Ecosystems are constantly adapting, exploring options in every moment.

As children we experiment with new ideas and new ways of doing things without even thinking. This play eventually becomes a serious thing, as the social cost of failure increases, and the feeling of being different becomes a punishment. This flows into other areas of our lives, and the message becomes “get it right the first time”.

My experience is that using prototypes in our social, natural and economic ecosystems helps us find the truly beautiful and innovative ways of solving problems, being efficient, including diversity, and expressing ourselves.

Prototypes in design represent one step in our pathway to thriving. Traditional models of problem solving suggest that solutions must help as many people as possible, to be efficient. I suggest that efficiency comes with prototyping adaptive solutions. When prototyping works with competition, we will recognize situations in which the solution will work under a certain set of conditions.

If we value those prototyping solutions in real time, and use the knowledge gained to bring gradual improvements in our social, natural and economic ecosystems, we get much better at decision-making. Prototypes arise in every moment, and we understand what feels right and what doesn’t in real time.