Looking at our most read stories over last week, it seems that messages shared online intend to address smart, global change makers looking to challenge complex, systemic issues through technologies. Technologies themselves have grown complex, and systemic. But global change makers seem to commonly understand the key to make sense of this complexity: focusing on human sense based on human values. How do concepts such as “business” and “work” fit in that logic?
It certainly makes business sense to develop customer engagement and increase their loyalty by working on more, or better solutions. Through highly complex data analytics and processing tools, such business objectives have evolved into a new wording, a language of change and engagement which may inspire “greater” values to share with business customers. Technology experts and developers empower knowledge communities to jointly articulate stories to market. Business experts seek to define authentic and distinctive values to deliver, based this on-going discussion. Through platforms and communities they engage with, global change makers intend to solves issues identified collaboratively with the right balance of human creativity and technological innovation.
The value of knowledge
Innovation experts drive a very curious conversation which exalts technological progress while desperately looking for human needs to apply it to. They refine constraints and contradictions through a collaborative assessment of strategic and operational values. Such conversation regularly ends by reminding the necessity to concentrate on users, as emotional beings, citizens and learners, gradually shifting from performance to sense.
<<By varying reading scopes between human, social, legal and environmental lenses, our most recent discussions on innovation have outlined a need to set intelligent boundaries to the digital economy, redefining the sense of data based intelligence and its human requirements, as well as the role technology should play towards the environment.>>
Read more: “Scoping the digital challenge“, WAI April 2017
A longer term perspective of such conversation allows to outline needs for a more efficient communication and informed decision-making. Governments, startups and economists for instance have painted the blurring limit between opportunities and threats opened by the digital economy for the last two years, at least. The volume, variety, velocity and virtuality of information available to read markets and their environment heightens the analytical level required to make sense of digital opportunities.
<<While governments in Europe start to build and invest in digitally driven initiatives to modernize democracy, economists question the potential opportunities and threats of the sharing economy, as well as our ability to analyze and fix the way our current economies develop.>>
Read more: “The digital challenge: politics and economics“, WAI August 2017
The volume, variety, velocity and virtuality of information also builds a continuous stream of ideas for change makers to contribute to a constructive discussion towards ethical and human centric innovation. By inspiring idea-to-business makers, and empowering them to shape the appropriate connections between users and communities, technologies are not only driving horizontal models for disruptive businesses, they also initiate new talks around creativity and constructiveness. Within this sub-talk, human values such as equality, solidarity and freedom, find a central place to eventually become a creative engine.
<<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
At the heart of this global talk about technologies, creativity and human values, systemic and pressing priorities emerge to provide discussions with engaging goals. Among them, climate change and renewable energies, smart and circular approaches to agriculture as well as health and safety remain as top challenges in need for collaborative innovation. Listing such priorities for change may contribute to combine shared knowledge and expertise to build sensible, human centric solutions based on intelligent technologies.
<<Yet the challenge is alarming. Joanna Roberts from HORIZON explains how “Extreme weather and a changing climate are presenting new threats to the safety of our fish, seafood and vegetables, according to European scientists who are working out how to keep our food safe to eat.”>>
Read more: “Legal and Environment: beyond the emergency“, WAI June 2015
Of technology and creativity
A number of recent and past examples of technology developments mirror the exact same evolution around user centricity and horizontal disruptions. Analyzed from a technical and strategic perspective, blockchain for instance shows how interlinked and systemic digital technologies can become, while facing cultural and skills adaptation needed to deliver its optimum value. From decision-making to organization cultures and collaboration, it is the way people create and interact through or thanks to technologies that is consistently questioned and analyzed.
As a growing number of business and technology experts jointly develop blockchain through a learning by doing type of attitude, this ledger technology drives a number of systemic innovation intents, placing blockchain at the heart of a social and technological disruption outlining a critical need to align cultures, tools, and initiatives on human centric needs.
Read more: “Blockchain: crystallizing the revolution ahead“, WAI April 2017
Ultimately, the same approach can be replicated to AI oriented discussions. By identifying systemic components to define a meaningful AI, technology experts in fact evaluate human creativity and the technology it generates, up to potentially catalyzing it in exponential way in a positive or negative manner, depending on experts’ standpoint. Perhaps what matters is the ability to articulate systemic components in a human centric strategy and story to market.
<<With an on-going debate on long term value add of such services with regards to the economic changes AI may generate, and questions on human place in technology, experts and analysts provide a dynamic market overview of automation, machine learning and neural network researches, with the Internet of Things and Big Data as key enabler for future AI services.>>
Read more: “The human questions behind AI business models“, WAI September 2015
It is the impact of disruption occurring on team and management levels that can further indicate priorities for innovation. From engaging teams into business visions that exceed commercial values to creating synergies with customers, organization cultures now need to concentrate on building scalable yet flexible knowledge communities able to derive authentic value from information. As experts remind, digital assets should improve connections between those communities, enhancing management and operational links rather than replacing them.
<<While individual skills and cultures keep adapting to the increasing deployment of digital strategies in businesses, indicators show the need to also maximize non-digital assets of projects and teams, such as sense and leadership.>>
Read more: “Humans in the digital workplace: assessing our readiness to disruption“, WAI December 2016
What is your authentic and distinctive innovation value?
Beyond management and organization cultures, it is the definition of work itself that is being questioned by the digital disruption. New ideas for careers and aspirations for change lead individuals to share their personal values and those global issues they seek to solve through initiatives that hold the right balance of human and technological innovation. They play a key role in further defining the shared purposes human centric and systemic innovation should pursue.
<<Because visualization tools now enable us to assess our systemic impact, it becomes critical to learn with shared purposes, creating new career paths and innovation methodologies that adapt innovation strategies to upcoming business disruption led by automation and predictive analytics.>>
Read more: “13 learning habits to keep up with a fast changing innovation ecosystem“, WAI April 2017
Not only do these global change makers challenge business models and values, they also develop their own methodologies and strategies for change. They help understand how core human values can be applied to businesses and technological solutions. Eventually, change makers are able to influence innovation by creating platforms and communities who can support them on their quest for sense.
<<By gradually mastering the rules of change, smart innovation craftsmen and women get the work done without losing sight of their core values.>>
Read more: “7 traits of smart change makers“, WAI March 2017
Legal and regulatory frameworks still show practical discrepancies with theoretical ambitions held by innovation, limiting the possibilities to transform towards horizontal models. Global and smart change makers would not consider those discrepancies as barriers, though. With a consistent and constructive spirit, they would ask those questions that contribute to making sense of global issues, while developing their own solution as a creative exercise for positive change.
<<Models are being challenged: thinking frameworks, regulations, business and economic equations to stability and growth. Yet impactful change makers find their way around, targeting those sectors and initiatives that have systemic reach and human drive, applying technologies that add authentic and distinctive value.>>
Read more: “Understanding the dynamic of change through diversity“, WAI April 2017
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Photograph: Nirina Photography