strategic innovation & design

Creativity and Innovation: Keys to Unlocking a Better Future

culture & capability human experience shared value & ecosystems

Without wishing to add to the doom and gloom that is omnipresent in mainstream media reporting, on current trajectory, there are signs that we are heading towards an undesirable future.

The venerable, UK-based RSA, which has been pioneering innovation for some 270 years, recently characterised this future as depleted, fragile and imbalanced, and outlined a new mission: to (re)design for life - to regenerate people, place and planet.

They envision a future where the global economic, social and environmental systems are mutually supportive, rather than destructive. A future where people, place and planet flourish in partnership, and where the focus has shifted from mitigating harms to ensuring doing good.

innovation and creativity key to unlocking regeneration

Knowledge gleaned from domains and disciplines beyond the business sphere, as well as historically, can guide the pathway to replenish and regenerate complex, connected systems. Key lessons include:

  • Unlocking creativity and capacity for innovation
  • Investing in entrepreneurship, experimentation and continual learning
  • Shifting systems by design rather than intervention
  • Creating simplicity in the face of complexity
  • Collaborating across institutions and disciplines

Economic and social progress is fuelled by innovation. Innovation also holds the key to meeting the challenge of replenishing social capital and tackling the climate crisis.

Nurturing entrepreneurs is crucial if innovation is to rise to the global challenges facing people, place and planet.

  • What if all budding entrepreneurs were better supported and connected to seed and scale the innovations necessary for the transition towards more resilient, rebalanced and regenerative futures? 
  • What if all business leaders and intrapreneurs were better supported to transform their organisations to lead the transition?

Businesses are organised groups of people and as such they are key change-agents economically, societally and environmentally. Arguably, owing to the assets and resources at their disposal, the largest businesses of today have the potential to deliver the greatest impact. The key, for businesses themselves, and for societies in general, is to ensure that they are change agents for good.

Awareness of the imperative for a social license to operate is becoming ever clearer, with many businesses now pursuing broader ‘purpose’ objectives. Leaders are focused on environmental, social and governance practices alongside the creation of economic value, and ESG considerations are assuming increasing prominence in business decision-making as companies rise to the challenge of tackling systemic problems from climate and energy to education.

Einstein famously said that today’s problems cannot be solved with the same level of thinking that created them, and history suggests he was right. Solving societal challenges through the centuries has typically relied on break-through technologies and break-out thinking. It has relied on imagining, or re-imagining, the world and then making that re-imagined world real. On creativity and innovation. 

  • Growth in economic systems over the centuries has been fuelled by innovation, with a sequence of general-purpose technologies, from the steam engine to electrification to the internet and now machine learning creating new waves of new value creation
  • Innovation in social infrastructures has resulted in contemporary governance and political systems; social security and healthcare systems; and educational and training systems
  • Innovation is now focused on tacking the environmental challenges posed by 20th century industrial systems that are driving 21st century system collapse

Innovation and creativity hold the key to the future flourishing of ourselves, our cities and places, and the planet. If you need help to unlock the innovation and creativity within your organisation, do get in touch.



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