Definition of generativity

Generativity is the ability of a technology platform or technology ecosystem to create, generate or produce new output, structure or behaviour without input from the originator of the system.

Technology ecosystems such as Apple or Android generate new apps from third party developers who do not work directly for them. Commercial software developers create large ecosystems that allow independent developers and implementers to write add-ons and industry-specific modules for their software. Generativity includes both the technology artefacts as well as the social meanings and behaviours that constitute their larger system of use.