Manchester was the birthplace of the industrial revolution. It was the herald of the globalised, capitalist society that we know today. No other city better deserves the title "Disruption City." Disruption has been our business. We have lived it for good and ill. We are living it still.
And so it is that Manchester has an incredible track-record of achievement and influence. It can claim the invention of modern computing (see 'The Baby', 'The Manchester Mark 1' and Alan Turing), the railway, atomic theory, splitting the atom, the birth of the women's movement, the social theories of Marx and Engels and the co-operative movement. We might also cite Rolls-Royce, Marks and Spencer and The Guardian. Then again, we could talk about Manchester United (and City, Bolton, Wigan, Stockport, Oldham, Rochdale, Bury and Macclesfield), A Clockwork Orange, the Halle Orchestra, Coronation Street, and a track-record in modern youth culture (from the Bee Gees to The Smiths and Oasis). Open the lens a little more broadly and the North-West of England offers up The Beatles, Liverpool FC, Stan Laurel, William Wordsworth, ....
Manchester Business School (MBS) has its part in this history, with the work of Stafford Beer and Enid Mumford associated with the school. It is also the school where we learn through doing (see Manchester Method and also Reg Revans).
Today, we introduce new thinking about the new age we live in. This blog is used as part of the MBA MIS course here in MBS. Of course, today, we live in a global, networked economy. To understand where new technology is taking us, we have to look to places like Seattle, Shanghai, Bangalore, Palo Alto and Walldorf. It is a new age, still just beginning, and it promises to leave old ideas redundant and new ideas ascendant.
The course starts with the ideas of Clayton Christensen, Ronald Coase & Larry Downes and Chunka Mui. Along the way, we will encounter many more like Geoffrey Moore, James Surowiecki, Raymond Kurzweil and Stafford Beer.
Perhaps there is no better promontory from which to study the global village in its information age than that provided by Manchester. Welcome!