Linking technological innovation with social innovation is critical

Koen van der Wal  has a nice post where he mentions about Josephine Green, Senior Director of Trends and Strategy at Philips Design and her philosophy to design in Philips.

Josephine talks about the importance of linking technological innovation with social innovation for maximum impact. Here are some excerpts:

History teaches us that technology truly becomes a growth engine when, and only when, it is accompanied by social innovation. New technology in old contexts doesn’t take off. Rather history shows us that as each techno-economic-social context emerges, the social has an important role in “ liberating” the potential of technology as an enabler. Why? Because any new emerging technologies have to be relevant, meaningful and appropriate to people’s changing lives and to society’s emerging needs Only in this way can the new technologies reach their true potential and can companies and society grow and prosper.

Perhaps here an example will help. Think of the health sector. There are a number of new drivers pushing for change including an ageing population, lack of public resources and greater health concern and consciousness. The technology is less the problem; the challenge is to define from a social perspective a new health solution connecting home, patient, doctor, hospital, etc. that is socially and culturally relevant and appropriate for the future. It is less about the technology and more about social innovation, social relevance, new social contexts, new business models, and much imagination.

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