As far as I remember, I’ve always embraced change. You see, sometimes, it is bred in the bones. Way back in the ’60s, as a child, I literally “lived” and “listened” to my brother’s Beatnik Revolution. Then, soon after, I probably turned granola and green before anybody in my neighborhood. I was an early adopter of the “Apple” lifestyle in the ’80s and I naturally turned into an internet nerd in 1995. I remember trashing my TV not long after that.
It became my lifestyle. My “raison d’être.” But one can reasonably ask why should anyone pursue this quest for innovation and change? Why bother? It’s much easier to stay put and look outside the window or at a mobile screen. Or even worse, at broadcast TV.
Today, more than ever in the history of mankind, we, I, have the ability to change things, from bad habits in our daily lives to poverty and environmental problems. American futurist Buckminster Fuller’s dream of solving the planet’s challenges with modern means is possible more than ever. From now on, it’s in our own hands. This “newfound” ability is an old friend of ours: technology.
As much as necessity is the mother of invention, technology is now her baby sister. Technology is empowering and can trigger knowledge and innovation. And change. Technology enables new ideas and the speed of innovation is moving faster and faster.
Technology changes the way we are and how we perceive ourselves. Innovative ways of communication between individuals and communities, like social media and mobile devices, are having a deep influence on the way we behave and relate to each other. We exchange and create content at a rate never seen before on this planet. These new possible, efficient exchanges and powerful links are creating even more possibilities for innovation.
Two new major historical human quests launched this year on two different, yet so similar, levels: a vast network of interconnected computers and scientists are mapping our brain while mathematicians and astronomers are mapping the Milky Way. As Star Trek’s Spock would say: Fascinating. Even more fascinating, interconnected brains are just around the corner.
So you can watch, use and play at will with the world we now live in. Or you can stop and ask yourself how can you participate and be an actor, a change agent, in that new ever-changing state of ours. We can all make an impact in any given field. Innovation is human by nature. All it takes is to look around you, understand the world you live in, both in knowledge and practice. From there, you can operate change. Find ways to improve whatever you do.
Like I said earlier, the will to always try new stuff is instilled in me: I look at a pile of junk in the street and it makes me think of a new project. And I want to innovate with it. Or at least make a point. Most of all, I probably want to rock your boat too while doing it. You see, to embrace innovation is to embrace disruption. Not the artificial disruption that we, as advertisers, master so brilliantly, but another kind of disruption. One that can make a difference. One that can harness the wonders of technology. Maybe it is a disruption that changes some of our daily behaviour. Or maybe a disruption in how we interact with the outside world. Better, a disruption in our consumption pattern.
Why not a long lasting disruption? A disruption for good.
Published in Strategy Magazine, February 11, 2014