Many great inventions started off with a small idea. To be innovative one must think out of the box. But what if we do the opposite…?
We can remain in that same box of existing ideas and reach innovation through simplicity. We can’t do without brainstorming sessions during office meetings and as a collective we can amplify each idea, making it easier to reach innovation.
The Happy Spotting Network is a great example of how people share their discoveries. Members of this network keep an eye out for new trends and innovation; findings are shared with a large global network. Every individual must realise that innovation profits the common good; therefore one mustn’t be triggered by rewards but by the idea that innovation will benefit us all in many different ways.
How do we profit?
Innovative technology allows us to generate sustainable energy. Medically, we’re getting closer to eradication of diseases. This results in an increase of our life expectancy. Economically, there will be a great shift from real workers to automatised employees to minimise inefficiency subsequently leading to a different demand in future jobs.
There’s no need to say that these developments are of great importance for us humans. One can assume that we’re speedily moving forward and we will profit by having a safer environment, an increase of leisure time and better health conditions.
How can we profit even more?
I believe that if we can get rid of the competitiveness amongst our innovators who are desperately needed, we can achieve much more in a shorter time frame. Access to information is a critical matter when it comes to sustainable development. Innovative ideas often come with intellectual property rights or patents. These are supposed to protect innovators from infringement and stimulate innovation, but the contrary seems to be happening. Given the sole right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention, I sometimes try to imagine what our societies would look like if knowledge would flow freely- the pace of inventions would be much faster.
Author: Bart van Teutem, International Intern at Who’s Who SA