How Innovation Is Changing the World Despite Threats Of Declineby@deanfed
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How Innovation Is Changing the World Despite Threats Of Decline

by David NdikomMay 16th, 2023
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A few years back, many authorities criticized humanity for lacking innovation. Tyler Cowen lamented in his book “The Great Stagnation’ about the lack of significant technological advances. Elon Musk gave his reasons for the low innovation “I think there are probably too many smart people pursuing Internet stuff, finance, and law”

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AI, today, is one of the most significant innovation trends, but a few years back, many authorities criticized humanity for lacking innovation.

Jonathan Huebner delivered a paper titled “A Possible Declining Trend in Worldwide Innovation,” about how the frequency of life-changing inventions had started to slow.

While Tyler Cowen lamented in his book “The Great Stagnation” about the lack of significant technological advances and how the American economy has slowed and wages have been depressed.

He said, “We have failed to recognize that we are at a technological plateau, and the trees are more bare than we would like to think. That’s it. That is what has gone wrong.”

Cowen's words may be valid, but if the plateau of latent potential is anything to go by, then he should understand that there are always moments in the valley of disappointment before things begin to skyrocket.

There may be moments when innovations seem to be declining, which is expected according to the plateau of latent potential, but recent developments have proven that humanity is progressing.

What Is Innovation?

According to McKinsey, Innovation is the systematic practice of developing and marketing breakthrough products and services for adoption by customers.

It’s when an institution brings forth what is needed in the future but does not yet exist and lacks critical theory, models, methods, or terminology to articulate it, says Ben Zweibelson.

Excuses for Lack of Innovation

Innovation is never an easy feat as it is a step into the unknown, which makes it a risk-taking venture. But like, Dr.-Ing. Norbert Reithofer, CEO of BMW AG, once said, “Doing nothing is even a bigger risk."

People fear their next step will lead them to failure. But what is innovation without failure? Maybe these moments of loss were when things began to dwindle, and humanity felt like giving up.

But Safi Bahcall said, “Most important breakthroughs failed many times before they succeeded. Most companies are too impatient.

Elon Musk gave his reasons for the low innovation, “I think there are probably too many smart people pursuing Internet stuff, finance, and law. This is part of why we haven’t seen as much innovation.”

The goal went from taking huge risks to create new industries and grand new ideas to chasing more accessible money by entertaining consumers and pumping out simple apps and advertisements.

Failure, impatience, and settling for the easy ways may have hindered humanity's progress, but its never-say-never attitude has brought about advancements that there are now calls to slow down before things get out of hand.

Various Sectors Progress Through Innovation

Technology has changed the way we see the world


Technological innovation tends to correlate strongly with economic growth.

The digital ‘economy’ has now amassed an estimated value of $11.5 trillion globally, growing two and a half times faster than the global GDP across the past 15 years.

Technologies like artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and green hydrogen now make up 15% of global GDP, which could grow to over 30% by 2030.

Technology has increased productivity and improved livelihood, and this innovation has led to a tremendous rise in businesses and other sectors.

The rise is so rapid, especially in the AI sector, that notable authorities are now calling for a pause in its development.

The Center for AI and Digital Policy (CAIDP) filed its complaint to slow the development of generative AI models and implement stricter government oversight.

CAIDP is not alone. Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, and over 1,000 other experts have called for a halt to “out-of-control” AI development.

Geoffrey Hinton, the creator of the neural network that led to numerous AI development, has told the New York Times he regrets his life’s work due to its, “profound risks to society and humanity.”

He stated that the serious risks that would be seen later on would include its ability to upend the labor market and, eventually, endanger humanity itself.


Business leaders must constantly look for new ways to innovate because you can't solve many problems with old solutions.

Business innovation is about bringing new products to the market for your consumers. You should be able to tell what your consumers need even when they don't.

Humanity has successfully merged technology with business and has seen productivity become faster and profits higher.

Technology has changed so many areas of business. Now that we have online business marketing, branding, and design thinking, consumer interaction has become more accessible and effective.

AI, for example, boosts business with consumer intimacy and interaction.

The Global Innovation Management Market was valued at USD 1.5 billion in 2021. USD 6.2 billion is the projected expected value by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 16.4% during the forecast period (2022–2030).

Innovation is understanding the problem and knowing the outcome. Understanding the problem may involve the ideation and implementation phases. The result may be evolutionary or revolutionary.

Businesses that are not ready to innovate rapidly will lose relevance; look at Apple vs. Blackberry. Not only does innovation allow your business to stay ahead of the curve, but it helps you tap into new markets and create new products and services.


Military drones

The military seems like the most challenging institution to innovate, yet we have seen massive transformation and progress in this sector.

Conventional wisdom suggests that innovation consistently improves military power.

World military spending grew to an all-time high of $2.1 trillion in 2021, with the United States, China, India, the United Kingdom, and Russia as its largest spenders.

Before now, $839 billion (in current dollars) was the estimated world’s military expenditure in 2001, and that’s 7% higher than the previous years.

Today's technological advances have led to many innovations like 3D printable weaponry, advanced biosensors for soldiers, explosive defense systems, rockets, missiles and space weapons, stealth aircraft, drones, submarines, and laser-guided weapons.

There are other soldier techs, but the most cutting-edge military technologies are Russian Swarm drone capabilities and American unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technologies.

Let’s not forget other heavy investments in robotics, communication jammers, cyber security, and hypersonic for the future.

Bottom Line

In financial institutions, currencies have changed from paper to digital; online banking makes transactions easier.

The automobile industry has seen a significant shift as more companies are producing self-driving and electric vehicles, thereby lowering dependence on oil.

The global population keeps increasing, which means markets and needs will grow too.

Laura Furstenthal notes, “However you measure it, innovation has to increase value and drive growth.

These values and growth are now apparent.