To most people an assignment like this sounds really simple. Choose a favourite secret of social innovation and make it your own. With so much at stake I think it’s important to examine one’s own strengths and weaknesses before answering such a question so, as a result, I don’t have a favourite secret... I have several
1) Innovate on existing platforms – not all technology is new, but how you use it in a product or service is more valuable than pitching something you won’t see for another five years. We need projects that will work NOW, not until 2015.
2) Do the hard work needed to find a simple solution – as a digital artist I don’t believe in practical application until something in 3D has been made. I would do some basic drawings to get an idea in my head, find some free software to build and simulate how it would work, and then finally build a cheap yet efficient product.
Create “transparent” technologies – it’s no secret to those who know me that I can’t stand jargon.... if I hear anything too scientific, it enters one ear and quickly leaves through the other. The best ideas are those that anyone can understand, not just the people creating them.
Economic Sustainability – what’s needed are concepts that are easy to develop, efficient and sturdy enough to last and so cheap they sell themselves. If you don’t have those three thoughts in mind when making something useful, they are not going to be a benefit to the problem areas you are trying to combat.
Peripheral Vision – I crave new challenges; every time there is a problem, I try to find a solution and usually have plenty of ideas in how to do that. Sometimes I even have other ideas that build on top of what came before, and a standard to always improve on your first big idea is what makes people’s lives better.
We must get there together, but everyone must also find the skills within themselves to contribute to solving such problems. That is where the greatest strengths are found.