Systemic Innovation in a World of Uncertainty
Keywords:Systemic innovation, thrivability, collective intelligence, design thinking, disruptive innovation, socio-technical systems theory, experimental prototyping, innovation ecosystem, VUCA challenges
Systemic Innovation is a field of praxis that is rapidly taking shape as a key driver in R&D initiatives focused on integral sustainability the world over. This field curates the exploration of socio-technical systems design, implementation and insertion in society in ways that foster planetary thrivability at local and global (aka ‘glocal’) levels. To do so, it adopts a transformative approach to characteristically “wicked” societal problems through the transdisciplinary study of ways in which pragmatic socio-technical systems innovation can dissolve VUCA challenges (i.e., those that are characteristically volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous). This paper explores how insights from the systems sciences can directly influence real-world socio-technical systems change. By considering both the systemic leverage points and systemic nurturance spaces that foster the emergence of innovations for thrivability, the field of systemic innovation is developing new methods, models and means of emerging ecosystems of R&D+i (research and development plus innovation). Results include the generation of socio-technical solutions that are synergetic with each other (thereby forming collective incubators or innovation greenhouses based on the application of collective intelligence). The emergence of such innovation ecosystems requires leadership and systemic innovation that incorporates social values, technological creativity, economic opportunity and environmental integrity. This paper considers themes of innovation, leadership, connective intelligence, collective intelligence, collective creativity, design thinking, systems practice, entrepreneurial experimentation and other considerations related to the emerging field of leadership and systemic innovation.