The Trapeze Parable:

A Call for the Bretton Woods of the Knowledge Economy 


There is a relevant metaphor of the Trapeze Parable discovered years ago in Venezuela, but it was originally published in Spain - Essentially, we are suspended amidst the current global meltdown…and we need to move swiftly, but decisively, toward defining the new conditions and apparatus for the Knowledge Economy…but how?!


Here are some of the thoughts and what we have been tracking...


  • Knowledge - in the form of intellectual capital - is the new currency of the Knowledge Economy. Innovation is how knowledge created wealth. We've reached the law of diminishing returns on Competitive Strategy…and entered the era of Collaborative Advantage.


  • In 1987, we published the findings of a National Roundtable – “Managing Knowledge Assets into the 21st Century” and first wrote about ‘intellectual capital. This was the same time E100 Karl-Erik Sveiby (then from Sweden and now living in Finland) wrote The Know-How Company and Hiroyuki Itami (a student of E100 Ikujiru Nonaka in Japan) published Invisible Assets. See the ENTOVATION Timeline.



  • In 1997 a research report entitled, Creating the Knowledge-based Business, co-authored with E100 Dr. David Skyrme (UK) was published by Business Intelligence. Note: there was an entire chapter dedicated to Performance Measurement.



  • The E100 - those featured on the Global Knowledge Leadership Map – now 165 across 65 nations - have been interviewed and their collective vision was articulated in 1999 - "A new economic world order based upon the flow of knowledge, innovation systems, stakeholder innovation and collaborative advantage."


  • In 1998-99, The World Bank issued its World Development Report – Knowledge for Development - intended to convert the Bank into a world knowledge bank.


  • The Brookings Institute released its report on Intangibles by E100 Baruch Lev (USA).




  • In an E100 international ENTOVATION Roundtable in Finland (2003), we called for The Bretton Woods of the Knowledge Economy. Note, in particular, the Morgenthau quote from Bretton Woods in 1944. Also note the reference to the ‘Declaration of Interdependence’ which became the ‘KIZ Declaration’. 



  • In 2003, I published The Innovation SuperHighway with a full chapter dedicated to “Knowledge Economics”. The 16th chapter is “Blueprint for 21st Century Innovation; and the 17th and final chapter is entitled ‘Creating the World Trade of Ideas.’ It leads with the kaleidoscope quote of Tony Blair. 







  • February 13th, 2006, the cover story in BusinessWeek is ‘Unmasking the Economy’ - an article by Michael Mandel, with Steve Hamm and Christopher J. Farrell.


  • February 2006, we completed an analysis of new external performance indicators (see attached) and published an article in IC Magazine - “The Triple Knowledge Lens” (i.e., Knowledge-based ECONOMY, Knowledge-based SOCIETY, and Knowledge-based INFRASTRUCTURE) – beyond sustainability reporting.



  • Knowledge Economics is an integral part of our Architecture (see graphics attached).




  • A year ago, I delivered a course on Knowledge Economics for the Arabian Knowledge Economy Association (AKEA) for countries across the Middle East - All was put into perspective with notable economists: Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Karl Polyani, Fritz Machlup, and more recently Tom Friedman.


  • Also in January, 2008, an Advisory Board chaired by Carl Shramm, CEO of The Kauffman Foundation, used a report on Innovation Measurement to the US Department of Commerce.


  • In January 2008, we premiered the P7 KIZ Blueprint for the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Bangalore. For the 1st time, we have a methodology to integrate performance measures into the innovation strategy for a company, region, country or even a virtual community: Purpose, Principles, Process, Performance, Policies, Practices and Prosperity (through ongoing stakeholder innovation).


  • In March 2008, the Institute if Certified Financial Accountants of India (ICFAI) produced an entire issue of Effective Executive dedicated to "Collaborative Advantage" which included my own article, “Collaborating for Innovation”.



  • In June 2008, the Institute if Certified Financial Accountants of India (ICFAI) published my article – “The Knowledge Innovation Kaleidoscope” – in an issue of Effective Executive.  The article outlines the 15 capital drivers of intellectual capital and detailed description of the KIZ P7 Blueprint.


  • On September 11, 2008, Michael Mandel, Chief Economist for BusinessWeek, issued a video and article on “Innovation Economics”. This is basically the same as we articulate in Knowledge Economics.




  • On November 26th, Sami Mahroum published a ‘viewpoint’ in Science-Business Bulletin on The crisis-torn global economy needs a World Knowledge Fund to revive it.”


  • On January 6th, 2009, Dr. Henry Kissinger – in speaking of US-China Relations – acknowledged, “Today, we have ‘a common opportunity’ to build a stable new world order because the international economic system has to be rebuilt." Note his vision is closely aligned with the E100 vision of 1999!!!  




  • Conference and subsequent Conference and article – Time for a Bretton Woods of the Innovation Economy - appear in Science-Business, a media firm operating out of Brussels dedicated to the European community. They included a Declaration.
  • They invited me to offer my Viewpoint. My conclusion was three-fold which leads us to our New York December Roundtable.


On to New York City (4-5 December 2009)…together!




© ENTOVATION International Ltd. Compiled as a DRAFT listing as a catalyst for discussion.