Innovation – Our force for change

Innovation has become a major buzzword of our time, often with almost mystical properties ascribed. This essay is my attempt to demystify that buzz – in 500 words.

Our innovation engine

At the core of our capacity for innovation works an engine that blends three different fuels: imagination, intent, and agency.

The origins of innovation

Trying to understand how our innovation capacity works inevitably leads to the question of how that capacity evolved in the first place: Where does innovation come from?

Studies in innovation – An initial curriculum

In order to frame the concept of innovation literacy, today I’ll try to sketch a curriculum for “Studies in Innovation”, focussing on “How to think about innovation?” My story line will build on three guiding questions: What is the world around us made up of? How does that world behave? And how do we act in this world? While I’ll keep my focus on the needs of innovators and policy makers, I believe the essence of this little programme should be of interest to a wider audience.

How change begets more change

Back in 2002, Carlota Perez published an original, daring and bold concept that describes our long-term social development. For her, technology, economy, and society each play a vital role, each of them by itself drives change, as much as it is driven by the changes of the others. Here’s a very initial introduction to her thinking.

Formatting our world

The language we speak, the organisation we live or work in, and the technology we use all have one thing in common: they format our world. They shape how we think about it, how we see it, how we behave in it, and how we interact with it. All that formatting has tremendous advantages in our day-to-day lives. Yet it also provides an explanation for the challenges innovators face when they develop something novel that does not fit any of the pre-established formats.