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An experiment in sharing - how to co-create an ecosystem through a company blog Laurence Van Elegem - April 11, 2018

Ecosystems Clem Onojeghuo Compressed

Most company blogs are a (subtle) showcase for their own products, their services and their own team. And that’s great. It’s what they are there for, obviously. But what they really should do too, is reflect the market; the entire ecosystem they are operating in: their partners, their customers, those who offer adjacent services and – yes, even the “enemy” – the competition. I’ve tried to follow this ‘The Network Always Wins’ principle on our blog for these past years - offering content that goes beyond the views of our very own nexxworks writers Peter Hinssen, Steven Van Belleghem, Rik Vera, Pascal Coppens, Nancy Rademaker, Frederik Simoen, Julie Vens – De Vos, Annick Vandezande, Joren Lemiegre and I - but today, I’ve decided to really “open the gates”. 

Today, I am making an appeal to all of you who are operating in the innovation ecosystem to share your insights on our blog platform. Yes, ALL of you. Even if it makes you uncomfortable because you feel we are fishing in the same pond. In fact, especially if it makes you uncomfortable. Nothing exciting ever comes forth from safety and comfort, right? After all, we all want the same thing – help corporates reinvent themselves so they can flourish in the Day After Tomorrow – so it’s actually more logical than not that we would join forces, even as “competitors”. 

At nexxworks, we believe in openness and – call us naïve – thinking beyond revenue: we want to help corporates innovate, true, but we are also always looking for new ways to create an ecosystem of minds that want to think about our future – all of our futures – together.

Want to experience the future and shift your mind-set?

Does this mean that we will accept every application? Not for the moment, because we want to keep some focus: radical innovation, extreme biz and tech trends and Day After Tomorrow thinking. Though I do see this as an experiment that will probably shift over the past months. But, for now, before you contact me on laurence@nexxworks.com please make sure that you and your writings respond to these criteria:

  • You can offer high-level vision on how customers, companies, markets and our environment are evolving. We’re not looking for practical “how to” tips, but vision. This can be about company culture, biases, technology, creativity, how our brain works, leadership, and other business-related subjects but  – though this is not the core of nexxworks – even about education and hard science.
  • You have a Day After Tomorrow view: you’re interested in the long term, a future that’s many years away. Today and Tomorrow thinking is necessary, but it’s not a match for our blog.
  • You can write like a(n) (fallen) angel: you know how to engage a reader with a structure and style that’s engaging, fun and enjoyable.
  • We will only accept English blog posts, as we do not have the resources to translate them.

For the rest, anything goes. The more diversity, the better. You can be an innovation manager, marketing guru, a student, keynote speaker, a cook, a biologist, quantum physicist, economist, blockchain specialist or a professional footballer. If you can write like a pro and have an interesting, long-term and radical vision on how companies and our world are going to evolve, then you might very well be a match.

In fact, I’m not only interested in guest bloggers, if you have a platform of your own and want to check out if we can join forces or exchange views, contact laurence@nexxworks.com as well. I’m always open to see what we can do for each other, and for our networks.

Some rules of engagement, before we part (or meet):

  • If you want to join our blog platform, we’ll need some examples of your work first. It’s lovely that you’re a guru in your expertise or that your family believes that you’re the best blogger in the universe, but that does not mean that your writings will automatically be a fit for the nexxworks.com/blog.
  • Please accept rejection with dignity. It’s not because there is not a match between your posts and our platform (for now) that we do not respect what you do. We do, but we have to keep some direction in order not to confuse our audience (even more than we already do at times).
  • Please have some patience. I have no idea what this experiment might give. If we receive a lot of applications, I will only be able to respond to you one after the other. We don’t have the budget (yet) to have an AI help us out with this. (Yes, I know: “Oh, the irony”.)
  • This is a company blog. There is no actual business model behind it, so we will unfortunately not be able to pay for your contribution. Maybe one day this will change, but not today.
  • On the other hand, we would not expect any exclusivity from you, or even that we get the scoop. You own the rights, and you can post your material wherever and whenever you want.
  • You WILL be credited for the blog, but this will be with your name, your function at your company, a short bio and a picture. I hope you can understand that we will not put a one-pager about your company and your services on our blog. We don't even do this for ourselves on the blog. This platform is for insights, not commerce. (Ok, yes, our banners are commercial but being naive and optimistic is not the same as being anti-business).

So, that’s it for now. I’m really excited about this and hope that you will respond en masse to laurence@nexxworks.com. Whatever this will be - a success or a failure - it will certainly not be boring.  

For those of you who still need convincing: you’ll reside in the excellent company of Peter Hinssen, Steven Van Belleghem, Rik Vera, Pascal Coppens, Roeland Dietvorst, Haydn ShaughnessyOmar Mohout, Jeremiah Owyang, Lucien Engelen, Leen Gorissen and many more! While we're at it, I'm really excited to introduce the very talented top innovation blogger and thought leader Greg Satell (US) into our ecosystem. Stay tuned for his work in the upcoming weeks!

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Laurence Van Elegem B W 2016
Laurence Van Elegem

As nexxworks' Communications Director, Laurence is Editor in Chief of the nexxworks blog and in...

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