The Dark Side of Innovation

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site rencontre comme tinder Is Innovation inherently unsustainable?

http://szechenyikert.hu/miliarder/3295 Over at the World Policy Institute, Greg Lindsay writes about the unintended consequences of innovation — specifically, of frugal and user-driven innovations. Lindsay takes the example of the 1 lakh rupee (approximately $2500) Tata Nano car, widely proclaimed as proof of India’s innovation capabilities, to demonstrate the “Jevons Paradox,” the neverending rise in consumption resulting first from technological breakthroughs and then from the subsequently introduced cheaper and more efficient versions of those breakthroughs.

http://diebrueder.ch/piskodral/7504 Doing more with less is the essence of innovation, but the so-called “Jevons Paradox” means we do more with less—and then more.

online dating by the numbers This is what we call progress — a burst in productivity around a new innovation, trickling down as its costs fall and it achieves widespread adoption. We implicitly assume unsustainable consumption occurs at the top, not the bottom — in the form of a gas-guzzling SUV, not the Nano. But the Jevons Paradox suggests the opposite is true. If so Prahalad’s mantra that the biggest gains come in the smallest packages only threatens to make the problem worse.

site de rencontre gratuit pour parent celibataire He also goes on to talk about the similarly unsustainable consequences of user-driven innovation, and even of breakthrough innovations like the iPhone or iPad.

http://pastormaconline.com/celka/5463 “Finding sustainable solutions isn’t about discovering new, ever-more disruptive ideas,” argues Jens Martin Skibsted, founder of the Danish design firm Skibsted Ideation. “It requires the opposite, something very un-American: standardization, slowness, and centralization.” Standards are necessary for any cradle-to-cradle recycling scheme or other forms of infinitely replenishable consumption—but they are the enemy of competitive differentiation. Well-designed products may last longer, but the corporate obsession with speed-to-market has shortened their lifecycles to the point where a growing number are obsolete before they even hit the shelf.

read this post here So what is the answer, then? Are we condemned to a future of ever-increasing relentless consumption in the face of environmental collapse? Or can we direct our process of innovation in a more ethical and sustainable fashion, and as India enters its “Decade of Innovation,” can we hope to avoid some of the unintended consequences of innovation?

What does Innovation look like in India?

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Innovation is emerging as one of the most important rubrics in the discourse on how to bring about greater and more consistent economic and social development in India. One observes steadily growing investments in R&D across the country, the setting up of national and state innovation bodies, as well as the introduction of government-sponsored innovation funds. There have also been several conferences and debates on innovation and how to best promote and accomplish it in India, and a number of articles on the subject, written for both formal publications (newspapers and magazines) as well as more informal platforms like online forums and blogs.

Academic engagement and Indian authorship on the subject has also exploded the last five years. A book search for “Innovation in India” on Amazon yields 790 results. Despite widespread agreement on the importance of innovation in India, there are wide gulfs between different conceptions of innovation and on the path India that should take towards securing benefits through investments in innovation.

Many Indian conversations around innovation begin by talking about jugaad, that uniquely Indian approach to making a joint, or temporary fix when something complex, like an automobile or a steam engine stops working. Initiatives like Anil K. Gupta’s Honeybee network have been started in recent times in order to document and promote the many jugaad-driven rural innovations across India. However, many observers have pointed out that while jugaad is certainly innovative, it is a response to the lack of an innovation culture — more a survival or coping mechanism at a time of need than a systematic methodology to effectively address a wide-ranging, complex set of problems.

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