Innovation in times of CoVid19

Innovation can help many industries improve and transform.

Research from Boston Consulting Group puts it this way: “The formula for business success that worked a decade ago doesn’t necessarily work today. And leaders can’t know for sure what will work ten years from now. To win in the 2020s—and beyond—change will not be a choice.

Because, now more than ever that the impact is acting globally, we need to develop a rapid and secure response.

An innovation strategy will need to center on three elements:

  1. When to innovate, what to innovate for and what to innovate about
  2. What kind of environment to innovate in, how to innovate for it and how to innovate about it
  3. How to retain the innovations.

Let’s focus at the first one

To understand when to innovate, we need to take a hard look at what research has determined is optimal for innovation. As we look beyond, we find a consensus: Humans are extremely good at choosing. Every time we’re presented with a problem, humans are excellent at approaching a problem with an improved approach, coming up with better solutions and achieving much better results than we would otherwise. In a culture that’s constantly changing, it’s hard for us to rely on the ‘best’ option, especially in setting goals or identifying new options. So the best option can be tweaked, modified and improved over time.

Today we’ve a big problem driving us on this first element of the strategy : CoVid19. It’s forcing us.

As an example, there’s a global call (lead by United Nations Development Programme -UNDP-) on all hardware and software developers, product designers, scientists, hackers, makers, innovators and inventors to come together and help those who could be most affected by this pandemic. This initiative is a major global effort to identify innovative solutions for the developing world that are easy to produce and low-cost. The aim of the COVID-19 Detect & Protect Challenge is simple: to build a global platform of open-source solutions that can detect COVID-19 cases, prevent the spread of the disease, and protect individuals and societies. In response, and in little over two weeks of around-the-clock working, UNDP and Hackster, the largest online open-source hardware community, have mobilized some of the biggest names in the technology world, with support from Amazon Web Services, Arduino, Arm, Avnet, Edge Impulse, Google, Microsoft, NVIDIA, NVP, Nordic Semiconductor, Soracom, and The Things Industries.

We, as a society, have joined together to solve a problem by innovating. And that’s a lot more powerful than we could ever imagine.

If we truly want to be “innovative,” then focus on problem-solving. There are plenty of problems which are solvable, not just by change, but by innovation, the best kind of innovation, responsible and committed.

The solutions we put in place today will allow us to be better prepared tomorrow.

Much more innovation is needed!

Josep Sauleda Roig. Head of Innovation & Technology Practice


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