"Jean Pierre Bouchez
est le meilleur spécialiste français
des ouvriers de la matière grise"

Henri Gibier Directeur de la Rédaction des Echos, dans Liaisons Sociales Magazine (janvier 2007)

A historical perspective on the dynamics of knowledge creation and application

Memorias, Volume 14, Octobre 2016, n° 26

Introduction: This paper aims to demonstrate the hypothesis that the process of creation, distribution and application of knowledge, as well as its potential result in an innovation, is as old as human history itself. Hence, the paper will show that the current trend of the knowledge economy is merely a phase in the overall evolution of the process.
Methodology: To support this hypothesis we demonstrate that this trend unfolds within the context of a combined dual dynamic: a so-called longitudinal dynamic which describes the evolution of structural innovations and a transversal dynamic that highlight the interaction and interconnection of the various interactive components that specifically arise within a favourable historical context and environment. This dual dynamic is examined through a series of historical examples.
Results: This exemplified double dynamic thus lets us show how the knowledge economy fits into a long-lasting context with a historical perspective extending over several millennia right down to our times. In this way it emphasises that the contemporary knowledge economy is actually no more than a phase – albeit a considerable one.
Conclusions: Over and above these results it should be highlighted finally that this contemporary phase of the knowledge economy offers perspectives that are contrasting at the very least. On the one hand, it opens the way potentially towards a new collaborative sharing world. But, on the other, it helps increase the risks of an excessive privatisation of knowledge.

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