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CEMS - Community of European Management Schools and International Companies

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Is our age of innovation actually an age of stagnation?

Sure, there's been plenty of innovative ideas and solutions recently and over the past 20 years. The internet and, as an addition to it, mobile has brought us a lot of useful innovations that changed the way we live and do business. If you only think about how much easier our life and especially doing business has become through E-Mail and online banking for example. but this is the point: All the big innovations that took place over the last decades have been linked to IT, internet and mobile, while other areas of greatest importance see a surprising stagnation, especially if you take into account that todays computing power should accelerate innovations in these other fields too. Take the automobile and aircraft industry: We're basically driving the same cars (from a technological point of view) and flying in the same planes as we did fifty years ago. No doubt, there has been progress in safety, comfort and fuel consumption, but this seems to be slow development, what's lacking is any disruptive innovation. So, is a lot of the stuff thats labelled innovation actually "product development", which in my oppinion, usually doesn't qualify as innovation? How to foster disruptive innovations in these fields?

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  • Sep 30 2012: Human being is also used to see new developments and new ideas every day. When i speak with my grand mother about daily innovation she always finds it awesome because people from her generation were not used to see so many innovations so quickly. Our society goes faster and faster and we have already forget that 10 years ago internet was a prehistoric system compared to the one we have today. We cannot change the way of life every 10 years. It is perhaps one of the problem of the current global issues. Human being need stability and progress is essential but it has to come from a desire of change, of evolution. If we look at the world people are now more concerned on how not to change their way of life because the technology has increased the exchanges between the people but perhaps it misses something more deeply. We try to find a way to continue to consume the energy without buying fossil fuels, we try to find a way to keep the same climate (which is a great struggle). I really think our society has changed a lot during the last decades and now it needs some time to acclimate, stabilize and find new ways of development.

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