Connecting dots: combining skills and ideas for global change

Connecting dots combines the ten most read articles on weareinnovation.org over the last week. It therefore articulates experts visions with readers interests into a single story.

Innovation is not just about developing breakthrough technologies. From reading experts and analysts views, it is also about taking social debates further, so individuals composing our communities and societies find a value in the technologies we develop, beyond business considerations. The place of technology is in fact questioned with regards to virtual and digital developments, highlighting a need to reinforce human creativity and diversity. The messages society and communities share on a global basis through social networks highlight the limits of political and economic systems, opening conversations and questions on how human and technological creativity could generate new models to solve the global challenges we face as one community aspiring for change.

The human side of innovation

quote human and digital innovation

When thinking about innovation, one could at first picture a whole lot of technologies and complex systems that only passionate engineers could explore. This week story is another proof that innovation as analyzed by experts and professionals around the globe covers much more than technical issues. It is first and foremost about humans, societies, and our ability to change creatively.

Inside and outside their walls, cities, towns and communities witness a rise of socially driven initiatives going beyond business priorities, placing local people concerns at the heart of their missions. With disruptive creativity tools they share with their startup peers, those public-private partnerships are able to build their own dynamics and rules to generate a local creative ecosystem. This approach also means that it applies outside cities, with the help of communities who are now given the ability to influence their direct environment positively. Because they are generated and aimed at local communities, social innovation startups and entrepreneurs seek to address core roots of social issues, delivering value way beyond words.

Read more: “Social Innovation: Beyond Better“, WAI May 2016

The human destination of innovation goes beyond business and profitability considerations. Innovation thrives when it makes sense with the global and environmental constraints and requirements it is born with, providing long-term value to short-term oriented ROI.

May be it is high time we explore new dimensions ? As Hitachi reminds, “The McKinsey Institute has calculated that shifting towards a circular economy could add $1 trillion to the global economy by 2025 and create 100,000 new jobs within the next five years – a significant reward for creating less ‘waste’ during work.” Kathryn Dill from Forbes interviewed Ben Parr, the author of “Captivology”. In his own words, “It’s not about capturing attention for just yourself, it’s about capturing attention for the great ideas, the great art, the great projects that you have. Everybody has some passion more people should see or notice.”

Read more: “Leading through change: Politics and Economics“, WAI March 2015

By developing human-centric innovation, experts can picture a more detailed map of individual and segment needs, fostering solutions that will anticipate change. Innovation connects on both sides the inventors and the end-users, generating hubs and conversations to shape adaptive solutions that meet specific needs and requirements.

The point is not to relate to the exact findings which may actually vary from industry to industry, company to company, individual to individual. The point is to ask: what will specific audiences expect, how will they react, what would they need in a given situation, with other sets of people? How can we generate value from combining all theses audiences together ? The point is to anticipate and better drive change, for there are many social changes coming ahead. Starting again with families and technology. As Alexandra Sifferlin points out in TIME, “A better understanding of the use of mobile media in young children and how it varies by population groups is critical to help develop educational strategies for both parents and health providers.”

Read more: “One step further at a time: Society and Technology“, WAI May 2015

Our complex love story with technology

society and technology quote

Of course technology gets involved at some point in our global story of innovation. The whole question is to best define what place, role and message should be given to this specific component of an overall strategy for change.

Efforts should be concentrated on shaping the right content for the right target audience. Aurora Partners reminds: “There are also the pitfalls of reading too much into data and drawing out factitious results. For example, the practice of commissioning studies in order to support a new policy, theory or solution which has already been decided upon. An approach which is of course flawed and likely to result in failure.” The objective is described by Douglas Karr on Marketing Tech Blog: “This provides incredible opportunities for both segmentation and personalization – the holy grail of marketing: placing the message at the right time and right place to your customer or prospect without annoying them.”

Read more: “Market Roadmap: New Strategy, New Marketing“, WAI July 2015

In return, it also appears critical to better articulate the digital and human elements of innovation, clarifying the objectives each one needs to sustain. For instance, reinforcing the fundamental areas where a human vision and knowledge are more needed than a virtual one would enable outstanding ideas to emerge.

As businesses and organizations head towards a digital era, their human shortcomings and technology oriented developments raise critical questions with regards to innovation strategies. The space for sharing and providing knowledge management services is increasing together with the opportunities of challenging existing business models. Our human fundamentals, including our ability to ask ourselves the right questions, need to find the right place to generate outstanding ideas which could now be more easily funded by the crowd.

Read more: “Daily Pick: 10 Human and Digital components of innovation“, WAI May 2016

Human and technological diversity offers a broad array of challenges and opportunities which innovation needs to combine in new ways of thinking. The abundance of data can give birth to abundance of knowledge, mixing cultures and viewpoints for a sharper definition of evidence and essentials.

Beyond the ability to place customers and employees at the heart of business success stories, experts and analysts highlight the need for innovation leaders to intelligently combine technologies and human diversity to drive breakthroughs on new markets. Alhtough the ability to make better decision through the use of data remains essential, experience shows human critical values remain essential in driving future innovation. On top of a global way of thinking leading to meet a wider society, innovation practitioners will need culturally adaptive communication skills as well as a realistic approach to success to stay focused on evidence, never losing sight of their essentials.

Read more: “Daily Pick: 13 Critical skills to innovate tomorrow“, WAI March 2016

Taking ownership of our destiny

quote organizing change

Like it or not, globalization and social networks are syndicating a global need for change. This call is echoed in innovation discussions through the underlined limits of our political, economic and regulatory frameworks which are left behind disruptive approach led by communities of change agents.

From developed to developing countries, a global need for an equal, free and sustainable model for societies has risen at the heart of innovation discussions. Politics, economics and regulatory frameworks are lagging behind communities of change agents who keep connecting their knowledge and experiences to give social change a reality. Yet, without global platforms to build and link the competencies needed for systemic change, the innovation discourses experts and practitioners develop remain stymied by a lack of political willingness and economic adaptation that would foster long term benefits for all.

Read more: “Connecting dots: what platforms to organize global change?” WAI May 2016

This distance between our technological developments and our human needs outline an imbalanced focus on economics and past political rhetorics which now need to include a much wider discussion with citizens and businesses. This step is necessary to drive innovation at an ecosystem level.

As digital trends gain a wider space in the economic, political and social area, the place of people, both as civilians and human beings, necessitates to be reassessed by future technology developments. While new learning tools need to be developed to align business priorities with human needs, the development pace of technologies needs to be followed up by business model innovation, built in the appropriate economic framework. To reach this objectives, experts suggest to diversify strategies by varying angles and thinking framework, thus creating the necessary space for growth and birth of breakthrough ideas.

Read more: “Connecting dots: Human and Technology influence on innovation“, WAI March 2016

In fact, it seems experts are seeking to add more people-centric sense to innovation developments, as a way to secure sustainable growth as well as values such as freedom, creativity and diversity.

As political, economic and social experts further emphasize the emergency of defining new solutions and models combining pragmatic expertise and a wider variety of knowledges, the global threats and constraints rising from technology and environment require to develop intelligent frameworks to drive innovation with more sense. People-centricity emerges in businesses to sharpen approaches to market for which new generations and technologies need to find the secured freedom to express their creativity. To let personal stories take control of developments, diversity should be envisaged as a mind opener and key organizational driver so it can deliver its human-centric creativity potential to support a smarter innovation.

Read more: “From global uncertainty to personal reality“, WAI November 2015

This is the reason why social challenges and issues are now being considered as driving requirements for change, within the political and economics sphere as well as in businesses and society. By reaching out to a wider diversity of views, individuals are connecting different sets of skills, tools and cultures to define frameworks and models that would facilitate a succesful and sustainable change within high time, costs and technical constraints.

Innovation helps us generate fresher views on critical realities. We are inspired by social innovation which now drives initiatives into organizations and businesses. Even political and economics areas have identified social needs as necessary requirements for sustainable growth. Regulatory, infrastructure and technical barriers still restrain our global intelligence to fully reach its potential, but cultures within companies are paving the way for communities to develop common visions and skills to solve global issues. Time is counted for change to happen, especially with regards to the environmental challenges ahead of us. As a result, entrepreneurs reach out to each others to combine experiences to generate synergies. Experts from a variety of sectors collaborate to rethink our financial ecosystems. Diversity is identified as a necessary skill to address upcoming innovation challenges. Eventually, it is the very place of humans in driving their own destiny that is questioned by our overall story of innovation. 

Read more: “The Loop: our story towards intelligent innovation“, WAI April 2016

And you, what is your story of innovation?

weareinnovation.org writes the daily story of change as thought, created and shared by thousands of experts and passionate readers in more than 120 countries. You can also browse our Knowledge Library.

 

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