Weekly bits of interest - 19 August 2013

Some recent developments and articles of interest:

  • What makes an entrepreneur? How does an entrepreneur become an entrepreneur? New research from Ross Levine and Yona Rubinstein suggests it involves a mix of intelligence, self-esteem and risk-taking. "We disaggregate the self-employed into incorporated and unincorporated to distinguish between 'entrepreneurs' and other business owners. The incorporated self-employed have a distinct combination of cognitive, noncognitive, and family traits. Besides coming from higher-income families with better educated mothers, the incorporated—as teenagers—scored higher on learning aptitude tests, had greater self-esteem, and engaged in more aggressive, illicit, risk-taking activities. The combination of 'smarts' and 'aggressive/illicit/risk-taking' tendencies as a youth accounts for both entry into entrepreneurship and the comparative earnings of entrepreneurs."

  • Sarah Schulman shares some of the outcomes of Lab2, an event that brought together social innovation practitioners from 15 countries along with academics and public servants. "Perhaps, then, the question isn't whether social innovation laboratories are creating change in the short-term, but how we can support each other to create change over the long-term. If we want deep systemic change, we also need deep and ongoing learning."

  • The US Government is reportedly setting up a behavioural economics unit

  • Tim Kastelle looks at why ideas spread so slowly

  • How do you find the people you need for innovation in an organisation when there isn't any spare capacity? Jeffrey Phillips examines the different options available.

As always, please feel free to identify any other recent developments or articles of interest in the comments below.