To understand the performance of platforms, ecosystems and open innovation initiatives requires us to unpack multiple different approaches to evaluation, accountability and constantly evolving notions of what is valuable. Whether these systems are contained within a bioscience incubator, or we see the platform as a rural town connecting new enterprise, established industry, and policy makers in an effort to drive new forms of collaborative value, the evaluation challenges are similar and significant. The distributed nature of value creation and capture, the multiple orders of worth at play, and the diversity of social worlds that come together in the critical nexus of the platform, all matter when we seek to unpack the practices of value creation, capture and distribution.
This is what I am interested in, and my research in this domain has spanned the bioscience sector, the Cabinet Office of the UK Government, the nuclear industry, the UK-wide outdoor education sector, regional policy making, and local decision making about the development path for rural settlements.
Right now my concern is with developing a better understanding of multi-ecosystem approaches to regional place making and productivity. As individuals seek better lives in better places, and focus on wellbeing alongside job success and wealth, the digitisation of work allows more flexible decision making than ever before about where to locate oneself. The importance of cultural and environmental ecosystems, and longitudinal place attachments, become interesting and powerful features within the economic (re)generation debate outside of our metropolitan areas. New physical infrastructures, combined with technological and social infrastructures, enable new forms of ecosystem management approaches to emerge. But these need to be much better understood.