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The Ingredients For Innovation

https://fs.blog/2020/08/ingredients-for-innovation/

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The Ingredients For Innovation

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Joel Mokyr

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What society needs to be technologically creative

  • A social infrastructure: society needs a supply of creative innovators who are willing and able to challenge their physical environment in order to better themselves.
  • Social incentives: there need to be incentives in place to encourage innovation.
  • Social attitude: a creative society has to be diverse and tolerant. People must be open to new ideas and individuals.

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Joel Mokyr

“Invention occurs at the level of the individual, and we should address the factors that determine individual creativity. Individuals, however, do not live in a vacuum. What makes them implement, improve and adapt new technologies, or just devise small improvements in the way they carry out their daily work depends on the institutions and the attitudes around them.”

Joel Mokyr

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The elements of social infrastructure

People that are in need have less capacity for creativity.

To improve their environments, creative people need factors like good nutrition, religious beliefs that are not overly conservative, and access to education.

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Joel Mokyr

“Sustained innovation requires a set of individuals willing to absorb large risks, sometimes to wait many years for the payoff (if any.)”

Joel Mokyr

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A diverse and tolerant society

For a creative society to exist and thrive, the people that form it have to consider fresh ideas from within their own society and also to take inspiration from those coming from elsewhere.

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Innovation and the status quo

In all societies, there are people and groups that want to maintain the status quo because it is in their interests to do so.

Even if there are tensions, the most creative societies are those where it is still possible for the new thing to take over. If those who want to keep the status quo have too much power, a society will end up stagnating in terms of technology.

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Fostering the right environment for innovation

Keep these ideas in mind:

  • If we want to come up with new ideas as individuals, we have to consider ourselves as part of a system.
  • Tolerance for divergence is crucial for creativity.
  • Invention is not the natural state of things, it is an exception. Inertia will always act towards discouraging creativity.

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