The World Innovations Forum continues to evolve and is getting closer to its foundation’s purpose. Beginning with 2021, we no longer focus only on specific demographics, geographies, or other groups. Togetherness is our philosophy in so many aspects even in competing for the best Innovation – see at the bottom of this post.
Developed Countries at Risk of Decay
At the WIForum we see a need to ignite more innovative thinking even in some of the most developed nations. We see highly developed countries having a degree of digitally delivered education far below many emerging countries. We see nations being extremely captivated by security measures that they give their citizens no longer even the right to be not protected.
Moreover, protectionism has reached a degree that hinders the industry to get customer feedback, due to the lack of reaching out to them. Other countries make it very difficult to translate their content into English, the global language of communication, that it turns back on them and becomes a disadvantage in the global competition. Yet other developed nations propagate AI as a technology they want to become a world leader, yet putting roadblocks into every aspect of the technological development due to the lack of understanding and other political influences. At the same time, emerging countries put far more effort into the education and development of creativity, autonomy, self-development, the foundation of innovation that their progress is faster and will not only catch up with, what we call the developed world today, but completely pass by and dominate markets.
Protectionism in developed nations has reached a critical level
Developed countries have developed a new tendency to fight innovation not with better innovation but with law suites. Almost every innovation that arrived in their countries is banned at least in some regions. This was seen with the development of IKEA, Amazon, Uber, AirBnB, Tesla, and many others. The next wave entering the “old west” are brands like Geely, Alibaba, TicTok, Logan, Tencent, and more from the Asian Top 50.
Fighting Innovation by banning it may be easier at first sight but slows down any natural competitiveness, followed by an economic slowdown and its long tail effect that we will see only 10 or 20 years from now.
The Development Risk of being overrun
50 years ago the developed world was smiling about nations that rather fought than evolved. Today the west is confronted with highly agile, fast-moving, and eager societies who are not blocked by conventions rights, rules, regulations that bring them down any soon. Even discussing if a TikTok application should be banned is as bad as banning it because of fearing their superiority. The European Auto industry cannot test autonomous cars locally because it is considered dangerous, simply because nobody can even judge it. So tests are out of the country and bring important knowledge and most importantly experience outside the nation. Neuroscience taught us, that any innovative idea ever created in human history was done from past experiences. If we ban experiences we ban the very ability we need to innovate.
30 years ago a joke made the round in Corporate-Europe: If a company would be run like a government we would all be out of business. Over the past 30 years, we got ever closer to that “goal”. Today we have nations where a company has to be 50% controlled by unions. The board which essentially controls the CEO has to be composed of 50% by members of a union. In other words, the entrepreneurial drive, capital, innovation, and economic interests are represented only by 50% of the board. Employees and unions together represent the other 50%.
While creating awareness for the risk of degrading innovation power was thought to be of interest may be in 20+ years. However, we see the tendency already today. “East is the new West” in many ways. We see a rising number of European and US entrepreneurs moving to Singapore, Seol, Saigon, and other nations. Just imagine Carl Benz, Robert Bosch, Heinrich Krupp, and a few others would not have stayed in Germany but moved elsewhere. Back then nobody would have even noticed. If Steven Jobs, Gordon Moore, Bill Gates would have moved at the age of 25 to Mexico, just imagine how our world would look today. Yes, different. That bears the question: How important are entrepreneurs and their innovation to a country?
Today’s young generation is not the victim of development, they are the victim of not being educated about the complex web of innovation, economy, politics, and self-determination. They have three options: migrate, make a change or settle with less favorable education, less powerful Internet infrastructure, less convenient technology services, less developed mobility, and so forth.
We ask the young generation to carefully watch the global technological, social, economic, and ecologic development. Not all innovations are meaningful and not all banns are bad but banning and suppressing everything just because a politician’s cousin has a taxi business, a furniture store, a small shop, a little hotel, goes far too far. While many countries laugh about the corruption in developing nations, they may not even know how far it has regrown in their own country.
The single most important driver of economic development is innovation. Every economy on earth that did not have enormous natural resources is built on innovation. Humanity should not accept another meltdown like the Common Wealth, Roman Empire, Egypt, Mesopotamia. We should be smarter and maintain innovation as means of competitiveness and not fight innovation just because it comes from another nation. And those nations who built their economy on donations will also need to evolve and not settle as modern slaves, dependent and controlled by other nations.
It is far too easy to accuse other nations of cheap labor. The developed world has to respond with innovation – not with politics.
Togetherness in Innovation
The World Innovations Forum is not favoring any group, any nation, any continent. We are all one and we favor togetherness. Our first major initiative in 2021 is to celebrate World Innovations Day on April 21. Here we conduct a competition: “Ground-Breaking Innovation in 40 days” together with our main sponsor, BlueCallom we will accompany about 25 teams from around the world to build groundbreaking innovations in 40 days.
How will YOU help your nation to prosperity?