Rainforest Rev: Love Letters to Austin, America and You

The Rainforest Revolution

News on growing ecosystems for innovation and entrepreneurship


Learn how to catalyze innovation in your company, city, or country. 

Join over 1,000 other “new economy builders” at the Global Innovation Summit — the centerpiece of Global Innovation Week, over 20 events exploring creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit. Click here to register before December 31 and get 10% off — your last chance to get an early bird discount! Click here to host your own event.





My Love Letters to Austin, America, and You

By Victor Hwang, CEO & Co-Founder of T2 Venture Creation, from Forbes
This Commencement Address for Austin Community College talks about entrepreneurship and innovation, but without using either word.  The speech consists of three love letters.  Austin has a special place at the edge of cultural frontiers. America is a frontier that requires strangers to form teams to achieve common ends. Finally, the speech urges people to recreate new frontiers, to “be comfortable with uncomfortable things.” Read more here.


Ideas May Strike Like Lightning, But Innovation Must Be Cultivated

Ideas Lab by GE
The five critical elements for an innovation ecosystem don’t come together by accident. They are cultivated by: talent, capital, competitive business environment, strong intellectual property, and fiscally responsible government. Read more here.


World Development Report 2015 Explores “Mind, Society, and Behavior”

The World Bank
Development efforts are urged to incorporate new evidence that shows real people are far more unpredictable than the “rational actors” used in many economic theories. Read more here.


Female Entrepreneurs Key to Economic Growth

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
The critical role women play in the economic growth of developing nations has long been understood, but new research by the Kauffman Foundation reveals a similar importance – and opportunity – in the United States. Read more here.


Radical Innovation, Part III: Balancing Creativity and Structure

Managers can either squelch innovation or make it bloom. The key is learning the most from every step along the way – whether the effort succeeds or fails. See more here.




Replacing Surf Shops with Startups, Tech Boom Makes Waves in Bohemian Venice Beach

PBS NewsHour
More entrepreneurs are trading in the high costs of Bay Area living for sunnier space right here in Venice Beach. They even have a name for it, Silicon Beach. Read more here.


France Plans Elite Top-10 Mega-University

BBC Business
The big idea is to create a “knowledge hub” around Paris, bringing together top-level universities with research institutes, hi-tech businesses and start-ups. The classic example of such a project would be Silicon Valley in California where Stanford University has been the launchpad for firms such as Google and Hewlett Packard. Read more here.


Singapore’s Startup Scene is Overrated. But That’s the Only Way It Can Succeed

Some critics believe that the city-state’s startup scene relies on publicity for its survival. No doubt Singapore’s governance, infrastructure, intellectual capital, and reputation are its competitive advantages. Read more here.



Application deadline is December 31, 2014. 

We seek the world’s top companies and organizations that enable the super-linear growth of the ecosystems around them. They must catalyze the ideals of connectivity, openness, diversity, and trust that are essential to the innovation process. They must nurture the success of others.  Rather than a simple “Best Of” list, where one focuses solely on the entity itself, we are looking at what the entity does to catalyze more activity around itself.  We seek to reward those entities that create multiplier effects beyond themselves, that catalyze the growth of entire ecosystems.

Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Connections: does the company/organization connect people that are otherwise disconnected in meaningful, productive ways?
  • Platform: does the company/organization lower the cost of doing business across an entire system?
  • Culture: does the company/organization foster trust in the community, industry or society?
  • Motivations: does the company/organization demonstrate social responsibility or sustainable, systematic impact?
  • Team: how does the company/organization collaborate with employees, advisors, suppliers, distributors and other partners?


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