Turning the tables

The Big Picture is an innovation PESTLE analysis based on information shared by experts and analysts on WAI social networks.

Developing social inclusiveness on political and economical areas is identified as a short term requirement to sustain growth on the long term. On top of developing diversity on gender and cultural levels, politics and economics can be drastically improved by addressing pressing social issues through systemic and intelligent change. To define such an approach, turning tables enables to look into so far unexplored areas while harnessing the power of diversity to revive sources of innovation.

Turning Politics Tables

Citizens’ participation plays a major role in shaping future public policies. Not only does it develop project efficiency, but it also heightens politician’s responsibilities towards jointly defined goals.

“Participatory budgeting gives residents a structured opportunity to work together to identify neighborhood priorities, work in tandem with government officials to draft viable projects, and prioritize projects to fund. Elected officials in turn pledge to implement these projects and are held accountable to their constituents.”

Read More: Tech and Innovation to Re-engage Civic Life, Hollie Russon Gilman, SSIR

Politicians are being kindly asked to mind their words. The images they relate to may sometime encourage a different, and perhaps threatening reality. In particular, the concept of “war” in political talks should be further refined.

“Declaring such “wars” is a problem because such a war on a concept is unwinnable: poverty and drugs will never show up and sign a surrender document on the battleship Missouri, as Imperial Japan did in 1945 to end the second world war. Did Johnson defeat poverty? Did Reagan defeat drugs? We certainly know that Mr Bush did not defeat terrorism.”

Read More: The War Metaphor, The Economist

The search for democracy demands an appropriate level of freedom of speech. Journalists call on the necessity to well-inform, including by highlighting controversies, to enable freedom of choice.

“But there are good reasons to resist calls to quieten down about the freedom of speech. Democracy is founded on the proposition that people can govern themselves, and well-informed self-governance is impossible in an atmosphere where members of the press are excoriated for doing their jobs or where controversial ideas are subject to punishment.”

Read More: Why Freedom of Expression is Fundamental, The Economist

The search for democracy also demands a necessary level of truth. In below video, Make It Work reminds the cultural promises the Millenial generation has stopped believing, highlighting their need further clarity to define their own path to success.

“Step 1: Work hard. Step 2: Succeed. So, how’s that working out for you?”

Make It Work

The political sphere is deeply shaken by conjectural changes that stress the need for structural adaptations. The cost of inefficiency shows a major impact in terms of global influence, and therefore ability to drive towards common goals.

“As Europe has scrambled to respond to the ground-shifting events of the past few months—first the Greek currency drama, now the refugee crisis—France has found itself increasingly marginalised: at best a junior partner to Mrs Merkel, at worst a mute spectator. With Greece teetering on the brink of expulsion from the euro zone in July, Mr Hollande cajoled, consulted and mediated. But it was Mrs Merkel’s word, after the best part of a long night, that determined Greece’s fate.”

Read More: The Dispensable French, The Economist

But change is on its way. At least, this is what Burma elections allow us to hope for.

“We have lost.” In a couple of words, Htay Oo, interim President of governing party in Burma, acknowledged his defeat on Monday 9th November agents Nobel Prize Aung San Suu Kyi. While counting is still proceeding, different places in the country confirm the victory of National League for Democracy as an evidence, according to Reuters agency.”

Read More: Le Parti au pouvoir admet sa défaite face au camp d’Aung San Suu Kyi, Courrier International

In other countries, the place of women in government is highlighted by results obtained thanks to a greater diversity. The social sphere in particular seems to be better addressed by a gender equal government.

“Canada isn’t the first country to take steps to increase women’s representation in government. The countries with the most female lawmakers have made major strides on issues such as education, labor-force participation and paid leave. Each of the countries below has either a parliament or a ministry that is at least 50% female, while women make up only 19% of the U.S. Congress and only four of Obama’s 15 Cabinet members.”

Read More: Here’s What Happens When You Put More Women In Government, Charlotte Alter, TIME Magazine

As a result, diverse governments are seen as a necessary tool to lead to a higher level of diversity outside the political area. By leading by example, governments could generate the necessary framework to lead to greater equality.

“The study finds that strong representation of women in parliament has a positive impact on the prevalence of women on boards. The presence of female directors in key societal institutions, such as government, helps reduce traditional gender stereotypes. This leads to a wider acceptance of women in high profile positions outside of politics.”

Read More: Women on Corporate Boards Around the World: Triggers and Barriers, Cass Business School

Creating a new generation of politics indeed necessitates a deep analysis of dysfunctions and changes needed, while generating and using an open and connected thinking framework. Partnerships are seen as a key component of such an analysis and change.

“Creating the 21st century government is more than an act of Congress. It needs systemic change from inside and outside of Washington DC — and from the bottom up. This means a new way of doing business – building new partnerships between governments, businesses, community leaders and citizens. “

Read More: Imagine (Government): Building a New Blueprint, Sonal Shah, The Huffington Post

The reasons for such a need for change are led by complex social challenges which require a new approach to optimize and accelerate impact. While foreseen results of more efficient policies are being highlighted, measuring the gap of current inefficiencies draws attention towards growing human difficulties politics need to focus on.

“Even after accounting for every government assistance program — housing subsidies, food stamps, help with the electricity bill — nearly 16 million Americans still fall below 50 percent of the poverty line, measured by the Census Bureau’s revamped poverty measure that includes the effect of government support. That translates to roughly $8.60 per person per day for a family of four. That group is six million people larger than half a century ago.”

Read More: Electing To Ignore The Poorest of The Poor, Eduardo Porter, The New York Times





Turning Economics Tables

The low cost advantage is shifting towards a necessary higher value. To maintain leadership, economies need to renew their idea pool and create the specific value that will generate distinctive and sustainable growth.

“A study by Pepperdine University tells an interesting story about the coming end of the ‘Made in China’ era. Some of the key findings have been condensed into an infographic that reveals the reasons why China is losing its economic edge. Increasing wages, higher production costs, strengthening currency, and ever-present overseas shipping expenses are all working against China’s efforts to maintain its position as preferred provider of materials and products.”

Read More: The resurgence of American Manufacturing in a Post-China Economy, Adam Fridman, INC

Market evolutions themselves support the need for an intelligent approach to market which demands a greater awareness of ecosystem complexity and continuous change.

“Executives cannot be successful using yesterday’s approach to the Brazilian market, which focused on tapping into the unmet needs of a growing middle class, burgeoning business community, and an ever-growing public sector. With demand from these three groups retrenching as a consequence of economic recession, companies will need to adopt a new Brazil playbook in order to maintain sales growth and profitability.”

Read More: Strategies for Succeeding in Today’s Brazil, Pablo Gonzalez Alonso, HBR

As a way to dig new ideas from unexplored areas, the Misfit Economy emerges as a new source of inspiration for innovation.

“Alexa Clay, author of The Misfit Economy, will join THNK participants and guests for an interactive Forum session in Vancouver, to dig deeper into lesser known sources of innovation inspiration. The THNK School of Creative Leadership Forum sessions focus on examining provocative perspectives and pursuing paradigm shifts through Socratic Dialogue and lively debate.”

Finding new ideas proves necessary in an economy where creation hardly offsets destructivity. In order to sustain growth, new economies need to act bigger and smarter.

““Look at the rate of new-business formation, that’s fallen for a couple decades in a row,” Jason Furman, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said Tuesday at The Wall Street Journal CEO Council annual meeting. Fewer and slower-growing startups limit the ability of new businesses to invent new products and services that could serve as boon for future economic growth.”

Read More: Why It Matters that New Businesses Are Creating Less Jobs Than a Decade Ago, Eric Morath, The Wall Street Journal

New economies should also seek to correct vastly identified shortcomings of existing systems, rebuilding and renewing trusts in critical areas where cheating and polluting have destroyed confidence.

“Most people surveyed believed that the world’s biggest businesses have met success by cheating and polluting. Barely 10% of participants in all the countries surveyed think big businesses are clean. The US displayed the most negativity toward capitalism, with respondents showing great pessimism for the future and deep distrust towards big business.”

Read More: What do people really think about capitalism, José Santiago, World Economic Forum

This defiance in markets is supported by a growing inequality, which is not only visible on a national basis, but also expanding on a global basis.

“Professor Milanovic’s scholarship suggests that when split into ‘inequality within countries’ and ‘inequality between countries’, the latter accounts for by far the biggest gap. At the turn of the twenty-first century, the richest 5 percent of people receive one-third of total global income, as much as the poorest 80 percent”

Read More: The Global Haves And Have-Nots In The 21st Century, Institute for New Economic Thinking

On top of looking into the unknown, economics leaders advise to use diversity as a way to develop growth. In that sense, they argue that welcoming migrants could help redefine better solutions.

“I advised my counterparts that if they had issues with growth, then they should simply take more refugees on board”, claimed M. Schaüble, during a press conference in Brussels following a EU meeting for Ministries of Finance. “It is a good recipe to progress on critical issues.””

Read More: L’Allemagne conseille aux pays européens de recevoir plus de réfugiés pour soutenir leur croissance, Courrier International

In parallel, technological developments and the rise of digital enable to foresee new growth potentials. Those would only be addressable if a systemic approach to change affecting regulation and education enables digital businesses to create more jobs than what they destroy.

“Digital transformation, the deployment of a new paradigm across sectors, progressively reshapes the entire economy and its institutions, which explains the number of issues it holds. On the one hand, it contributes to destroying old jobs while increasing inequalities. On the other hand, digital businesses do create new jobs, which can be highly qualified, intensely demanding for knowledge and skills, as well as less qualified roles, such as in the local services area. Yet they often struggle to fulfill those needs because educational systems is not properly adapted to deliver the necessary competences. Moreover, they are regularly stymied by regulatory barriers protecting the legacy world.”

Read More: La Richesse Des Nations Après La Révolution Numérique, Terra Nova

This unbalance is coupled to growing economic inequalities that also affect developed countries. The phenomenon may have political repercussions including on city level.

“The above infograph was published in January. In Hong Kong, where 45 billionaires live, inequalities are extremely high for a developed country, as the newspaper then mentioned. This humongous gap contributes to the growing politicization of the city.”

Read More: Cartographie des inégalités dans le monde, Courrier International

As a result, regional discrepancies also reflect in unemployment rates, showing the intricate difficulties and inefficiencies of legacy economic policies.

“The crisis has also deepened inequalities on the unemployment side: the North of France (Normandie, Nord-Pas-de-Calais Picardie) and the surroundings of the Mediterranean sea (Languedoc-Roussillon Midi-Pyrénées, Paca, Corse) are regions where not only did unemployment reach the highest rates in 2007, but it also increased with the highest rates since then.”

Read More: Chômage: la crise a creusé les écarts entre les régions, Derek Perrotte, Les Echos


Despite obviously looming difficulties, some economists keep presenting a reasonably positive future, at least on the short term. Longer term optimistic forecasts demand structural change in the short term.

“The world economy next year is shaping up to be stronger than in 2015 and roughly in line with long-term growth averages, according to the International Monetary Fund and economists surveyed by Bloomberg. But “a return to robust and synchronized global expansion remains elusive,” the IMF said in its October outlook.”

Read More: Economy 2016: Here’s What You Need To Know, Peter Coy, Bloomberg Business

One of the tool which can be used to sustain economic growth is a refined innovation policy, one that would not only create growth and jobs, but also generate value.

“Results suggest that average innovators do not create jobs, and that they can even destroy jobs when they increase R&D spendings. Most jobs are created by innovation followers. Increasing innovation by 1% can increase employment up to 0,7%.”

Read More: Les effets de l’innovation sur l’emploi, Economie, Innovation et Exportations Québec

Experts also outline the need to further concentrate on education, calling us to challenge a social area where critical changes are needed, including in our perception.

“Our generation will be judged on our capacity to break up with our coward habit to consider as normal a situation in which 20% of pupils prefer to go towards failure, and sometimes at an early age.”

Read More: Emploi des jeunes: un devoir de résultat, Laurent Bigorgne et Jean-Hervé Lorenzi, Le Monde


In the midst of this turmoil, key players announced as being on the decline are still showcasing positive indicators. Some highlight future oriented sectors, when others interestingly mention traditional areas of growth. In a global talk of giants, conversation necessarily takes place in complex dimensions.

“The data show that China has built considerable strengths in industries fitting two of these archetypes: customer-focused and efficiency-driven. The first category includes industries like appliances, in which China has captured 36% of global revenues, and Internet services and software, where China accounts for 15% of global revenues. The second includes the solar-panel industry, where Chinese players have 51% of global revenue, and the textile industry, in which Chinese companies claim 20% of global revenue.”

Read More: How Innovative Is China? Jonathan Woetzel and Martin Neil Baily, World Economic Forum


“With a GDP upward of $17 trillion, the US comprises nearly a quarter of the world’s economy. Using data from the CIA’s World FactbookHowMuch.net determined that most of that comes from the service sector (79.7% compared with a global average of 63.6%). Agriculture and industry make up below-average portions of the economy (1.12% and 19.1% compared with averages of 5.9% and 30.5%).”

Read More: A New Way to Visualize The Global Economy, Matthew Speiser, Global Economic Forum

In order to create an ecosystem where social priorities are addressed through a diverse approach, innovation needs to:

  1. Generate fair, transparent and open discussions which include a variety of viewpoints and expertise to define intelligent change for politics and economics
  2. Develop a new generation of politics and economics where honesty, trust and diversity enable to generate smarter and bigger impact
  3. Foster adaptability through creative innovation that properly identifies and uses strengths and weaknesses of legacy systems while shifting towards value creating models and ecosystems to offset global, national, regional and local inequalities while generating sustainable growth.

Harnessing the power of diversity

Beautiful Diversity - Part 1: Diversity as a success story
Beautiful Diversity – Part 1: Diversity as a success story

As a major innovation and social trend, diversity appears under various forms and messages among innovation analyses and comments. Although in a vast majority centralized around gender, ethnics and religions, reading through diversity reports and articles leads to realize how human diversity concept is, covering our habits, cultures, management styles and leadership styles, reflecting our creativity. To better spread such a concept, it proved necessary to explore diversity in a wider sense than the one usually developed by analysts.

By outlining key attitudes and requirements to become diversity champions, “Diversity as a success story” enables innovation practitioners, leaders and learners to understand the critical value of inner and outer diversity as a way to learn, share, develop and celebrate differences to deliver human value through innovation.  

Read more: Diversity as a success story, Johanna Camp, We Are Innovation



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