By Badar Minhas
WE HEAR about this word “Innovation” very frequently now a days. It is said to be the future of businesses all over the world. We see big companies relying on this very concept to boost their sales ultimately having a bigger market share. Observing innovations in the fields of electronics virtual world, it can be validated by a lay man that innovation is the crown bearer and leading the industry from front. Though we do have an expert opinion highlighting the reciprocity of the previous statement often reflected through a construct of “Disruptive Innovations” but focus of the article is on something else.
After the failure of all the isms, now its time for innovationism to evolve or be evolved by the lovers of power. We may have seen some success being achieved by lovers of power using communism, socialism, capitalism but one may declare them all as failure. It is said that the last of isms is still in power and is deviating us from what we call in research as socially constructed varialbe i.e. ethics or principles.
For innovation, creativity is emphasized as the core. Often, we hear the metaphors like “out of the box thinking” or “looking outside the box” or (my own experience is) “wild cards” in our technology foresight exercise at Ministry of Science and Technology, Pakistan Technology Board, Government of Pakistan. All these are the main change inducers in our society through leaders or future leaders. We are said to become creative in this way i.e. to think and to look beyond the rules and regulations; ethics and morality, values and norms etc. For big business leaders in the world this is the essence of economy through technological determinism very much talked about by the social scientists of the past in the west. Creativity rules over the rules set by human beings validated universally accepted with no amendments.
Now, its IT era after industrial technology. Both were to gain power through capital. It is said that rules of the game needs change, perhaps catastrophic change. We need no more limits on our thinking, actions, visions, feelings, imaginations etc. We need freedom of mind, heart and soul to create new things for the economy to flourish. We need to introduce change through innovation in our businesses. The catastrophic change won’t be sufficed by change in business world; rather it requires change in behaviours, attitudes, beliefs, norms, socialization traits and other life styles.
Visionary leadership does not need an emphasis due to their love with society and its wellbeing through rules and regulations. Governments need to realize the importance of power of the IT by not believing in cultures and its values any more. Nations need to open up and embrace the catastrophic but creative change brought by disruptive innovations which are expected to be like a rain with cats and dogs as per Moore’s law exponentiality. Future democracies are not going to be people oriented but data oriented. We wont be caring about our mom and dad as it hinders creativity. What will be valuable in future innovative and creative societies is what we dont value now. Man won’t be a good leader rather woman will transform into great leader due to the IT revolution.
We have seen our core values dying in the flood of new Information and Communication Technologies. The core value system is often characterized by love with parents, siblings, wives, kids, humans, greenery, soil, food, purity, practicality, agility, smartness, purity, socializing, health, sacrifice, etc. etc. Now, we observe teachers are not teachers as it is true for students also. Media is significantly playing role in our kids grooming. We dont value soild rather paved houses which can accommodate some small plants for aesthetics but not trees of mango, apple, apricot, peaches etc. We value impure milk which is not fresh with chemicals used after 1 or 2 months after it was milked out of a cow rather than valuing fresh milk and butter being used the day it was milked. We value paved roads which can’t be used for cultivation of plants for ages. Value is of over-communication through all sort of ICTs. Depreciation is valued over appreciation as transport tech is preferred over livestock for transportation (used abstractly as Horsomotive Industry).
There are many examples which all of us can think of proving that we dont like nature but technology. To innovate it, there is dire need to embrace a critical change in all walks of life. The core value systems must be renovated, we should cook apples and mangoes and use vegetables as fruits and for juice, innovative society may require women to work outside the box using IT while males use their strength to handle babies, creativity demands that we have a “meal pill” and use food only when we are sick, depictions of mankind being grown is known to all from the movies depicting rule of technology in movies……
Do we need such a future which is void of core values and full of disruptive innovations? Does innovation really comes when values go away? Why do we need innovation? Is it must for survival? When do we innovate? Where is the source of innovation? What role knowledge plays and old/new testament has played in innovation? Why don’t we value what we used to value in the near history? What’s the reason behind migrating to innovative cities full of population, pollution, void of socialization and purity and freshness while leaving villages where we have spacious houses, greenery, healthy food and basic necessities of life?
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