Two hundred years ago, Europe was the dominant innovation hotspot in the world. Machines, automobiles, trains, airplanes, architecture innovation… almost everything came from Europe. That changed about 60 years ago.

Innovation shift to the US, then China

John F. Kennedy gave the change signal. “We take a man to the moon and bring him safely back by the end of the decade.” The United States had a vision bigger than life. In the ’80s, the democratization of computing power was yet another significant shift. The Internet in the mid-’90s, Social Media around 2005, and everything digital in the early 2010s. Apple, Intel, Microsoft, Visa, MasterCard, Cisco, Oracle, Google, Netflix, Salesforce, Paypal, LinkedIn, Facebook, Uber, Tesla, YouTube, AirBnB, Space-X, Stripe, Y-Combinator, 23andMe, GenTech… The digital world – the technology for our future – is now driven by US firms. SAP, founded in April 1972, was the last European innovator that made it to a global leader.

In the early 2000s, another innovation driver was rising: Asia. Mainly China, Singapore, and South Korea became not just fast producers, efficient builders and inexpensive labor but full of innovative minds. While dealers and retailers in Europe had been arguing about Amazon’s disruptive power, there was nobody who tried to compete. Zalando in Germany stood up, but instead of triumph and support, they have been beaten down for all kinds of nitty-gritty details. Eventually, Alibaba of China attacked Amazon at their own game. Today super successful with a new and disruptive business model. Another notable Chinese company, Tencent, grew out of nothing as a rising star. A tech company that sees opportunities and fulfills them. TikTok, for instance, a Tencent company, is growing faster in the video space than any other company ever did. Megvii, a powerful AI company, Baidu, Ecovacs Robotics, Huawei, BOE, ByteDance, Byton (EVs), Geeli (EVs), Pony.AI, UCloud, Xiaomi, and so forth. Most of them have not been noticed in Europe. The market size, with a population of 3.8 Billion in Asian plus 1.4 Billion in Africa is so much more attractive and more open to innovation than the European market with a population of just 500 Million.

What’s the problem in Europe

Schools are great. People are smart, hard-working, intelligent, creative, innovative thinkers, good business people, good engineers and good scientists. Europeans practice a “problem solver” culture, can collaborate very well, have centuries of innovation history and build some of the finest products. They seem to be the top predator in the global economy. Yet zero notable innovation. Europeans can’t get traction, scale, growth and eventually get bypassed by foreign competition. What’s wrong with the old continent? Top people who would have left for Silicon Valley 10 years ago can now be found in Shenzhen, Singapore, Seoul, and many other cities. Byton, a fast-growing electric car company – a real competition to Tesla by the way – is not only one of many Chinese car manufacturers – its a German startup in China. Former BMW managers started Byton. Within three years, they designed, tested, produce a complete, fully electric car and built the manufacturing plant – all at the same time. Impossible to do that in Germany.

Regulated to death

Regulations, administration, bureaucracy and security thinking is one thing; labor costs another item, space yet another one. But all that is not the real bummer – and no – not even capital as most would immediately point out. It is a terrible cultural development from the past 50 years. Europeans have a protectionist and safety-oriented mindset like no other society on earth. Insurances, social security, data privacy and numerous other topics literally dominate European culture. Whether you look at Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, France, Spain, Hungary, or any other country, companies who innovate and disrupt get banned – preservers are in power. Uber is banned in most Swiss cantons. Amazon can’t do business in Switzerland directly. AirBnB, Paypal, and many others have a hard time to get “approved”. And it’s not just US or Chinese companies. Even European innovators have the most challenging time in their home mainland. IKEA wanted to open a shop in Nice/France – it endures forever. And on and on it goes. The protection of the dying local shops is more important than innovation. Why? Because the local shop lobby is bigger and connection to community authority stronger than the interest in standing up and competing. And in Europe, protecting means avoidance of change. Autonomous cars can’t be tested because it is considered not safe enough. Well, then all European car maker march one more time to Silicon Valley, let their cars test there and – ooops also the entire experience moves there. Most car manufacturers hold a potent board – but no experience in the digital world. As a result: some 100 LEDs are the innovation of the day. Few have experience with modern business models. As a result: Accessory manufacturers dictate pricing structures that create a car’s configuration merely a joke – but nobody is noticing. Those add ons are as old as it can be. But European car manufacturers don’t even know what their customers want; “Vive la GDPR”

Privacy protection and innovation

What has one to do with the other? Again nobody notices. Every innovative idea ever created comes from the brain. Our neurons compose new ideas from past experiences. If you never had any experience with Lexicrypt, you won’t be able to innovate around Lexicrypt. And if you don’t know what your customers really want – you cannot innovate for them. The Vendor-Customer communication is so isolated from each other, it’s stronger than an iron curtain – more potent than the Berlin Wall – more protected than China from Facebook, harder to crack than any business secret from the closest competitor. Whoever suggested this massive data protection mechanism to the European Commission did the perfect job that even the best spy movie author could not come up No cyberwar author could have done a better job than that: Eliminate an entire continent by cutting their communication off and making them do it themselves. And the security play was so easy in the most fearful culture on earth.

Lack of courage

Moreover, in most European countries, top US consulting companies run governments, military, corporations, leading universities – everything. Why? because somebody needs to take the risk of making a mistake. “We spend billions in the best consulting firms; they confirmed that it’s a great job. I’m not guilty”. COURAGE has become an unknown word in Europe’s C-Level, University leaders, and military generals. If a nation is mostly busy protecting what they achieved and avoiding risks, they build a massive framework of rules and regulations. And if protection and regulation become the standard, courage is not a need. And even worse. Those who would have the courage get blocked by those who don’t and move on to nations where they can flourish. Europe’s brain drain is in full swing. And maybe the same is on the rise in the US. A problem that modern political systems have never faced and, therefore, no concept to even deal with it – let alone solve it. Even worse, it is not even seen as a challenge. What can be wrong with order? Order is good. Yes, and the requirement of order is no change, and that means banning innovation. There is no bad guy and nobody really guilty. We are living in a continuously evolving organism that simply could not see it coming. But today, we see that the tech world in Europe has nearly no way to catch up, the automobile world lost its edge and there is only a strategy to copy the new market leaders. Europe must crack this enormous nut.  Innovate or get disrupted

Innovating the societal system

The list of nations that did not make it, is long: Egypt, the Roman Empire, British Empire and many in between. No society could ever escape that cycle. But no society has ever had such a deep understanding of human organization power, political systems, innovative behavior then we have today. Comparing it with a natural life and death cycle is not appropriate – no country actually died, the people stood alive, nothing broke – but the economy. And since we can fix smaller economic meltdowns, why not a big one? Maybe there is a chance to make a change; no society has ever been able to make “Disrupting itself”.

We are working with the BlueCallum team on structural innovation models that helps super enterprises, those with more than 25,000 employees, to change towards innovation. Maybe the collective intellect of the World Innovations Forum can help empowering nations. A good start could be working with jeopardized industries, like the Tourist industry hit hard by Covid19. Losing an old industry is not just making way for new industry players, it is also a loss of resources, experience, knowledge and more. I’m not talking about old and worthless knowledge but the ability to build knowledge, experience to find solutions and culture that cannot be transferred in another country but values that could help rebuild an innovative spirit that passed away.

 

Our world is shaping itself in an all new way.

Startups on Decline

We are seeing a general decline of “startups” mainly those who were just jumping on the bandwagon without any serious concept, more importantly without any real entrepreneurial DNA. It actually feels like a positive self cleanup across the globe. And the old saying “the best startups come out of a crisis” continues to be of value.

Economy Estimates

The world will experience another $5 Trillion or more in economic losses in the next 6-9 months. There is no change in sight right now. 2021/22 and maybe 23 will stay as is. Digital is the new social and endangered industries like Tourism, Hospitality, Air Travel, Trade, Shopping, Luxury Products and Automobile, have no where to go in the next three years. In particular democracies are hit hard and ultra easy to stimulate groups to protest and those minorities can bring an entire nation including their economy to a halt.

Innovation Financing

Innovation needs to be financed. No matter if it is a startup, a mid-market business, an enterprise, an educational institute or a government. Non profit businesses will be hit the hardest – by order of magnitude. NGOs cannot deliver a financial return on investment. But in times when cash is king, the ROI counts. On the other hand profitable businesses who deliver a value, people pay for have it rather easy. Innovative businesses will remain to be the focus point of investors around the world.

Innovation Acceleration

In order to make innovation fundable, the innovation must attract investors and must match the interests of investors. In a 10 month long “Innovation Acceleration Program” we are helping teams to fully understand modern innovation methods and processes, understand the full innovation life cycle from start to re-innovation.

Moving Fast Forward

In order to keep moving forward, we initiated the following activities simultaneously:

  • AUDIENCE: We expanded the audience we want to support to include SMEs.
  • CONTENT: We always combine events with “Knowledge Transfer”. Moving forward we are relaying on our partners to organize events and we simply support, provide content, speak, are available for chats and networking. That way we can support more and reduce the organization overhead.
  • INNOVATION: There is probably no business that has a fully functional innovation strategy. We put all our efforts into helping businesses become truly innovative – not just improve.

WIForum Business Model

As an organization we shifted to a new hybrid business model: Memberships and making services only available to memberships. Services income for resource intensive services and sponsorship for industry relevant activities.

Summary

We built up the 2021 strategy for World Innovations Forum very early this year and introduced it a few days ago to our Ambassadors in Europe, Asia, Africa and the US.  The core aspects include:

  • From donations to equity funding” for all emerging nations.
  • Digital is the new social” for developed countries.

The overarching direction: Innovation is the single biggest driver for economic freedom and prosperity – which is relevant for all nations no matter where they are.

Since thousands of years, innovation has been the primary success factor for any business and for any economy. And the counter fact, a declining ability to innovate, results in declining successes and the business or nation eventually vanishes away from top of mind as one of the companies or nations people talk about.

Emerging country entrepreneurs have the best potential for innovation

When recognizing a big problem and working in a team to find  a solution, emerging country entrepreneurs have a big advantage of the developed world: No limits from ideation to idea validation, to early production and entering into the mainstream market. In the developed world, even existing innovations like Amazon, Facebook, Tesla, Uber, AirBnB are attacked by pseudo legal conflicts all the way to banning those innovations. Mercedes can’t run autonomous driving test cars in Germany and need to do it in Silicon Valley, the arch rival of innovation. Amazon gets fought as the killer of the small businesses as customer prefer the much easier online offering. Facebook is a constant victim of attacks due to its sheer size and influence based on their innovation that attracts two billion users daily and represent essentially 90% of the digitized world. Like Amazon, AirBnB and uber are even banned in some countries because their innovation has put the lagard and conventional businesses in jeopardy. And instead of “counter innovating” the slow moving and far to letharging old world businesses fight with legal attacks however obscurely created. Whether one creates or tries to implement innovative and disruptive solutions in the developed world is doomed to fail. The good news. Europe and the US with its combined 1 billion population is only one 8th of the world population. The other close to 7 billion people, 1.4 billion in fast rising Africa, 4.5 in even faster growing Asia are more then enough to become  a world leader in any solution of the millions of unsolved problems. The innovative minds in those developing and fast emerging nations are not just the only chance those countries have to get out of poverty – it is the only chance for all of us to get the much needed innovation to thrive as the human race.

Innovation is at the heart of the Word Innovations Forum

The World Innovations Forum Foundation was established as the “global exchange for innovative minds”. In the early days of our work we did that in 2014 under the Society3 brand as an accelerator in San Francisco, California. We expanded to Europa and began to work also in South east asia. Whatever country we visited, we saw the exact same pattern than in Silicon Valley, the rest of the US, Europe and the rest of the world: There are highly innovative, fearless, determined and intelligent entrepreneurs who want to change the world. Their gravitational force is almost magic and they attract hundreds of young people wanting to become an entrepreneur too. And even several of them make it as well. The rest is copying stuff that is already out there, hope they can make it cheaper and eventually fail and close their shop. With six years of experience what works and what not we are constantly improving our selection processes and with it making our acceleration and guidance as well as mentorship ever more demanding. One clear request we have not been stressing enough in the past is the WILLINGNESS TO INNOVATE. We have seen entrepreneurs who just did not have the right idea because they didn’t even know where to start to look for the right idea. We were able to help. But those who lack the mental bandwidth or interest to innovate we will no longer support. This has nothing to do with trying to be an elite club – we are the opposite. But without innovative the eagerness to create an mindset a team just can’t be successful. If one wants to become  movie star because of the glamor but is not willing to work for the skills and develop the talent it’s a waste of time for all parties. Innovation is at the heart of or organization AND in its name from day one. Going forward we will exclusively work with innovative minds and let other organizations who work with any startup do their job as good as they can. With the limited resources we have, we must focus on the best talents out there, who can make a difference.

Where do those magical innovative ideas come from?

The founders of the World Innovations Forum are known for their innovation history, creating 5 innovative businesses, with disruptive business models. That experience led to building the San Francisco Accelerator within the Society3. Yet another creation is coming out of Society3: BlueCallum. After four years of research where innovative ideas are coming from and how they are created, the team got inspired by latest neuroscience discoveries and found the answer. BlueCallum is a wholly owned business of Society3 and now focusing entirely on innovation creation, called Neuro Ideation and innovation process management with a new “Deep Innovation Design” model. Unlike many innovation methods including the “Design Thinking” model, Deep innovation design start before ideas get created and only finishes once the innovative idea is successfully brought to global markets. BlueCallum effectively disrupts the act of innovation itself. The close relationship between WIForum and BlueCallum is a great advantage to all WIForum members.

Searching for 007 Entrepreneurs

In every country we find at least 0.007% of the population being top successful entrepreneurs and the number can grow up to 0.3%. A successful entrepreneur has three key attributes: 1) has an innovative vision and approach, solving a major problem. 2) builds a company with thousands of jobs. 3) Has the execution power to export their products and create a major contribution to the nations GDP. Getting out of university and building a billion $ company is sort of the mainstream view of the entrepreneurial super stars. Fact is that all today’s top entrepreneurs have been gaining business experience by working in a large company and understanding how such a business works. Another globally spread myth is that experimentation, pivoting and trying something new gets a startup to a great result. Fact is that none of those ever made it to the top – none means zero. Another myth is that the lean startup method is a great method to follow. Fact is that it is a method created by somebody who failed 3 times and the big win was explaining it with creating a method. Since it was the first methodical startup approach every business school and university jumped on it but it was never proven to be successful. We wee looking at success pattern and the skills that connect all of the top entrepreneurs. We could not find one skill that connected them but ten traits / talents that were found in each of the top entrepreneurs. I don’t want to repeat it hear so just a pointer to the corresponding blog post:

We need all our partners, supporters, friends, friends of friends and networks to identify those golden talents in each country. After explaining above in great detail the why, let us share the how: 10 most relevant founders traits

If you get across anybody, however crazy, with absurd ideas to make a difference, point them to the world innovations forum and in particular to the InnoPreneurs Program AKA “007 Program“.

By answering a few questions we get a first indication of the entrepreneurial mind.
We follow up with a casual conversation to better understand motive, objectives, desires and so forth
Maybe a follow on conversation exploring the idea and the vision
Thereafter we will consult with our country ambassador for more insights.

If we can find 2,000 of such entrepreneurial minds in a 30 Million population country, we are at 0.007% of the population and it would be an amazing start.

Entrepreneurial Spirit Development

The first thing we will do, is to help an develop an entrepreneurial mindset. There are a few biases with even the most potent entrepreneurial superstars may have, mostly due to misseducation and wrong guidance:
1) Believing that they need money to start a business
2) Believing they need a university degree to create a company
3) Believing that they cannot afford top notch co-founders
4) Believing they need to be an engineer to craft a solution for a problem
5) Believing that they need a big advertising budget to get into the market
6) Believing that after the first round of funding they are over the hump
And several other believes like that

We will help curent that as all of that is neither necessary nor correct.
And since we realized that we are continuously working with our portfolio companies, even after six years, we created a long term program of mentorship and guidance, accompanying the teams through all phases of a business from start to full maturity.

Global Mentorship & Support Network

Since long term support is not only a problem in emerging countries, we will support entrepreneurs from any nation by building up an digital network of mentors and other successful entrepreneurs to be helpful to the next generation. The unfortunate pandemic however also trained everybody to be digital, accept digital and use the digital engagement to their advantage. At the World Innovations Form we are building a online network of mentors and supporters. If you like to help entrepreneurs with your entrepreneurial experience join the global network and become a member.

 

Looking for more information on becoming an Entrepreneur or running a successful startup? Well we are hosting monthly webinars to answer your burning questions. Entrepreneurs talk about their experience and will answer often asked questions. This journey that you are on is not an easy one, with many ups and downs, but it does not mean you have to do it alone. Our webinar series starts from the very beginning and walks you through the innovation process, finding funding, building a team and customer acquisition. So what are the benefits for you?

  1. Insights from Entrepreneurs who have been in your shoes before;
  2. Formulas, checklists and tips on how to be a successful entrepreneur;
  3. Opportunity to directly ask those burning questions.

Our knowledge transfer webinar series has already started but you can watch all previous episodes on our website or check out the summaries below. Also, mark your calendars for the upcoming webinars so you do not miss anything. More details below.

Summary of the Past Three Webinars

Entrepreneurs DNA

Our first webinar is a great starting point for anyone considering becoming an entrepreneur, as it walks you through what it really takes to be a successful entrepreneur. The main takeaways answer the question, what are traits of an entrepreneur? These are not skills, nothing inherited, no expertise, no training …

  • Fearless/ Risk Takers*
  • Independent*
  • Curious/ Open*
  • Creative/ Compositive*
  • Determined*
  • Intelligent*
  • Connected
  • Communicative
  • Confident
  • Involving

*Must have to be a founders. Cofounders can offset 40% of the missing traits.

Idea Seeker

You want to be an entrepreneur. You have the important traits addressed in our first webinar, Entrepreneurs DNA but you don’t have an idea? In our next webinar, Idea Seeker, we showed you where the best ideas in the world come from. You might be surprised; it is easier than you may think.

Where are great ideas coming from?

  • From your own experiences (problems)
  • From careful market observation & listening
  • From taking many perspectives (see opportunities)
  • Crafting a concept (initial value of an idea is zero)
  • Get ready to execute – the path to value and prosperity
  • Why even looking for an idea? It’s the ignition.

Idea Validation

Now you have your idea but how good is that idea really? Do you know? Our next webinar, Idea Validation, showed you how to get that answer and even how to make a so-so-idea into a really great idea. We cannot stress enough, build what customers want – not what you think they should get! Here is some top client feedback to consider:

  • What problem would you solve?
  • What value would it be? How much?
  • What happens if we take it away?

Where to Watch

You can watch all of our Knowledge Transfer webinars, including are SPECIAL EDITION sessions here: https://wiforum.org/webinar-recordings/ If you enjoyed the content please let us know by commenting, subscribing or liking our videos on YouTube. We are welcome to any feedback and are happy to answer any additional questions you might have. Please email us at contact@wiforum.org.

Join our Next Session

We are hosting our next session, Innovative Thinking on Monday, August 3 at 10:00 AM WAT | 12:00 PM EAT | 4:00 PM ICT. Want to become really innovative with ground breaking concepts? You can actually learn this. Don’t miss out on anymore of our webinars, find all upcoming events and registration links here: https://wiforum.org/online-events/.

By Cafer Tosun, Alyssa King, Axel Schultze

May 10, 2020

On Mother’s Day, May 10th, 2020, a total of 62 countries have made wearing a mask compulsory the one way or the other due to the corona virus. The total population of all the “mask” countries together stands at 5.67 billion people. This means we are well ahead with our initially targeted timetable. While the KnockOut 19 campaign supported generating awareness, it was more the necessity to contain the virus, which made the governments to impose wearing masks in public. And the insight that as long as there is no medicine or vaccination available to keep safe, wearing masks and keeping a distance are two effective measures to help contain the virus.

We have put together a list of all countries in which wearing a mask is recommended or made mandatory. And yet, there are still some countries missing in the list.

Please reach out to the World Innovations Forum, if you need support with convincing your government or with initiating a campaign in your country to wear a mask. We are more than happy to work with you to create the necessary awareness.

You can contact us at  innovate.fighting.pandemics@wiforum.org

Use Hashtag #kout19
Please use it on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, email, WhatsApp, messenger – anywhere.

Thank you for your support and a happy Mother’s Day.

List of countries making wearing masks compulsory one way or the other:

Masks and terminology

While simply covering your mouth and nose will work to reduce the probability of becoming infected. There are various types of masks, which you might be interested to know about. Masks are available in various protection levels – called FFP with a number, i.e. FFP1, FFP2 or FFP3. FFP stands for filtering face piece. The numbering defines the various protection levels. The higher the number the higher the protection level. FFP3 has the highest level of protection. The equivalent in US for FFP2 masks are the N95, which is a comparable classification of air filtration. N95 means that it filters at least 95% of airborne particles. There are N99 and N100, where the number provides you with the efficiency of the mask, meaning the minimum percentage for filtering airborne particles.

Since there is global shortage for these types of masks and they should be primarily used by healthcare workers, you can use homemade masks too. That’s why some countries are hesitant with asking the public to wear masks. They are afraid they’ll run out of masks for their healthcare workers. To avoid that you can find below some links and suggestions for how to make masks at home. Or just use a scarf or bandana to cover your mouth and nose.

 

Instructions on how to make masks yourself – Do it yourself (DIY) masks:

https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/best-diy-coronavirus-homemade-mask-material-covid/

https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Cloth-Face-Mask/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJWhZJZoAe4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IiT9cSD-Ec

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUasSmReIVo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIuQMZ1Iw5M

https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/best-diy-coronavirus-homemade-mask-material-covid/

https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Cloth-Face-Mask/

 

And many more instructions on YouTube!

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What the World Innovations Forum asks you is: be creative and let the world know about your ideas and best practices to fight the pandemic.

Find out more about the initiative at: https://wiforum.org/innovate-fighting-pandemics/

Start participating in the conversation and join one of our dedicated groups:

 

The World Innovation Forum provides you a platform to share, engage, accelerate the adoption and scale your innovation with its global network of innovative minds. Be part of the innovation acceleration to fight the pandemic.

Thank you!

The World Innovation Forum

PS: Do you want to be part of the team? It is a global initiative driven by volunteers around the world. It is a growing effort. We need more volunteers to work with us on the innovation acceleration initiative of the World Innovation Forum. If you are interested to support us with your time and network, please send us an email to innovate.fighting.pandemics@wiforum.org and include a few words about yourself and what you can contribute to the initiative.

Innovate Fighting Pandemics – The power of us!

By Cafer Tosun, Jaideep Adhvaryu, Alyssa King, Axel Schultze  

The Coronavirus COVID-19 has brought our life globally to a halt. While all current measures are necessary to prevent the virus from spreading to most of the population, we must accelerate innovation to get our life back to normal and save people’s life. The virus is taking human life hour by hour. Time is critical and we must put our minds together to accelerate innovation on a global scale. The World Innovation Forum has taken the leadership to bring innovative minds throughout the world together to fight the pandemics. Since the virus doesn’t care about borders, we must do the same. We are stronger together. We are not bound to borders and can win faster when we collaborate. Currently, we see uncoordinated local leadership and no globally coordinated efforts to fight the pandemics. The measures are driven by the local outbreak numbers. And even worse countries are fighting over medical supplies. 

We already see many fantastic local innovations happening around the world to ease the situation and fight the pandemic. My favorite examples are when Italian engineers have turned scuba diving masks into ventilators to support hospitals. And published the how-to in a YouTube video to share with the rest of the world. Or when local breweries in Tampa switch from producing alcoholic beverages to produce hand Sanitzer, for which there is a huge demand. When South Korea has scaled testing the virus by setting up drive-thru clinics. And when car manufacturers stop production and produce medical supply to fight the Virus. The list can go on and you can be part of it!

More importantly, the innovation and out-of-box thinking is required not just in the medical sphere. We need impactful solutions and agile approaches to identify, communicate, respond, recover and repair communities  in near-real time speed and at global scale while optimizing limited knowledge, resources and people.

What the World Innovations Forum asks you is: be creative and let the world know about your ideas and best practices to fight the pandemic. 

Find out more about the initiative at: https://wiforum.org/innovate-fighting-pandemics/

The World Innovation Forum provides you a platform to share, engage, accelerate the adoption and scale your innovation with its global network of innovative minds. Be part of the innovation acceleration to fight the pandemic. We are stronger together!

Start participating in the conversation and join one of our dedicated groups: 

Thank you!

The World Innovation Forum

PS: Do you want to be part of the team? It is a global initiative driven by volunteers around the world. It is a growing effort. We need more volunteers to work with us on the innovation acceleration initiative of the World Innovation Forum. If you are interested to support us with your time and network, please send us an email at innovate.fighting.pandemics@wiforum.org and include a few words about yourself and what you can contribute to the initiative.

Meeting with the ITP leadership team of the University of Ho Chi Minh City. An impressive presentation where Vietnam is planning to go what innovative businesses concerns.  We also had some great meetings with students, who are very ambitious and eager to learn everything possible about innovative thinking and entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurs Workshop with roughly 20 top startups and scaleups from Ho Chi Minh City. It was great fun to work with these super engaged and highly competitive teams. One of the things that all of them have in common with any top startup in the world: determination to win.

Investors meetings at the Kova facility. We discussed investor strategies, ways to select startups, due diligence processes and post investment mentoring. We also talked about the necessity to keep top companies in the country to not loose the innovative edge to somebody else.

A wonderful and very personal dinner at the Kova house. We enjoyed traditional Vietnamese food cooked by the lady of the house herself. This was an unforgettable evening.

Great discussions about innovative thinking, investment opportunities, ways to stimulate more innovation and getting startups better supported to be able to compete on a global scale. It was an amazing evening with amazing people.


HANOI

The future of innovation in Vietnam, Conference. Great and an amazing diverse speakers, high energy and very ambitious. We talked about the innovation paradigm and the value of going global for the national prosperity and wealth development.

We were invited by the University of Hanoi to speak about the Innovation Paradigm, the value creation for the national economy and what Vietnam can do to create an innovation economy within the country.

Interesting discussions about how to stimulate innovation and making innovation an even stronger point within an economy. Also we spoke about the value of speaking English as a prerequisite to participate in the global economy.

Meanwhile, Marita ran a workshop for female entrepreneurs. The interest to participate was so overwhelming that the initial 12 people roundtable had to be turned into a 70 attendee  presentation and podiums discussion.

Full house at the female entrepreneurs meeting in Hanoi

A very interesting meeting at one of the largest mobile phone providers. The organization is determined to innovate and bring all new ideas to their customers. It is absolutely amazing to see how Vietnam turned from a rather poor country, dependent on donations, just three decades ago, into a vibrant emerging country.


An equally great meeting at one of the top business banks of Vietnam. Also here, business transformation, innovation and moving from an industry follower to an industry leader is an amazing transition. We talked about how innovative thinking is not just improving the status quo but how to get to an idealistic model and back to reality.

There is a lot we can learn from Nepal. The very beautiful and sometimes considered mystic country could not have more orthogonal dimensions. Nepal is at the very low end of the GDP list, is unfortunately high up on the list of “perceived corruption”, is a nation with the one of the most kindest people on earth, has exceptional talents, a still under developed infrastructure, is still dependant on donations from foreign countries, yet some extraordinarily ambitious people to turn the nation from a “receiver” nation into a fast emerging nation on the way to become a “giver” nation. When such a country, with a new generation of sheer infinite determination can organise to breed talents working on globally latest technology such as Artificial Intelligence, with goal to turn the nation to prosperity – we must ask shouldn’t that be possible in other countries too. We also must wonder if the combination of a new agile government, highly engaged academia, highly motivated entrepreneurs, all working together – is a superior model of the future? Or will the model of a public being permanently on confrontation course with their government, ego driven groups with nothing but steering up the nation with horror scenarios for their own good and media loving to confuse information consumer for the sake of popularity be the winner of the future?

Khem Lakai – Nepal

While we, the World Innovations Forum, has pretty much all ducks in the row here in Switzerland, a very active community in San Francisco, where it all started, and a very good start recently in Bosnia, great energy in South Korea, Vietnam, Germany, Macedonia, Nigeria, and other countries, our current Role Model is Nepal. Khem Lakai our Ambassador, had by far overachieved our wildest dreams. After our first Meetup in 2018, and a good exchange during the year, Khem understood, it was important to get top technology created in Nepal. Since natural resources are limited and industrial production is not too well developed yet, competition in other countries is fierce, he decided to help stimulate tech development. Together with Ranjan Mishran, a Nepali who is studying at ETH in Zurich they inspired a team of PhDs from Zürich and other Universities to come to Nepal. The Swiss Embassy in Nepal immediately recognized the importance and supported his actions.

Kathmandu, Nepal

In nearly no time, students in Nepal are being trained and built an AI systems and have been stimulated for Entrepreneurship. With yet another group of Nepali tech enthusiast in diaspora, lead by Prof. Bishesh Khanal who decided to quit his dream job in London to move back to Kathmandu and help Nepal move forward with other very successfully tech professionals and experts in the field of AI. Khem worked closely with various entrepreneurial enthusiasts in the nation, co-sponsored national events with Nepal Tourism Board and mentored youth in politics from all different political parties to raise awareness for a “visionary leadership”:  Nepal is to change the narrative of poor and sorry nation to a successful strong nation.

 

Premier Minister Khadga Prasad Oli of Nepal with World Innovations Forum Chairman Axel Schultze.

A few months later they invited Axel to speak with the Prime Minister Oli about the World Innovations Forum’s overall plans and also having talks with their Finance Minister Dr. Khatiwada. The power play continues this year with a first International Investors Summit in Nepal. Now Axel is preparing to attract international startup investors from the US, Germany, UK, Switzerland and maybe a few other countries to Nepal. While the country is still perceived as a rather corrupt nation, we see already Nepali Finance Minister starting to bring the legal framework in alignment with International expectations. The extraordinary journey is just in the beginning.

Khem Lakai, the World Innovations Forum Ambassador, together with his connections and a very ambitious country is making the sheer impossible a reality. It’s the concerted effort with an exceptional leadership that made this work. It was only a spark of inspiration from the World Innovations Forum,  yet the highly focused, ambitious and self determined Khem Lakai did what he felt is right for Nepal, connected with likeminded people and relentlessly executed. It’s that mindset and the understanding what really makes sense for the larger part of a country that moves mountains. In the meantime a new innovation lab is in the making. Also a collaboration between another Swiss university with a Nepali University is considered to create an exchange between some top Nepali talents and Swiss talents to also shorten the distance between cultures.

Its the right time for the right action with the right people that makes a change possible. This is the spirit the World Innovations Forum is trying to embrace. Our most sincere THANK YOU to Khem and his team of equally ambitious team of exceptional people like Ranjan Mishran, Prof. Bishesh Khanal and many others to build this World Innovations Forum poster child.

Even though Khem is the prototype of a self starter, let us inspire all of you to do what is best for your country as every country is in a different situation. But we are all one world – together.

@MaritaR

 

Innovations Age driving many major innovations simultaneously and globally

Innovations Age driving many major innovations simultaneously, independent of each other and globally

Transcending from the Information Age into the Innovations Age.

Looking back: Information is king, information will be omnipresent and widely accessible more or less across the globe. All that exactly happened. The power of information changed the world order. It was no longer the production power that made emerging countries to developed countries, but well-informed societies, that were able to understand the global trends, global needs and the way to deliver any good globally. The information age was the big enabler of globalization. The information age was the driver to let countries like Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Ireland, New Zealand, Slovenia, South Korea emerge to highly developed countries in less than two decades. But all that will change in the new Innovations Age.

Ushering in the Innovations Age. Since three years we see a new driving force, on the verge to change the world more than ever before: Innovations – on a very broad front. Human’s progress on hybrid sciences between technology and human skills: Artificial Intelligence, or enormous progress in smart materials, biological materials, energy technology, ultra small and inexpensive satellites, private business space discovery, environmentally conscious food, augmented reality – all pushing forward with great thrust and most importantly simultaneously. Hence the ‘s’ in the Innovations Age. The team felt who would be better to take the lead on this change than the World Innovations Form.

In 2018 alone we saw mind-bending inventions far beyond information technology. We heard about the creation of a heart chamber that is entirely built from biomaterial, creation of concrete stone that is made of air – actually CO2 – modified carbon, the advances in enforced deep learning letting AI play, find or construct much faster than any human ever will, creating bacteria that can digest polymers, and hundreds of other breakthroughs – in one and the same year. This year, 2019, we will see very similar development but on an even broader spectrum with an even bigger push forward. Innovation is turning from “big bangs” in the past centuries – into constantly “rolling thunders”.

The global impact of mass innovation is multi-dimensional.
1) New solutions with new educational demand will create new jobs in a variety of existing and even new industries.
2) New discoveries will require the availability of corresponding infrastructure and legal support
3) ‘Agile Government’ may become a signature term for the leading countries in the innovations age.
4) The world order will shift again. The Information Age powerhouses such as the US, Japan, UK, may need to give way to new nations with a more agile faster-responding society. It’s no longer about east or west, not even developed, emerging or less developed countries.

The Innovations Age is all about agility. We will need to look out for ‘agile nations’, ‘fast following nations’ and ‘preserving nations’. If we needed to make this categorization today, the new world order would look very different:
Agile Countries
South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria, Australia, Chile, Mexico, Russia, Brazil.
Fast Following Countries
Argentina, Canada, Columbia, Nepal, Nigeria, Peru, South Africa,
Preserving Countries
Virtually all other countries including former highly developed countries including US, UK, Japan…
The mix of developed and emerging countries couldn’t be grander.
However, that grouping is rather premature. But we will soo already by 2020 a clear impact of the evolution in the Innovations Age.

We are not alone. The term Innovations Age was coined before us. Already in 2017, McKinsey published an article “The age of innovation“. Huffington Post declared already in 2011, The Innovation Age starts now.. Also the University Of Tampere, Finland is working on the “Age Of Innovation“. And as we describe here, education is one of the keys in the new Innovations Age, the book “Innovation Age Learning” may be interesting to read.

Summary

Summarizing the Innovations Age, characteristics and difference to the past time period.
Unlike any other time period before, including the Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Dark Age, the technological period of the Contemporary History with its Jet Age, Atomic Age, Digital Revolution, Space Age, to today’s Information Age,  the Innovations Age ushers in a time period of simultaneous development, versus linear development. The possible impact of Artificial Intelligence is an excellent example of that situation. Linear development would take eons to progress. Only the simultaneous development in neuroscience, computer science, social science, robotics, IOT, gives the future autonomous machines a significance that could not evolve in a linear manner. Similarly the upcoming progress of smart or bio materials can only evolve due to its parallel development nature. And more so all that is happening in parallel to each other. For the first time in human history, parallel development will move us from a technological monoculture into a massive parallel development culture. Innovations are now literally limited to the number of talents we can build up through ever more advanced education systems – even taking the rapid development of autonomous machines in consideration. Interestingly enough: Human education will signify a major aspect of this new age.

You may want to join the upcoming online conference February 12, 2019.

 

We have been in Hanoi, Vietnam, from March 7 to 9, 2018 to learn about Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Vietnam. The Society3 and World Innovations Forum Ambassador, Nguyễn Dũng from BKHoldings, Hanoi’s top Accelerator and Co-working space prepared two packed days with insights about Vietnam and a startup event in Hanoi. The two main cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Min city compete for attention and leadership in a great way. Vietnamese are very competitive people and power worker.

Innovation in Vietnam

Vietnam is on the forefront of innovation in the areas of AI, Blockchain, Crypto currencies and other areas based on the Russian Education System. Vietnamese universities create great mathematicians and scientists who in turn work on the above mentioned topics. Our Innovation & Entrepreneurs event was having a gigantic 7 meter LED display. No more projector needed.

Co-Working & Acceleration in Vietnam

BKHoldings Co-Working Space is certainly a leading example of a highly comfortable, yet very accessible space for young entrepreneurs to work in. But here is not only a work space but also an accelerator, helping young entrepreneurs to be prepared to go after the business quickly and avoid unnecessary mistakes. It’s owner, a young entrepreneur himself created that space in a way that everybody can easily communicate with each other and still has a very professional appearance. And talking about communication: It’s worth mentioning that all startups, investors as well as representatives from universities or government spoke fluently English. It appears that there is a clear understanding that if one will want to do business on a global level has to speak the global language. We noticed that first in Bangkok then in Nepal – English is the universal communication vehicle.

Vietnam will be represented at the upcoming World innovations Forum in Switzerland as one of the highly innovative countries in the world. We will share some more insights in the Vietnamese Startup World and some top startups from several industry segments.