Allow me to greet the opening of the second decade of the 21st century with an invitation to innovate. I recently said to a group of close friends that this decade we are heading is for the new “Steve Jobs” of our time – the old Steve Jobs showed us that what we know as “rules” and “laws” are not set in stones. He opened the floodgate for many who will come after him and challenge the “givens” of the society.
They will discover for the world a whole new way of doing things. They will refuse to stop at obstacles and take for granted the “it has always been like this”, and will not hesitate to bend the norms and thus offer the world fresh ideas born out of what we will before perceived as foolishness and naivety. They will continue to be restless in face of the problems presented and will not bulge at status quos. They are the ones who will continue the tradition of the late Steve Jobs in all areas of our lives and lay the foundation of this our millennium in science, technology, politics, philosophy and even religion.
If in any time of history we will find the answers to the profound questions of humanity, I believe this is the millennium when we will. I will not be presumptuous to say that we are living in the age, the golden age of humankind, the Modern age after the modern age, but because of the collective experience of humanity throughout history, because of the vast potential of information and knowledge sharing, because of the army of Steve Jobs who will provide us new insights by tweaking the rules, we will find some of the treasures our species has sought since time immemorial.
I will put my best bet especially on the innovations in health science – when technology will prolong and improve the quality of our lives where a 60-70 year-old will be considered middle-aged in the next few decades of this millennium. No, we will still not find the elixir of immortality, and no, we may not find the solutions to every conflicts, but if we allow the course of history to take place at its current pace, I truly believe, we can make this world a better place, for everyone.
Let’s start small, but dig deep – stay hungry, stay foolish. To a great year and a great decade ahead!
The article below was originally published in the Penang Economic Monthly with the title, Don’t Wait, Innovate Now!
Many of us will remember for years to come the moment when we learned the news that Steve Jobs had died.
For me, it was somehow strangely sublime; I was attending a conference on innovation in South Korea when I received the news about the death of one of the greatest innovators of our time. And I saw the news, of course, on Twitter, the Internet innovation which has in turn transformed the way we approach communication and information.
But I do not want to add to the thousands of Steve Jobs eulogies available for reading online. Nor will I write about lessons his life has taught us. You can read those on the Internet too. I want to talk about how society should embrace problem-solving, or in other words, social innovation.
Obstacles to social innovation
In our society today, there are two obstacles which hamper innovation. The first is, we spend…(read the rest of the article here)
(Picture Source: Jeju Olle)