loader image

In 2018, a famous Harvard study sought to understand which parts of the brain are responsible for creativity. Creativity, as defined in the study, is “the ability to come up with new and useful ideas.” To test it, researchers hooked participants up to fMRI scanners and had them perform both creative and non-creative tasks. They were looking for the parts of the brain that are activated during creative acts.

Ultimately, they found that no such part of the brain existed. Instead, creativity happens when the following three different regions of the brain—subnetworks which do not normally communicate—work together:

  1. The default mode network, which is involved in memory and mental stimulation, responsible for imagination and brainstorming
  2. The salience network, which sorts through ideas to spot important information
  3. The executive control network, which helps keep us focused on useful ideas while discarding those that aren’t important

In other words, creativity does not come from any particular location in the mind but is activated by the connection of subnetworks. Roger Beaty, one of the authors of the study, concluded, “People who are more creative can simultaneously engage brain networks that don’t typically work together.”

Human-to-human and human-to-machine collaboration

Historically, researchers have studied human creativity, the process occurring between the ears, within the brain, of a creative individual. But technologies today are enabling a higher order of creativity. Because of advancements like 5G connectivity, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Web 3.0, people can more freely co-create together. And people are able to communicate and collaborate with machines ever more seamlessly.

Professor Tom Malone of MIT wrote, “For a long time, the most important contribution of computers won’t be artificial intelligence; it will be hyperconnectivity—connecting human minds to each other in new ways and at unprecedented scales.”

Hyperconnectivity, not only human-to-human but also human-to-machine, is already creating what Malone calls a “Supermind”—a collection of humans, and now machines, working together in a way that appears to be intelligent.

Imagine: Instead of a world in which a company designs and prints two versions of World Series t-shirts so they’re prepared no matter which team wins that year, the shirts are co-created when an Astros or a Phillies fan sitting in the stands of the stadium during the last few minutes of a championship game livestreams the winning run with his friend who suggests they create a t-shirt commemorating the victory. They input some keywords through an AI art generator which then designs an image, incorporating the team’s branding and styles of past “World Series Champs” t-shirts that sold well.

Once the design is approved—perhaps by the vote of the two humans and the standards of the machine—it is sent to 3D printing facilities in major cities throughout the world. In less than an hour, the shirts are delivered to fellow fans.

The evolution of machine-to-machine communication

This scenario seems “futuristic,” but it is still comprehensible by today’s standards. The real future of creativity will be propelled not only by increased human-to-human and human-to-machine collaboration, but also by machine-to-machine communication.

Collaborative AI, according to IBM research, is about the “evolution of an AI ecosystem towards a self-governed community.” Autonomous AI systems will collaborate with each other to generate and act on new creative options. Because these systems will be continuously expanding, learning, and improving, it would impossible from our vantage point in present day to fathom the potentiality of such connections. Combine them with human-to-human and human-to-machine collaboration, and we will have reached the utmost pinnacle of creative possibility.

Similar to the three different regions of the brain working together to produce creative ideas, human-human, human-machine, and machine-machine connectivity existing at once may produce a “supermind” effect and will be much more profound than we can possibly imagine.

Photo by Milad Fakurian on Unsplash

“8Ps” of StrategyOpportunity
for Disruption
Recommended Leverage Points
Position- The farmers, individual and corporate, that you are targeting.

- The need of the agricultural industry that you seek to fill.
3- What technologies do you control that can help you tap into market
segments that you previously thought unreachable?

- What are the potential business alliances you could think about with key players in the segment to serve your customers with integrated solutions? (Serving customers with more integrated solutions example: serving farmers with fertilizers, crop protection and other).
Product- The products you offer, and the characteristics that affect their value to customers.

- The technology you develop for producing those products.
8- What moves are your organization taking to implement Big Data and analytics to your operations? What IoT and blockchain applications can you use?

- What tools and technology could you utilize or develop to improve food quality, traceability, and

- How can you develop a more sustainable production model to accommodate constraints on arable

- What is the future business model needed to serve new differentiated products to your customers?
Promotion- How you connect with farmers and consumers across a variety of locations and industries.
- How to make consumers, producers, and other stakeholders aware of your products and services.
8- How are you connecting your product with individual and corporate farms who could utilize it?
- How could you anticipate market and customer needs to make customers interested in accessing your differentiated products?
PriceHow consumers and other members of the agricultural supply chain pay for access to agricultural products.7- What elements of value comprise your pricing? How do each of those elements satisfy the varying needs of your customers?
Placement- How food products reach consumers. How the technologies, data, and services reach stakeholders in the supply chain.9- What new paths might exist for helping consumers access the food they desire?
- How are you adapting your operations and supply chain to accommodate consumers’ desire for proximity to the food they eat?
- How could you anticipate customer expectation to make products more
accessible to customers/agile supply chain?
- Have you considered urbanization as a part of your growth strategy?
- How your food satisfies the needs and desires of your customer.
- How the services you provide to agribusiness fulfill their needs.
9- Where does your food rate on a taste, appearance, and freshness
- Could the services you provide to companies and farms in the agriculture industry be expanded to meet more needs?
- What senses does your food affect besides hunger? How does your
customer extract value from your food in addition to consumption?
Processes- Guiding your food production operations in a manner cognizant of social pressure.8- How can you manage the supply chain differently to improve traceability and reduce waste?
- How can you innovate systems in production, processing, storing, shipping, retailing, etc.?
- What are new capabilities to increase sustainability (impact on the environment, or ESG) components?
People- The choices you make regarding hiring, organizing, and incentivizing your people and your culture.- How are you leveraging the agricultural experience of your staff bottom-up to achieve your vision?
- How do you anticipate new organizational capabilities needed to perform your future strategy (innovation, exponential technologies needed, agile customer relationship, innovative supply chain)?
- How do you manage your talents to assure suitable development with exposure in the agrifood main challenges/allowing a more sustainable view of the opportunities/cross-sectors?