Worrying about whether we are in a recession, depression or about to fall off some proverbial cliff has created a sense of turmoil in the economy that is toxic. As we all know security and confidence fuel our global economy. A more responsible approach to analyzing where we are at as a nation is by comparing our accomplishments and overall direction. With the rapid advancement of technology since the 1980’s when everyone started getting computers and cell phones in their homes and offices, to present day, with electric cars, a massive recycling infrastructure, virtual workspace and smart phones in everyone’s pocket there is no doubt we are in the middle of an Innovation Revolution.
The reality is that we are in a connected society where problems are real opportunities of invention and are no longer localized. The global community is not a ‘new age’ philosophy but a reality at your fingertips, provided you have wi-fi access of course. Specified and not for profit organizations have emerged and continue to multiply in order to support and nurture the innovation boom in the 20th century, a few include Innovation Accelerator, LAVA, Tech Coast Angels. As recently as 2008, the United States ranked #1 in the world as an “innovation hot-spot” according to the Harvard Business Review. One of the underlying issues in America that we can all agree on is that knowledge is power and being powerful is a great responsibility.
Radical ideas are often met with severe criticism, however popular opinion never mattered to Einstein and it did not seem to cross the mind of Steve Jobs or matter at all to Sir Richard Branson. Undoubtedly our world has been transformed by monumental inventions and as the heart beat of America, innovation will always carry us into the future.
Taking a closer look at some monumental developments in the works gives us hope, inspiration and reprieve from the depression and catastrophe crazed nation. Besides the ability to book a flight to the moon, or entertainment related innovations, many practical and unfathomable ideas are being worked out as you read this. Some ideas as reported on Wired include rechargeable aircraft, spray painting wi-fi hotspots, turning deserts into power plants, putting digital displays in your eyes and finally declaring war on those pesky asteroids that almost keep hitting us. Equally exciting, the December issue of Inc. included some more conservative budding innovations such as burning our waste as fuel, the production of a fully functional wearable robot for wheelchair bound individuals and non discriminatory access to quality education through Minerva, a direct attempt at reforming our education system.
By streamlining how and where we work on a daily basis we can focus individually on eliminating our negative imprint and focus more on our own inventions and business or opportunities for growth. The popularity of virtual office space is a product that arose from the need of a more flexible, conservative and collaborative way to conduct business more profitably and productively and is growing in thriving hot spot areas for good reason. In addition to making sense logistically, virtual offices commonly increase networking and investor opportunities in these open space environments.
The definitive question becomes if we are ready to work together as a society, locally or globally, through the course of the Innovation Revolution, preparing for and sustaining the opportunity for advancement in areas such as technology, medicine and natural resource management. There are some great tips for fostering Innovation in the workplace in the Harvard Business Review (despite the article title), Nine Rules for Stifling Innovation, which are applicable to the average person in daily business.
Looking at the major strides made during the Industrial Revolution and its after effects of greed and power monopolies, you can’t help but draw parallels between then and now. Since we have been through this type of revolution before, history dictates that we should be responsible with regards to the welfare our people and our impact on the global environment. By adopting a more positive outlook on what our future holds and having confidence in the genius that exists here in our nation, the Innovation Revolution is an era that we can be proud to be a part of.