Understanding is the key to societal innovation

The social change in the last 30 years, is driven by Networking through Internet and globalization. We have developed an ability to store information and make it available to almost all forms. Almost all can now everything! This ability is about to revolutionize commerce, education, privacy, employment, leadership and practically everything else that we take for granted. The consequences of this will transform our schools, businesses, shopping centres, offices, cities and in many ways throughout our perception of what work really is. This new time simply changes the conditions for building and developing societies.

This challenges all the principles that are the norm-setting of established society. In our increasingly fragmented society, based on the industrial society, specialization and sectorization, we have divided the community, publicity and politics, business, entrepreneurship and technology, science, research and education, civil society and the creative sector in separate areas with few or no contact interfaces.

This is contradictory for the ground-breaking innovations to emerge, as our increasingly complex world requires more and more of the interaction and individualized cross-fertilization between these separated areas to compound innovation processes to occur.

The future society building is not so much about building, but more about planting and nourishment. Experience from industrial era and the society building is that when the constructions are finished we are left with the realization that we built ourselves into our own house. If we plant, we certainly rarely rest and we have to put up with each season comes new surprises. The human creativity as a resource for society development cannot be controlled, but it can be facilitated and given better opportunities through infrastructure, venues, rules and the leadership – like garden art creators – know that the site is green it must be room for both sun and rain. Creativity has its cycles.

We simply need new interfaces for equal relations between all sections of society in order to create conditions for social innovation process. In traditional collaborative there are inherent conflicts that prevent or even prevents the positive spiral of increased efficiency, which is usually the driving force for collaboration. Collaboration is about cooperating across borders while maintaining the borders and their own professional role. Lack of boundaries is thus mostly a game for the gallery and not the gearing and acceleration as a borderless approach does. Therefore, we must break up new areas where there is no motive or reason to maintain boundaries.

These new area must be legitimate to try and test on a small scale in an iterative process of learning by doing, where prototyping leads to deeper insight into what really works and what creates value and added value. This can involve everything from new services, new forms of interpersonal interactions and new ways to deliver “old” social services or values. A tested and learning approach teaches us to accept to work hands-on with new ideas and focus on continuous improvement. Prototyping is the key to an innovative acceleration.


About sanderberg

I´m a Society Analyst, Innovator and Opinion leaders and I help people and organization to understand our completely new era and how it affects our society. I have summarized my thoughts and reflections in an interactive book in three parts, which I call Society Developers 2.0.
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