Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Learn1: Innovation - A Human Survival Tool

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.

Views: 13

Comment by Chelsea Howe on March 3, 2010 at 4:33pm
Hey Marc! Saw your comment in the activity stream - was this blog post for Learn1, Act1, or Imagine1? :)
Comment by Marc Skaf on March 3, 2010 at 4:46pm
Learn 1 I believe.
Comment by Mita Williams on March 4, 2010 at 3:47pm
Hey Marc - I like your differentiation between adaption and innovation. Sometimes we try to change our behaviors when we should try to change our tools instead. Are you a tinkerer? Or is there a particular innovation you think the rest of the network should know about?
Comment by Marc Skaf on March 4, 2010 at 8:06pm
I very much admire Tesla for his innovations, although he never got to see them all through because he didn't get the funding. Recently I heard of a company called Witricity who are working on wireless electricity. This can have many implications, I like that it reduces the amount of batteries people will use.
Comment by Simon Brookes on March 5, 2010 at 10:09am
Hi Marc your extension of evolutionary theory to the innovation process is great. I think you are onto something there. You are also so correct in your observation re. objectives of EVOKE. Collaboration is king here. I'd like to set you an extra challenge to build a team of people who share your desire to make some amazing things happen. You mentioned Witricity above. Maybe you can form a team focussing efforts on this type of innovation for African nations. What are the problems? How might you implement a sustainable solution in these poor communities? I can't wait to see what happens. Let me know if you manage to get something going and I'll be handing out extra Power Points. In the mean time I have given you + 10 for vision. Nice work so far. :-)
Comment by Marc Skaf on March 5, 2010 at 4:22pm
I am not too familiar with Africa, however I do not believe in the band-aid solutions that many charities offer, such as sponsoring a child or donating x amount of dollars. This to me is throwing water into a leaky bucket. It may help in the short run, but does really nothing in the long run. Donating money to the infrastructure, agriculture, and other self-sustaining resources would be a better approach. Are we so arrogant that we have to go there and build schools? Why not give them the tools to do so themselves? Empower the people. Teach them about sustainability. I have never seen a homeless person saved by giving them a dollar, however giving them the opportunity to work has.


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