Entovation International
GKII: The Global Knowledge Innovation Infrastructure
The Vision Takes Shape

Debra M. Amidon

Everyone knows that it is easy to craft a lofty goal. Putting it into action is another story! Years ago, we established a vision of 'the world trade of ideas'. Over the past few years, we have tested the concept and are ready to put plans in motion.

"There is a world-wide recognition that intellectual capital is the most valuable resource we have to manage as enterprises, nations and society as a whole. There is also agreement that the flow of knowledge will enhance the standard of living in every country around the world. The Global Knowledge Innovation Infrastructure (GKII) serves as the underpinning for the internetwork for the creation and application of new ideas." - 'Innovation for the Knowledge Economy: The Ken Awakening' (1997)

Several have reviewed the ENTOVATION Timelines which provide one view of the roots and vision of the movement. Now, thanks to the technical assistance of Margaret Logan, Know Inc. (http://www.konvergeandknow.com) and sponsorship by Charles Armstrong of Know Inc. (http://www.knowinc.com), an updated version of the entire timeline - Hindsight, Insight and Foresight - is available - http://www.entovation.com/timeline/timeline.htm (it's 300K but loads in sections).

That vision is now on the way to becoming reality. In November, The Banff Management Centre in Alberta, Canada, in collaboration with ENTOVATION International held the launch event for the Global Knowledge Innovation Infrastructure (GKII).

What is the GKII?

GKII is an exciting initiative to build the foundation for innovation and prosperity in the 21st century knowledge economy. It draws together people and organizations from different industries, different functions and different geographies in a collaborative programme of learning, research and practical action.

At Banff, representatives from different industries, from North America and Europe started to build these foundations through an 'Enterprise Innovation and Knowledge Leadership' Practicum, which involved a hands-on approach to the dimensions of the new economy and its implications. Fred Belair and Blaine Kennedy from Ken-Bel-Tek Innovations provided the site selection as well as assistance in the overall program design.

Participating in the discussions were three ENTOVATION Fellows - Eunika Mercier-Laurent (the Fellow for Market Intelligence), Larry Todd Wilson (founder of LearnerFirst who shortly will release the software version of ENTOVATION's Knowledge Innovation assessment and Fellow for Knowledge Products and Services) and David Skyrme (Fellow for Information and Communications Technology).

GKII: From Vision To Reality

Five Practical Steps

1. The Practicum at Banff represented the start of a series of practical actions that will eventually build the GKII. The Practicum, which will be repeated at intervals in 1999 as more participants join the initiative, took place over three days:
Day 1: The Knowledge Value Proposition: the fundamentals of the knowledge economy; 5th generation management; the 'Community of Knowledge Practice'.
Day 2: Knowledge Innovation Strategy: participating enterprises calibrated their position based on the ten dimensions of knowledge innovation strategy.
Day 3: A Future Based on Innovation: Shaping of the GKII Research Agenda.
The other four activities currently envisaged are:
2. An 18-month GKII Research Program (early 1999 - May 2000). This will involve leading theorists and practitioners from around the world, who will analyse the implications the dimension of knowledge innovation by function (profession), sector, industry and region of the world. Throughout the emphasis will be on action research, with results that can be immediately applied in participating organizations. An evolving knowledge base will be developed using the best knowledge management techniques and technologies.
3. Roundtable of 'Innovators from Around the World' (June 2000). This provides preparation for the Congress and will involve knowledge leaders representing 40 nations across the globe. The Roundtable will discuss the results of the research program, explore how various countries are adapting to the new economy and highlight innovation opportunities to accelerate and enhance the international innovation agenda.
4. Knowledge Innovation Awards Programme (June 2000). These Awards will recognize excellence at human endeavors, particularly innovative endeavors that are globally relevant.
5. First biennial Worldwide Knowledge Innovation Congress (June 2001). This Congress, focused on innovation will have many different types of events with leading theorists, practitioners, political, organizational and business leaders in keynote, plenary and workshop sessions.

These are preliminary plans and will evolve as the initiative gets under way. Precise details will be developed by a steering committee that includes GKII organizers and Founding Member Sponsors.

The Banff Management Institute

"Make no small dreams; they hold no magic to stir men's blood"
(vision embraced by Don Cameron, of the Banff Centre for Management)

The kick-off for the GKII would not have taken place without the generous support of The Banff Centre for Management, and its Director Doug Macnamara. The Centre is Canada's leading body in the provision of leadership and executive development. It is part of the Banff Centre, whose world reputation is based on the creative bridging of the arts and management in its mountain setting. This fusion of disciplines provides an ideal locus for innovating global futures.

The stimulating atmosphere at Banff did indeed help the early participants to dream big, and create a new vision. But many global initiatives start from small beginnings. The dream of those who initiated the GKII is:

"What Davos has become to productivity and competition,
Banff will become for innovation and collaboration".

You can help this dream come true and have a stimulating and rewarding journey while doing so.

How To Participate

Membership opportunities are offered at several levels:

  • Bronze - participation at events, event publications
  • Silver - adds participation in event marketing, research publications
  • Gold - adds places on research committees, participates in research, early access to results
  • Platinum - and foundation Sponsorship, seat on advisory committee.

In addition to overall memberships levels there will be specific sponsorship opportunities for specific activities - events, publications, web pages etc. Sponsorship opportunities will initially be offered to participating organizations holding higher levels of GKII membership.

The overall intent is to structure the dialogue on the implications of the knowledge economy with a common language, rigorous methodology and shared purpose. In the process, we will gain some systematic insight about best to operationalize these knowledge concepts for shared prosperity.

For further information, please contact:

Debra M. Amidon, Chief Strategist at ENTOVATION International.
Tel +1 978 988 7995 Email: debra@entovation.com
Doug Macnamara, Vice President, The Banff Centre for Management.
Tel: +1 403 762 6231 Email: doug_macnamara@banffcentre.ab.ca

Web Pages (from Jan 1999): http://www.entovation.com/gkii/


1996-1999 ENTOVATION International. All rights reserved.
Reprinted from I3 Update - 26.