Of course we are not discussing all possible ideas, only those related to rural systems and that does not narrow the field very much. Ideas seem stimulated by being in special places, with special people, or when alone in great solitude. Rural System may be able to assist and these benefits come at some cost but they are likely small. The financial gains are those of simple present discounted net value, the company value or long term profit after the idea is implemented minus that before the idea was advanced for implementation. There is a market for profitable implemented ideas. All wasted ones or unimplemented ones produced are costs (at least time spent in thought and conferences, etc.) to the company.
Pasteur said that Nature favors the prepared mind. Getting prepared is the essence of lasting education. Being prepared is what produces and allows ideas ... and allows time to be well spent, avoiding explorations of "the good idea." already tested, found flawed, and rejected.
Good ideas come from
Especially powerful is work in exploring analogies e.g., reasoning from observed animal and plant activity or structure and from building models and scenarios.
Many ideas are rejected since resources are assumed to be missing or unattainable (thus the ideas are impractical, unworkable, or "unrealistic"). Being aware of how to find or secure resources can restore old or discarded good ideas.
Identifying sources, preserving ideas, and giving proper and adequate credit are all essential parts of a rich idea-environment.
Rural System can
See Giles' ideas-for-development unit, a treasure of observations, hints, questions, experiment and research topics, and perplexing resource issues.
Robert H. Giles, Jr.
June 28, 2005