrates and the Bolsheviks


Short List: Barn raising, popularised in the 19th century and still popular with the Amish, has been cited by the Harvard Business Review as this season's must-have idea for innovators. What else from the ash heap of history could point the way to the future? 

18th August 2016
By Larry Ryan


What phrenology can tell us about Design Thinking


Why the levellers were the original Disrupters


Take inspiration for Systems Change by examining the fall of Tzarist Russia


How the meta fiction of Tristram Shandy gave us Pokemon Go


What cities in the post-Brexit era could learn from a 14th-century trading bloc


Socrates was the Elon Musk of classical Athens


To Scale Up, act like a Viking ship


Big Data explained by the Census of Quirinius


To create a Theory of Change, think like Robespierre


We want our stories to go far and wide; to be seen be as many people as possible, in as many outlets as possible.

Therefore, unless it says otherwise, copyright in the stories on The Long + Short belongs to Nesta and they are published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).

This allows you to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format. This can be done for any purpose, including commercial use. You must, however, attribute the work to the original author and to The Long + Short, and include a link. You can also remix, transform and build upon the material as long as you indicate where changes have been made.

See more about the Creative Commons licence.


Most of the images used on The Long + Short are copyright of the photographer or illustrator who made them so they are not available under Creative Commons, unless it says otherwise. You cannot use these images without the permission of the creator.


For more information about using our content, email us: [email protected]


HTML for the full article is below.