Global Innovation Outlook
Insights from the Chief Economic Advisor to the World Economic Forum
The world is changing really fast. An underlying concern to world leaders, CEOs and business executives is that amid the fourth industrial revolution, the acceleration of innovation and the speed of disruption are hard to anticipate (and fully understand). Across all countries and industries, there is clear evidence that the new technologies are having a major impact on our lives and reshaping our economic, social, and cultural environments. Thus, we are all called to understand the rapid changing environment, and now more than ever relentlessly innovate.
Professor Sala-i-Martin is one of the economists who led the intellectual revolution of "endogenous growth": a revolution that emphasizes the need for nations to grow through ideas and innovation. As an expert in growth, Sala-i-Martin explains what countries (and companies) must do to establish an environment that enables citizens and businesses to create, develop and implement new ideas that will allow them to progress and grow.
As Chief Economic Advisor to the WEF (since 2003), Professor Sala-i-Martin has had the privilege to track countries and industries all over the world. Hence, he has a unique perspective on innovation and competitiveness, and is able to identify successful practices and patterns of those countries, companies and business leaders that have thrived over the last decade amidst challenges.
He knows the only way to make the most of this challenging times is by optimizing our innovative capacity. Therefore, he is keen to emphasize how innovation can (and must) occur in all sectors and countries; and demystifies the idea that it only occurs on rich countries or on specific high-tech sectors (that specifically focus and invest in R&D). As he has been able to track, some of the most recent successful business innovations have occurred in traditional industries, where new business models and competitors have disrupted, such as Nespresso and Starbucks in the coffee industry, Zara in clothing and retailing, IKEA in the furniture industry, Cirque du Soleil in entertainment and Uber in the transport industry. These examples prove that all kinds of businesses can thrive and achieve economic growth when new ideas are actually transformed into business opportunities.
No one can depict the future. However, by preparing ourselves (and the future generations) to implement an innovative and creative mindset we will be able to better cope with the changing new world orders and novel business environments. Thus, it's important to keep questioning yourself: what have you done different today?