New businesses often come from simple ideas, and after the fact we wonder why we didn’t think of that earlier. the 28 September International Herald Tribune has an excellent example of this in Fish Farms, with a Side of Greens.
It explains how aquaculture and hydroponics can combine to make more than 1+1=2. As they explain, “Aquaponics — a combination of aquaculture, or fish cultivation, and hydroponics, or water-based planting — utilizes a symbiotic relationship between fish and plants. Fish waste provides nutrients for the plants, which in turn filter the water in which the fish live. Cuttings from plant are composted to create food for worms, which provide food for the fish, completing the cycle.”
This caught my eye because it shows incredibly simple solutions that are ingenius. This one is especially valuable because of the scarcity of water in many countries. I guess the analogy is the sea reef but with the added benefit that the “reef” (the vegetables/greens growing on the surface) as well as the fish can easily be converted into food.
We must ask ourselves how many times in business we have identified the aquaculture solution or the hydroponics answer, but not the interdependency/benefit of the two together. At Faculty Partnership we try to use what we call generative thinking to test out all ideas and think of other ones that we can’t think of ourselves. It means having a range of people with different ideas and interests thinking together and using some techniques to get folks thinking laterally and vertically.
Hopefully the results from work on more basic issues can gain inspiration from what is occurring here with aquaponics.