Today's Fringe Ideas, Tomorrow's Wisdom

What niche fields will contribute to tomorrow's great innovations? Ecology, gaming, and social networking, for starters

Wander the halls of any of today's ever-multiplying corporate-innovation conferences, and you'll find experts playing to packed houses, evangelizing the power of user-driven design, the importance of ethnographic research, and the value of an internal "innovation culture." Corporate managers are eagerly soaking up this "right-brain religion," hoping that an injection of creativity and customer input will help them stand out in markets crowded with interchangable piffle.

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