Innovation for the 2030s and onwards: Beyond technology

Marc Ventresca and Daniel Armanios question the role of technology in the agenda for innovation.

We often think of innovation purely in terms of big technological leaps forward, but in fact those are comparatively rare. Many important innovations may make use of technology, but the invention comes from applying it in new ways or responding to it by developing new business models and new types of business.

In this Business: the Next 25 Years discussion broadcast on 8 June 2022, Daniel Armanios, BT Professor of Major Programme Management, and Marc Ventresca, Associate Professor of Strategic Management, talk about how they see the innovation landscape in the 2030s and beyond; how innovation can become more useful and more equitable in its impacts; and how we can build resilience into systems and projects.

They start by exploring the idea that innovation is increasingly decentralised and distributed, and that the future will be more about rightsizing multiple projects than scaling one big project. They ask how we can start to ‘reimagine the possible’ and make room for experimentation, while also thinking in systematic ways about the byproducts of earlier technologies, such as debris in space.

Armanios introduces a new framework for thinking about some of these issues, which he calls the ‘three Ss’:

Surveying is about mapping out the project as a system and seeing where the different connections are, where disruptions can occur, and how you might find alternative supply channels or substitute technologies.

Scaffolding involves using collaborative technologies such as segmented reality or digital twins to experiment.

Sensing acknowledges that historically innovations have been distributed asymmetrically; there is a need to detect and include those who have been marginalized and whose voices have not been heard.

Innovation for the 2030s