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/.

Yet another amazing World Innovations Forum Conference, all online. Attendees from 59 countries and speakers from 22 countries made it a great event.

The conference started with the 10-year agenda of the World Innovations Forum Foundation. Our Chairman talked about the time it takes to make startups into big companies and how many are needed to turn a developing country into a prosper economy. The aim of the forum and its members from over 20 countries is to double the number of developed countries by the end of this decade – 2030. Later on he spoke about the Innovations age where currently 30 patents are registered every minute. By inspiring more innovation this number will grow exponentially in the next ten years.

WIForum Digital Conference_Day 1_Axel Schultze

A WHOLE GROUP OF ORGANIZATIONS ALIGNED

WIForum Digital Conference Fabio SeguraThe World Innovations Forum is not the only organization with big ambitions. Another organization in our ecosystem are helping entrepreneurs to thrive, create large number of jobs and get their country to prosperity is the Jacobs Foundation. Their contribution to 2030 is to help with education and embracing learning variability. From a one fits all education system to learner adjusted education.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT

WIForum Digital Conference_Entrepreneurs DevelopmentIn the following entrepreneurs round table, representatives from Tech in Africa, Axel Peyrier, the Happel foundation, Alexander Lanz and SwissContact, Teresa Widmer spoke about what it takes to actually inspire entrepreneurs, not telling them what to do. Great discussions and a variety of perspectives.

AMAZINGLY INNOVATIVE ENTREPRENEURS

We saw a total of 9 amazing startups and scaleups that only proves, that there are extraordinary and innovative startups in any country on Earth.

Owen Sakawa from RepairNet, Kenya, is building a platform for a roughly billion people market and their repair needs in Africa. And Eddy Richauvet from ShopRunBack in Cambodia is building possibly the most powerful addon to the e-commerce world, a complete “Return-Platform” including the logistics network for the 65% of the eCommerce market not covered by Amazon.

WIForum Digital Conference_Owen Sakawa_RepairNet

WIForum Digital Conference_Eddy Richauvet_ShopRunBack

 

 

 

 

Lin Hwang from Damogo, Indonesia is fighting food waste and how they turned on the heat in just a few months. Tobias Gunzenhauser, from Yamo, another Accelerator graduate, shared how he and his co-founders built Yamo into a super fast growing  baby-food powerhouse.

WIForum Digital Conference_Lin Hwang_DamoGo

WIForum Digital Conference_Tobias Gunzenhauser_Yamo

 

 

 

 

Agudor Agabas from AppCycle in Ghana presented their idea and how they transform waste to new products and use almost exclusively waste to produce everything from clothes to accessories in a very innovative way. A different innovator was Ibrahim Abdulmalik from Farmula in Kenya, he shared how they help revitalize the supply chain of farmers’ businesses, as it is to a large degree destroyed from western food business. Expired food from the developed nations are brought into Africa as “development aid” but ruins in some sections the entire local food chain. How can a chicken farmer compete with their free range chicken against chicken for free, even if it is already a bit rotten.

WIForum Digital Conference_Agudor Kwaku Agabas_AppCcylers

WIForum Digital Conference_Ibrahim Abdulmalik_Farmula

 

 

 

 

Moving virtually back to Asia, Phi Nguyen from sPhoton presented a new Artificial Intelligence based Corporate Communication System, taking modern voice interaction aka Alexa into the corporate world. It may not apply in the West, but the 6 billion Asian market with managers half the average age and hungry for digital experiences, is certainly a pristine market for it. Africa is seeking talents very much like Asia. Emmanuel Leslie, from TalentsInAfrica in Ghana presented another AI based solution for talent development and talent match. With a number of startups that exceed the number of Silicon Valley startups, Africa is moving extremely fast and talent acquisition is one of the limiting factors.

WIForum Digital Conference_Mutembei Kariuki_FastaggerWIForum Digital Conference_Peter Muchemi_Megashift

 

 

 

 

Two more innovators presented, Mutembei Kariuk from Fastagger in Kenya and Peter Muchemi from Megashift, also in Kenya. Last and definitely not least was a special highlight. Binay Raut, from Paaila in Nepal presented the first Artificial intelligence based Robot from Nepal. In less than a year, the team built a first greeting robot, then a more sophisticated robot for banks and was even able to export their robots to the US. During the pandemic, Paaila was the first to build a robot for hospitals, serving patience and reducing the risks for the care personnel. Just a few years ago, it was unthinkable to create AI based robots made in Nepal.

WIForum Digital Conference_Binay Raut_Paalia Technology

FINANCIAL COMPANY VALUATIONS

WIForum Digital Conference_Karim Raffa_Company ValuationThe most challenging finance question for startups is to create a meaningful and defensible company valuation. This challenge is the same, all over the planet. Karim Raffa, a finance expert, former entrepreneur and investor himself is educating startups to create valuations that attract investors but not ruining their capital. Karim is also helping investors to make meaningful offers, because asking for too much equity in the beginning may change the discussion quickly against both, investor and entrepreneur.

INVESTOR ROUND TABLE

WIForum Digital Conference_Fundraising PodiumWith investors from Cambodia [Christophe Forsinetti], Switzerland [Thomas Kern], and Vietnam [Duc Viet Nguyen], we had a great mix of representation from developing, fast emerging and developed nations. Investors from around the world look for gold nuggets. Average quality startups are nearing a million and have the highest risk. Lack of well structured FDI policies for equity foreign direct investments however still prohibit deep pocket investors to invest in these new countries. In Asia most startups move their HQs to Singapore and African companies to the UK, Singapore or Switzerland.

INNOVATION OF NATIONS

WIForum Digital Conference_Ndubuisi Ekekwe_Building the Innovation of Nations

We heard an intellectually demanding but to the point speech from Ndubuisi Ekekwe, about the importance of innovation for each nation as a key to competitiveness and prosperity. He talked about how good policies can unleash the power of innovation or limit them, and what economic frameworks can do to empower entrepreneurship to thrive and create jobs or disable their abilities and make them possibly leave their countries. He essentially delivered the recipe for politicians to make their countries thrive.

DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA

Emmanuel Ndonga spoke about the unique opportunities for Africa. Almost 60% of the African population is under the age of 25 with untapped opportunities for growth and development. But Africa is not a country with a culture, it is continent 54 sovereign countries and a total population of 1.3 Billion with a fast growing number of university graduates. Emmanuel presented an amazing list of activities for governments and the population to get up and get autonomous, reducing external influence and becoming innovative – because they can. Similarly a great presentation from Ashwin Ravichandran who spent many years in Africa, and helped hundreds of entrepreneurs build their businesses and thrive. Africa has changed dramatically in the past 10 years and the biggest shift is yet to come.

THE INFLUENCE OF EDUCATION

WIForum Digital Conference_Dr. Ram Shrestha_Innovation in NepalEducation, in particular education for innovative thinking, like it is practices in Switzerland, was addressed by Dr. Ram Shrestha Ph.D., Vice Chancellor of the Kathmandu University. He gave insights into how and why Nepal should accelerate their motivation to more entrepreneurship in Nepal. Later on Dr. Matthes Fleck, Ph.D. from the University for Science and Arts in Lucerne spoke about the talent development of entrepreneurs from western universities and the importance for startups to get access to those talents early on.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP GENDER NEUTRAL

WIForum Digital Conference_Female Entrepreneurship PodiumWIForum Chair and co-founder Marita Schultze organized a round table where female entrepreneurs including Clarisse Iribagiza from Rwanda, Sophie Meas from Cambodia and Prativa Pandey, Ph.D. from Nepal had a partly controversial discussion about the role women in entrepreneurship. In some countries it is not even a discussion about the gender sensitivity, yet in others societies, women are still discriminated in so many ways, like in Nepal, so that the entrepreneurship aspect is just a side effect.

NEURO IDEATION

WIForum Digital Conference_Neuro IdeationThe most advanced technique to create innovative and disruptive ideas and turn them into reality is Neuro Ideation. Attendees learned how the brain actually composes ideas and how they are processed so that innovation can happen. The concept of Neuro Ideation is brand new and puts emerging countries and developed countries on a even playing level. Rapid idea development, accompanied by a disruptive business model can happen as quickly as 3 weeks but no longer than 6 months. The Deep Innovation Design method, with neuro ideation at its core fundamentally changes the act of innovation and disrupts innovation itself. The world Innovations Forum, together with the Society3 Group will be empowering entrepreneurs independent of which country they are from.

INNOVATION FIGHTING PANDEMICS

WIForum Digital Conference_Cafer Tosun_Innovate Fighting PandemicsAnother highly innovation related topic, that is very timely as well, was presented by Cafer Tosun, an SAP executive and Advisory Board Member to the WIForum. Innovation Fighting Pandemic, is an initiative, led by Cafer Tosun, leveraging the innovative spirit to fight covid-19. After a short but intense campaign to wear a mask, the campaign was reduced in intensity after 62 countries announced masks are mandatory or at least highly recommended. He shared some details about a new project where innovative thinking was applied in its truest sense. A concept to eradicate covid-19 neither by vaccines or treatment but by mass testing and stopping the transfer of the virus. The method and concept to do so came neither from the technology sector nor from the medical sector, but from the genetics space. There is a good chance to test millions of people per day and up to 5 billion in a week. We will be providing updates after the next tests in a few days.

THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE VISION IN EACH COUNTRY

During the three days we also heard from our Country Ambassadors: Dung Trung Nguyen [Vietnam], Khem Lakai [Nepal], Christella Uwamahoro [Rwanda],  Eunice Nyandat [Kenya] and MacCarthy Mac-Gbathy [Ghana]. With each of them we discussed what is attractive in their country for those seeking entrepreneurship opportunities, how fast they develop and what the possibilities are for foreigner who may help build their respecting nations. History has shown that there have been many “Lands of Opportunity” in the past: Egypt, Greece, Rome, the UK, the US to name just a few. All have been nearly world dominating – none have ever seen true world domination. Now, there are many different lands of opportunities popping up almost at the same time. Maybe it is the time humankind realizes that we can only reach our best potential when all other nations reach their best potential as well.

WIForum Digital Conference_Vietnam AmbassadorWIForum Digital Conference_Nepal Ambassador

WIForum Digital Conference_Rwanda AmbassadorWIForum Digital Conference_Kenya Ambassador

 

 

 

 

WIForum Digital Conference_Ghana Ambassador

THE FUTURE OF NATIONS

It is no longer a futuristic vision, that emerging countries will become a significant contributor to our global economy. Well aware of what worked and what didn’t in the past, most entrepreneurs of the future are very well aware that companies with 100,000+ employees are most likely not the future of the global economy but highly agile specialists connecting and collaborating with each other. The makers movement in China has already proven that millions of people are producing a small number of unique components faster, better and less expensive than any other nation. The advantage is not the cheap labor as labor cost rises in Shenzhen very quickly as well – the advantage is an unparalleled agility. The other mega challenge is global energy consumption. As more and more emerging countries are rising, so is their energy hunger. Also here, ingenuity and unique entrepreneurs working on various energy related projects such as geothermal energy development in Kenya, where 40% of Kenya’s energy consumption is generated by that technology. Geothermal development in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda will provide much-needed environmentally sustainable energy, maybe one day for all of us. Similarly is the development in South East Asia rapidly moving towards better technology, far more automation than in any other area in the World. Singapore can be called the most advanced nation in the world with an unseen before balance between human development, nature protection, sustainable planning for the future and a nowhere else achieved lifestyle. The 4.4 Billion Asians plus 1.4 billion Africans represent not only by far the largest markets on earth but also the most agile development and most innovation hungry young generation. The biggest advantage of this 5.8 billion population (75% of all people) is their low level of protectionism, bureaucracy and innovation blocking interest groups.

By 2030 we can expect developed nations will be doubling and by 2040 doubling again, which means more than half of the nations are having a status of developed country.

WIForum Digital Conference_Axel Schultze

Axel Schultze, the World Innovations Forum chairman closes by saying “Even the world’s strongest nation will unfold it’s biggest potential, at the day every other country has reached theirs”.

The next World Innovations Forum Global Conference is scheduled to be held in June 2022.

The whole WIForum Team in Switzerland as well as all our national teams in the respective countries like to thank everybody for their amazing contribution and participation in this years event.

 

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.

Covid-19 is only one crisis of many in our near past – and you will learn to live with crises in the future. Moreover, you should make your startup crisis resistant.

With the track record below you can almost be sure there will be yet another problem lurking around the corner and you need to be ready to take it. My personal recommendation: “DO NOT SPEND A HUGE AMOUNT OF EFFORT IN PROTECTING YOUR BUSINESS FOR A FUTURE CRISIS”  but be aware that it can happen every day again and it can be completely different than anything we have seen so far.

  • Oil crisis early 1980’s
    It was the first big rush into the startup world. Comdex started in 1979 and the tech startups flourished. But for most other firms it was a year of financial trouble. The oil crisis had it’s peak. We were looking for funding for Computer 2000 – not much luck initially.
  • Bubble burst 2000
    The stock exchanges collapsed under the Internet Bubble burst. Extreme speculation caused a huge financial crisis. Several investors even committed suicide. Thereafter there was no funding for any startup whatsoever. We were 4 weeks away from our IPO, spent all the money on it, and then boom. How to survive? Today the company doomed to die does nearly a billion in revenue.
  • September 11, 2001
    The Internet Bubble seemed to be fading out, and the next big crisis followed right on their heels. And again no funding, no support, nothing that could keep a startup alive unless they found their own way. It was the day of our very first investor pitch at a new startup BueRoads. Obviously it did not happen. Five years later we were the market leader in our space.
  • US economy meltdown in 2008
    The prime rate disaster killed the entire US economy. Startups – again – had nowhere to go. And again cash conservation was the call of that time. Only the best survived. We were just launching the Social Media Academy. Five years later we had the highest reputation in the Social Media education space.
  • Refugee crisis in 2015
    Millions of refugees from the middle east and north Africa had to leave everything back and migrated to other countries. Those who tried to start a business in the North African belt had to start all over – in foreign countries with no connections. We started a refugee accelerator to help migrating entrepreneurs to start a business in Germany – where nearly a million refugees entered. Five years later, 12 companies survived and created over 100 jobs.
  • Corona in 2020
    And again, yet a different type of crisis but the same effects: Startups run out of money and either find a way to survive or go out of business. And again the best will survive and the weak ones will die.
  • TBD 20XX
    With that history, we, entrepreneurs, and the entrepreneurs to come will need to deal with it. All entrepreneurs have to consider an incident that may cause their crash and go through it. Disaster Recovery is not only an IT term or for economies but for every business no matter how small or large.

The Big Advantage

Today we have a huge advantage over previous times: Healthy businesses can switch to a digital continuation plan within days. Home offices, fully connected employees can access even the mainframes through digital connections to the corporate main frames or local networks, video conferences can connect us with virtually anybody, we don’t need fax or paper, we don’t need to travel, and with a two- or three-week time lack we “could” go back to full production. The biggest issue is still coordinating an entire country to do the right things at the right time. And education is key. This current crisis has demonstrated to perfection where our weaknesses and opportunities are. As posted before: We will never get back to what was in the past. Business already did and will continue to massively shift towards a digital life far beyond what we have today.

Startups here and now

You have been at school for any of the previous crisis or not even alive back then. But there is quite a learning. The questions basically are:
What did startups do in the economic crisis 2001?
– With innovative ideas, maximum cash conservation, alternative funding and more.

How did refugees build a business with nothing?

– With an unbendable willpower to survive and the dream to get their families into safety and build a new existence.

How to structure a business during a crisis?

– Forgetting growth and every mundane drive forward but move into survival mode and never give up on the big and bold vision of a different future that made the company start in the first place.

How to turn a business to profitability in 30 days?

– By taking any available creativity to get cost down to zero and maximize the effort to get revenue.

What resources are still available in bad times?

– Every positive thinking human is more open to help than ever before – just ask!

What funding options, other than investors exist?

– There are at least 10 alternative ways to get funding from friends, partners, crowdfunding, banks, grants, service sales, pre-production sales, and more.

The best startups have always been those who survived a crisis.

If you are fully “digital & social”, social in the sense of social media, you have a huge advantage right now. But if the next crisis is a cyber-war, energy attack that leaves us with no power and no Internet? What would we do? There will be a startup with cool solutions as well :)

Please join us on our online call for entrepreneurs: “Surviving a crisis

Also please share your own tips, experiences, and suggestions.

 

By Cafer Tosun, Alyssa King, Axel Schultze

Everyone from young to old, wants to know when this pandemic is going to be over. We need a plan to end Covid-19. There are many companies and researchers around the world working feverishly to find a cure. Some vaccines companies in various countries have started their clinical trial phases. It will be the fastest in history to enter the market for a vaccine. And yet there is no concrete plan when this will be. It might take one, two or more years. With KnockOut-19 we have started a campaign to end the Covid-19 pandemic in 19 weeks.

Campaign – KnockOut-19

Yes, in 19 weeks! In about 5 months this could be over. And it doesn’t take much. If everyone wore a mask. Covid-19 could be over, because there would be no host for the virus. With no host there will be no virus. It’s that simple. This is where we need you to support the campaign. The goal of the campaign is that we are faster in getting everyone to wear a mask than the virus can spread. We need you to join the campaign, wear a mask and ask your friends to do the same. If you get only 3 friends within a week to wear a mask, and your friends do the same, we could reach the entire world population of 7.8 Billion people in 19 weeks, based on pure math. And if everyone wears a mask it significantly reduces the probability of becoming infected with the coronavirus. The good thing is that this works even if it is a simple mask or a scarf, with which you cover your mouth and nose.

Probability of Contagion

Join the campaign KnockOut-19 by wearing a mask, give our Facebook site a like and ask 3 of your friends to do the same. By doing so you will create a chain which will be faster than the virus can spread, and the Covid-19 pandemic can be knocked out in 19 weeks’ timeframe. Hence the campaign name KnockOut-19. If everyone protects everyone else by wearing a mask the virus will have less chance to spread and may well disappear. See illustration Probability of Contagion.

Here is the message we want you to pass over to your friends:

“Wear a mask – keep a distance”
No host – no virus
Tell anybody you know – we will spread faster than the virus.
And ask them to like fb.com/kout19 to count supporters.

 

Wear a Mask

If you don’t have a mask. Don’t worry it is not difficult to make masks.  You can find more info about masks further below. Spread the word, be part of KnockOut-19! There are plenty of instructions on YouTube on how to make masks yourself. Some we have listed below. Share these with your friends.  Make sure your friends wear the masks and join the initiative too. In 19 weeks Covid19 could be knocked-out. Sounds too easy to be true. Give it a try and see what happens. You can make the difference.

Knockout-19 Timeline

Be part of the KnockOut-19 challenge! Take a picture with your friends wearing the mask and send it to the World Innovation Forum. As a token of appreciation, you will receive your electronic KnockOut-19 certificate from the World Innovation Forum.

World population 7.8 Billion as of May 2020: https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/

Wearing a mask might not protect you from getting infected, but it will protect others from becoming infected. Now, imagine if everyone wears a mask, then the spread of the virus can be stopped no one will be infected. And as a result, Covid-19 is knocked out and we save many lives!

Make sure you give the KnockOut-19 campaign a like on fb.com/kout19 to count the friends numbers.

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

Thank you for caring about your friends!

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 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=uRfhuRNua_E 

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!

 


 

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:

LinkedIn Facebook

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.

The world is introduced to two more ways to be divided. In the past we divide between east and west, north and south, good and mediocre education, blue collar and white collar, religious and non religious and so forth. The digital divide has been discussed more on a local level and language divide is an almost none issue.

In just 4 months however, the digital divide became a global topic and the discussions around the language divide has moved from scientific and sociologic discussions to a global divide of English and Non-English speaking groups.

LANGUAGE DIVIDE

Politicians with less English language capabilities have less global insights in the virus development and take much longer to respond. Those, who are fluently speaking English have usually a faster response time, with a few exceptions. The German chancellor for instance explored all globally available date and decided with a very clear answer and very well educated. We see the late start but the radical results. And even within countries one can experience the divide based on language skills or the lack thereof.

DIGITAL DIVIDE

Rapidly setup digital home office or not. Using conference calls or not. Business continuation plans or not. Staying connected or not. Remaining social or being isolated. What was “BAD” and having potentially long term negative impact –  all of a sudden became a social LIFE SAVER.

Even most stubborn businesses or governments rationalized that we are divided in two worlds: the digitally connected and the physically connected. One can switch behavior and work modi in an instant others not at all.

And we learned more: Those who work from home over a longer period of time, now either start working later and really sleep in – but are usually up later in the evening and vice versa. I realized getting emails from some people already at 6am, long before I usually be up and have even phone calls at 11pm because that is more like my time :) Funny – it not only doesn’t hurt – it actually makes life much more natural.Everybody can live their life by their inner clock. Did I mention daylight savings time? NO I actually get only disrupted by the change of my clock – but not my inner cycle.

COMBiNATION OF BOTH

Both together: the digital and the language divide are a powerful couple or a serious threat. When running innovation development programs with participants from literally around the world we realized a phenomenal effect: NO matter whether the participants are from Ghana, Vietnam, South Korea, California or Switzerland, the digitally literate and fluently English speaking attendees show no sign of any difference. Even not when one comes from one of the top universities and others from mid level education. Innovators seem to speak a universal language of fearlessness, creativity, curiosity and ambition.

In the end, all the good intention and experiments to bring more equality to the world, with at least moderate impact pushed a 0.3 micron small virus rapidly forward. Only time will tell the real impact past corona. For now the degree of unification however shows amazing progress.

 

As part of the WIForum Initiative “Innovate Fighting Pandemics” we discussed ourselves what would we do if we ran a production company with thousands of employees and are forced to shut down. What would we do if we have no tools and no resources? We started to calculate:

The incubation time is approximately 2, sometimes 3 weeks. We are home for three weeks and “experience” for ourselves, that we feel safe and had zero contact to anybody. We do not show any symptoms and are most likely not infected. So we and friends of ours with the same pattern: 3 weeks in quarantine and no symptoms could meet. If we had a tester we could do a quick test and have a party – totally safe.

How about elevating that thought to a production company.

Employees who have bin in quarantine for three weeks with no symptoms could go back to work, assuming they don’t use public transportation, don’t stop anywhere and commute  in “tunnel mode”, very much like their VPN to get safely into the network of their office.

GROUP A
A first group of let’s say 1/3 of the employees could be carefully selected in a way that production could be fired up.
They start 3 weeks after breakout assuming they were in quarantine and have no symptoms.
Ideally each employee gets tested as they re-enter the factory/offices
Two weeks later they pause again and group B starts. The first SHIFT.

GROUP B
Like starts after after Group A pauses and another group, one third of the company continues for two week. The company has at least now a 1/3 production power under in continuation mode. Also Group B pauses after 2 weeks – to make sure that all employees stay disciplined and be safe. The second big shift

GROUP C+A
The last group and the third 1/3 of the company takes over the shift of Group B. By now Group C was the first three weeks plus another  4 weeks in Quarantine. So we can assume they are really ok. Therefor Group A joines back the team and now 2/3 of the company are back in production mode. They work also for 2 weeks. Another Megashift.

GROUP A+B+C
Nine weeks later everybody is back in business. Depending on the discipline of the society and the law enforcement of the government, the whole nation may still be extremely cautious, but have their business life back and with it a larger part back in a regular situation, economy is back and supplies are relatively back depending on foreign material.
The Megashift MOdel is nothing more than huge – long single shifts. Instead of hours it’s abut weeks.

As countries have rules and regulations how to enforce the quarantine – this model needs to be synched up with the government of course.

Stay safe – everybody
Our thoughts are with the thousands of people who passed away and with their relatives.

Innovate Fighting Pandemics

If you have any ideas, know tools, best practices or want to develop something, join us

Axel Schultze
Chairman