Innovation: Taking risks or making risks?

FoAM Earth presents a performative lecture and game lab focusing on complexity, uncertainty and possible futures in the context of technological innovation and entrepreneurship

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Innovation focuses on creating radical change in existing fields. It's about introducing new technologies, new methods, new approaches to old questions. It's about asking new questions to solve current problems from new perspectives. Innovation aspires to shape the future using the tools of the present.

While innovation is one of the ways we can "invent the future", innovation is always shaped by existing circumstances and changes in the world around it. In today's world of increasing environmental, economic and political uncertainty, it should be apparent that technological innovation alone cannot "fix" things. Simple "solutions" often create unintended consequences. The complexity of contemporary global challenges and the emergence of ever more interconnected trends make any futures highly unpredictable.

People working in future-oriended fields, including engineering and entrepreneurship, are becoming more aware of the importance of thinking about multiple futures. Futures that often drastically diverge from your own ideals. Innovating in such turbulent times brings with it a sense of agency, but also responsibility. When we intervene in complex systems, our future-shaping actions are hard to predict.

How can engineers, entrepreneurs and technopreneurs embrace complexity and uncertainty, in order to act in meaningful ways, whatever the future may bring?