Social Innovation

Matthias Horx of Zukunftsinstitut gave an interesting presentation on the future of family, women in business, work and society yesterday at the launch event for Bayerisches Zukunftsministerium.

Out of a lot of interesting facts, findings and prediction there were 2 things I thought especially interesting.
Transformation as business product
Looking at the evolution and hierachy of man made artifacts, moving from collected plants – hunted prey – harvesting – products – services, he ended up at Innovation (#2) and Transformation (#1) at the top of the list.
In the knowledge society this will be where value is created and high-value jobs will move to. Especially Transformation is an interesting “product” to consider for the future.
Social Innovation
For the past centuries looking at the future and trying to predict it was very much driven by technology, i.e. which new products will change the way we live.
Today, however, the innovations and changes in society and social interaction are much more relevant for the future than technology. For example the increasing number of women having access to higher education (in some countries they are even the majority) will have an significant impact on society.
And adding to this some comments from Rainer Höll, Head of Fellow-Development at Ashoka Germany, the interesting question is whether you can take a similar look at social innovation as we have done with technology innovation in the past. Are there any disruptive social innovations that change the way we live together and create a competitive advantage? On which level would this advantage play out? Is the rise of social media (Twitter, Facebook, Google+) such an innovation?

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