We are often inspired to look to the future when thinking about innovation. Conjuring up images of flying cars, robot companions and metropolis city skylines that you’d expect to see in sci-fi scenes from The Fifth Element. We’re glad to say that the real world inspires more than just the imagination.
If you have to pick one word to sum up the highlights from weekend festival FutureFest 2016, which I attended, pick ‘purpose’. From every speaker to every theme discussed, the relevance of what industries are doing to innovate in their fields is completely driven by some kind of mutual, recognised and socially-motivated purpose. This is not tech for tech’s sake.
One talk that really drove this home came from Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive of Nesta, hosting this year’s Future Fest. Speaking about the future of citizen engagement in public services he described how people power is impacting our communities, health and political way of life. The question asked, who here would support volunteer surgeons? to which no one replied. Yet the example given of volunteering app Good Sam, connecting trained medics to emergencies that help the ambulance service save lives, is an example that defies conventional problem-solving.
This is one of many funded innovation projects that Nesta is committed to delivering, all with a social purpose at their heart. The good news is this is no longer the work of a few specialised organisations – it is in fact part of a new kind of consumerism. One that trendwatching.com defines as more sustainable and ethical, healthier and fairer for EVERYONE. This sees the world’s largest brands taking on some of the biggest challenges we face today – whether that’s Unilever championing global health or Toyota campaigning against climate-change. The possibilities for innovation driven by a strong sense of purpose will see brands rise above the rest, bringing with them a new wave of consumers that want to engage with them.
If you search for innovation it is defined simply as a “new idea, device, or method”. But if we’ve learnt anything from what we’ve come to expect from the world around us, it’s that new is not innovative.
Aurora’s purpose is to make sure patients get access to the innovations our clients create. Give me (Jasmin Dent) a call about the latest trends and how these will impact your innovation.