Ecosystem Responsibility and Roles

Entrepreneurship reflections from the UK. From early June through until late August the ECIC Academic Director for post graduate Innovation and Entrepreneurship programs, Allan O’Connor, will be on study leave. During his time away (mainly at the University of Edinburgh, UK), he will from time to time post observations, challenges, new insights and reflections encountered across his travels.

Ecosystem Responsibility and Roles

Beyond the idea of functions of and within an ecosystem, this week has raised the concept of responsibilities within an ecosystem. While a number of actors, both individuals and institutions, may serve particular functions, is there a responsibility inherent with a function? I suspect that at some levels a responsibility will be more strongly felt than in others. Can there be an allocation of responsibilities or is it purely a self-organising system?

These ideas are prompted by discussions with actors within an ecosystem and the idea of distinctions and evolving separations of responsibilities found particularly within the university sector dealing with commercialisation and student entrepreneurship. It appears that over time certain responsibilities evolve and take shape as individuals operating within the ecosystem become more aware, educated, informed and subsequently independent. This cognitive growth leads to role and responsibility growth allowing other actors to devolve some responsibility as others take it up. Ultimately actors acquire clear lines of responsibility and distinction in roles.

If this is the case then where does leadership within an ecosystem sit? Perhaps this too is an evolving role and responsibility that starts at the point it does by the nature of the individuals within the ecosystem. That is, it isn’t an appointed role but an adopted role. This would seem to link to an entrepreneurial actor.

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