Anticipatory innovation

by Jose M. Ramos


This article examines the role of innovation in society, arguing that a failure of foresight in the practical design and development of innovations has been a significant causal factor in the crisis of global un-sustainability. It questions flawed assumptions about the nature of ecological and social change processes, and the worldview most commonly associated with modernism. In a diagnose, the dimensions of this failure reveal a “disciplinary dissociation”, or the failure of disciplines to integrate in order to facilitate a process of innovation with a forward view. Finally the article proposes an alternative approach to innovation which utilises greater foresight, is inclusive of multiple disciplines, and has a greater sensitivity to social and ecological processes. This process is referred to as “anticipatory innovation.”

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