Tremendous resources – well balanced?

We commit tremendous resources to innovation, no doubt. Just look at the sheer size of the Research & Development departments of the big players across many industry sectors, and consider the multi-billion budgets they invest. For example, consider Samsung’s R&D budget for 2016 (around 13 billion US$) and compare with the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) achieved around […]

What’s wrong with focusing on known problems?

At first glance, there shouldn’t be anything wrong if a society focused its innovation effort on solving its known problems. However, if that focus becomes an obsession, this society will –over time– become increasingly vulnerable to the challenges presented by previously unknown problems. I believe that our structures, our resources, and even our mindset are so committed […]

The Gordian Knot of innovation?

When you think about the flow of useful knowledge through society, and then imagine how that flow enables innovation, you’ll realize a massive entanglement. At first glance, there is a myriad of different connections between people, processes, and locations: these are the tangible pieces of the puzzle. At second glance, you’ll find that they all play some role in the generation, dissemination, and application of useful […]

Three days, three breakthroughs

Wow, what a ride! Just between 10 and 12 December 2015 –within the blink of an eye–  three events occurred that we will likely consider breakthroughs in a couple of years: the Paris Agreement, the launch of OpenAI, and the first successful run of Wendelstein 7-X. While one of those events is widely agreed as historic, the other two currently […]

Innovation landscape & adaptive cycles – Part 2

In the previous post I’ve investigated the relation between two of the major concepts that I had discussed earlier: the innovation landscape on one hand and the adaptive cycles on the other. I focused on the part of the innovation landscape that is defined by known problems, i.e., the business as usual quadrant and the research quadrant. Together, with some overlap, those […]