Innovation is a valuable process. It keeps our economy appealing, competitive, and agile. Over the past decade, start-ups have become a force to be reckoned with. They continually keep giant corporations on their toes while nipping at their feet. BCX is passionate about empowering platforms that enable start-ups as is evidenced with our very own SpliceWorks.
What are the triggers?
This insurgency is predominantly due to two large forces. Firstly, the evolving structure of the contemporary workforce is transforming organisations around the country. This current workforce is the ‘so-called’ millennials, who, as the current generation of employees, have an incredible way of approaching life. They need to feel that their work is purposeful, has a point, and enables communities to move forward. Millennials seek to join organisations which are known for strong ethics, values and initiatives that promote sustainability. An absence of a concrete sense of attachment is also a feature of this demographic. If they find that their job is not doing it for them, they will get up and leave without having another job lined up.
While it would seem that millennials are considerable in number in the modern workplace, other generational cohorts are not without an influence in the corporate environment. There exists a different set of expectations and goals in the minds of workers today than existed a few decades ago. A case in point is the significant number of workers aged 65 and above, who are increasingly desirous of wanting to ‘stay involved’ in the working world. The value that older generations can bring to the modern workplace is noteworthy and has tangible benefits if harnessed properly.
From this perspective, it is worth considering that innovation and need, are not mutually exclusive. A multi-generational workforce presents a more inclusive and powerful approach with which innovation can drive meaningful impact.
Secondly, the world has recognised the sheer environmental inadequacies and social inequalities arising from class stratification created by global economies. The pressures to change are becoming substantial enough to create an impetus for governments and organisations to become responsible citizens of the world. In 2015, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) embarked on one of the largest world initiatives – The Global Goals. These goals challenge the world to end poverty, fight inequality and stop climate change by 2030. To accelerate the achievement of these goals – the United Nations initiated an annual pop up innovation lab called UNLEASH.
This lab encourages young minds to innovate solutions with a deep purpose. There is also a growing trend of positive reactions to the Global Goals on a large scale by world superpowers and multinational corporations
What is the impact?
A new lens is forming. Innovation is no longer solely driven by profiteering, but is also driven by sustainability. According to the United Nations, “sustainable development” has been defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It calls for concerted efforts towards building an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future for people and the planet”.
We are already seeing this lens applied to innovation by established players in the market. Locally at BCX, we’ve created Africa’s largest technology education programme by offering free education to young minds who would never have received it.
Henkel has re-invented Pritt sticks by making them out of potato extracts, making them safer for children who may consume the product. General Electric (GE) has committed to drastically reducing their emissions by 2020 and continues develop solutions based on the toughest challenges faced by society. Microsoft is now creating health-tech products. They have recently created a wearable that allows people with Parkinson’s Disease an opportunity to write again.
The scale in which organisations can create a sustainable future is remarkable and attests to the mutual benefit when the correct lens is applied.
Innovation is constantly evolving, and at BCX we believe we are consistently adopting new frameworks and approaches to progressive thinking.
Apply the lens in your industry through partnering with BCX today and, together we can build a sustainable future.