It seems to me that Innovation is synonymous with the term adaptation. However, the key difference to me is a simple timing issue. Adaptation implies that you wait for the change to happen, then you react to it. Whereas innovation takes a more proactive approach and responds to the change before it has happened. This to me makes it a better survival tool than adaptation. Innovation comes in many forms, but each has its role and can even be explained by Darwinism principles.
Innovation, even those that seem very redundant, such as innovations in vacuum technology (self vacuuming robots), have their roles. This innovation, all though not life saving, is a survival mechanism. It gives us more free time to do other things, and time as we know is a very scarce resource. As humans, we have a very finite amount of time, and innovating towards these time saving inventions is a very practical thing to do. There are many innovations which reduce the time it takes to do things, and yet we take them for granted because we do forget how scarce this resource really is. Factories and new capital reduce manufacturing time, crop and farm technology reduce the time in which it takes to grow crops, pre-cooked foods reduce the time it takes to cook food. Most importantly, the internet has reduced the time it takes to get information and acquire knowledge. This is my next point of innovation.
The internet has allowed us to travel the world, through photos, videos, websites, wikis, blog posts, twitters, we can physically see other parts of the world and we can even get insights to what is going on there through news and media, but also self-published blog posts of the inhabitants or visitors that are there. This allows people all over the world to apply their knowledge to innovate virtually anywhere from their own home. In fact, this is what Urgent Evoke is trying to do, is it not? This is a very powerful tool, made very possible by one innovation. It also drastically increases participation, instead of just having the people living there innovate, you have people all over the world with different views and strategies helping to innovate, thinking outside of the problem as well as people who are there, and the wh*** time they can be sharing this information to collaborate.
This is the exciting and new reality of innovation that we have yet to see the full capacity of changes it will bring. I hope that being exposed to the world in this way will EVOKE people all over the world to participate in innovation if they are inspired to do so. Inspiration can come from anywhere, even a picture uploaded to a blog. Look for yours and aspire to innovate with your idea.