By Beatrice Duran
Radical, collaborative, strategic, disruptive, incremental; of products, of process, of value. A simple “Google” and we have dozens of definitions of concepts, variations, and applications of innovation. But it could be considered as new structural models, that impact social values monetary but also reaches non-monetary values as a consequently way of thinking and acting in the new environments. From another perspective, that would be waves of innovation that rise up any kind of general activities that are, more or less, stable in a determined time in a determined society.
In remote times, many of the revolutions have come from technological innovations that have changed, completely, business models, economic structure and, of course, the way people act and think. I do not say that they are over, they continue, but it is like they reach a new frame level of constant changes and technological increments, a new frame of stability until the next wave. In this scenario, we can consider revolutions that have come from technological innovations in the industrial field (steam engine, 1780; electric, 1870; robotics and computers, 1970; IT, IA and Big Data (2000+).
However, some of these innovations have technology as a means for, support, a condition for other innovations to occur, but not for innovation itself. Looking from the economic perspective we can look at the worldwide economic history, from monetary capitalism to share/crowd models like the bitcoins, were developed as circular flows and also disruptive models that change the infrastructure, work models, social behaviors.
Creative is the most powerful kind of intelligence. In all humanity / worldwide history, we have examples of who develop this power (I think is human potential, just develop more or less depending on environmental and circumstances) and applied in different ways and contexts. Traditional Fordism and Toyotism, Rockefeller and entrepreneurship seed, Statue of Liberty and the first example of a crowdfunding model, the beginnings of the era of sharing models. All of that involved technologies, business model and disruption, social organization changes (from climate to law). The point is that all of them brings, makes emerge an impact (more or less and in different cultures, in different moments) a new way of think in the society, a new mindset, which also means a new way of acting / reacting, a behavioral change. It takes time, of course, like a wave that rise up and spread around that energy, this knowledge has the first impact and take time to chase the roots, but changes and impact in different levels definitely.
I always said and keep using and that the key questions to start a research and understand context, users and product/service is who use and how to use it. Is known that the Einstein discoveries and studies around nuclear physics impact medical treatments (radioactive exams) but also applied for the weapon to mass destruction (atomic bomb used in the second war). Another example could be considered Facebook as an entertaining social media and network but also the segmentation algorithm was used to manipulate information, space to fake news and impact in the latest USA elections.
Could be considered a number of these “discoveries” during the Nazism time. Public service design system (like the concentration camps), radio power to mass communication, medicine advances. All of that had an important (and positive at least) impact, bringing innovation although the destruction of values.
Munich was a huge experience to see these perspectives of design appliance and innovation impact. In going to Dachau could saw this innovation in a bad side applied. But also, people show different initiatives that innovation is a constancy, is a continuous process, a sequence of waves that could start (and restart) from only a person that have the courage to be different, also groups and whole companies (social entrepreneurship, future cities); showed that innovation is an alive cycle from the development until research, knowledge, value; showed, between solutions and challenges, that innovation that design our lives born, always in the most powerful human field named creativity.
So, the reflexion I would like to invite is where your courage drives you? How free is your imagination? What is the mark you would like to leave in the world through your work? …’Cause the wave can’t stop.