The Santa Fe Institute Heads to HomeAway

Our "Street Reporter" for today's post is Jordan Hoefar (pronounced HAY-fur), HomeAway Public Relations Specialist. Take it away Jordan...

On Monday, June 24, we hosted a business event at our Headquarters in downtown Austin in conjunction with the Santa Fe Institute (SFI), a private, not-for-profit, independent research and education center.

Our Chief Technology Officer, Ross Buhrdorf, serves on SFI’s board of directors and was instrumental to bringing the organization to Austin.

More than 50 business executives, entrepreneurs, academics, investors and media gathered in our birdhouse meeting area to discuss the meaning of innovation and how it relates to nature and technology. This concept of bringing together two different disciplines to explore a common idea is one SFI refers to as “Strange Bedfellows.”

After a few hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, we settled in to hear presentations from W. Brian Arthur, a leading economist and author of “The Nature of Technology” and Doug Erwin, senior scientist and curator of Pale biology at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

While the presentations were both fascinating and complex, the overarching themes I picked up on were 1. Technologies tend to build on one another over time, ultimately creating new innovations that revolutionize industries, and 2. While innovation is difficult to initiate, patterns within ecological evolution can help us better understand the components of innovation.

At the end of the night, we all left feeling challenged and inspired to explore innovations in our own jobs and lives.

While Jordan gave a great recap, you can read more about the event at