The Leonardo in the walled garden: Of polymaths and the vision behind futuretext and the OpenGardens blog .. ..






















In 2001,   I commissioned this image based on an idea i.e. How would a genius like Leonardo fare when he was ‘trapped in a walled garden’ i.e. confined by restrictive and outdated business models?

The image reflects trapped creativity, a state that many  find themselves in.

This philosophy behind the idea ultimately led to the foundation of the OpenGardens blog and to futuretext .

It has set the tone for my personal and professional branding ever since and has always been on the top right corner of the blog.

As an image, it encapsulates the word I often use in the blog – Gedankenexperiment. The german word Gedankenexperiment means a ‘thought experiment’ – the most famous one being Einstein’s gedankenexperiment – What would the world look like if you travelled on a beam of light?

The above image is itself a ‘gedankenexperiment’

Leonardo was a polymath. A polymath  is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. Leonardo’s ideas resonate well with the times of today as they did in the renaissance – when innovation involves an interplay between so many areas.

We bring these ideas together in the revamp of our new site.

Here is an outline for our new site:

futuretext specialises in identifying and researching cross domain technology trends. Our thinking, and the logo for our blog, is inspired by polymathic thinkers like Leonado Da Vinci. The German word Gedankenexperiment (thought experiment) encapsulates our philosophy and approach. Today, the Internet connects many previously discrete domains. The shifting tectonic plates will create new winners and losers. A new type of thinking is called for which spans current silos. As an organization, we aspire to fulfill that gap and help our customers navigate this changing, dynamic world

Our vision is reflected in our expertise. We work on complex projects for example Smart cities (Amsterdam),  Digital Policy (European Internet Foundation), webinos(an EU funded project to create web APIs for next generation platforms), Operator strategy (Telefonica) and many others.

Our thought leadership has also been reflected in the organizations we work with. In 2009, Futuretext founder Ajit Jaokar was nominated to the World Economic Forum’s ‘Future of the Internet’ council. Ajit also chairs/moderates Oxford University’s Next generation mobile applications panel and conducts courses at Oxford mainly in the next generation Telecoms domain. Ajit has spoken at Stanford university, MIT Sloan, Fraunhofer FOKUS (Berlin), University of St Gallen (Switzerland) and Oxford university.

Readers from thirty-four countries have bought our books including customers like BT, Nokia, Google and Ogilvy. Our authors include industry visionaries like Tomi Ahonen, Tony Fish, Rakesh Radhakrishnan, Gerd Leonhard and Mark Curtis.

We pride in being different, flexible and human. We continue to attract talent and innovative companies who work with us.

Our areas of expertise / focus include:

- Open Innovation – ex: the OpenGardens blog

- The Web across multiple platforms (mobile, TV, automotive, Sensors etc) – ex webinos project

- Smart cities  - working with Smart city initiatives in Amsterdam

- White space networks – PhD research working with companies like Neul in Cambridge

- Transhumanism – Book on meditation as a transhumanist technology

- Digital policy – The policy bloggers network

- The future of technical education – coming soon

Please contact us at info at if you wish to discuss more and to get a complimentary copy of our forthcoming research. 
In a curious twist, back in 2003 ,  soon after the image was created but I my work was still not widely known,  Maggie Baldry, who has edited many of our books over the years said in one social networking site that: Ajit was the Leonardo of our age , for his ability to see connections between different elements and create new ideas, many of which have come to be true. 

So, this image has a lot of significance for me.