Carlota Perez
Tom Keighley

Member Article

Is disruptive innovation really the key to growth?

Are we too convinced that disruptive innovation is the most vital form of growth and advancement?

Speaking at the recent The Economist’s Technology Frontiers this week, esteemed Venezuelan scholar, Carlota Perez argued we are.

“Innovation has always been the main driver of growth, and the main source of productivity and wealth. But every technological revolution has had two types of prosperity. The first type is turbulent and exciting, like the bubbles of the 1990s and 2000s, the roaring 20s, the railway mania in the 19th century and the canal mania,” she said.

“Those were all impressive but they all ended in a huge bubble collapse. After the recession, there came the second type. The Victorian era, the golden age and the one we probably have ahead of us now.

“Bubble prosperities polarize incomes, while the golden ages tend to reverse the process.”

‘Bubble’ times are for sorting out the new technologies, forgetting the old and “getting rid of the dinosaurs” as she put it. Perez believes in the process of creative destruction.

So how would we achieve a new ‘golden age’? Perez highlights three interdependent components: creative individuals; a sustainable planet and full global development.

“We are no longer aiming at the home, but at the individual - the creative, healthy, mobile individual who is interconnected in multiple communities. They are constantly communicating and living a high quality of life for a much longer period.

“Happiness becomes an entrepreneurial project. Leisure is no longer rest - it’s participatory and active. The consumer is become a ‘prosumer’, combining consumption and production; medicine will no longer be a war on germs…but a much more deeper and holistic understanding of the brain and the human body.”

Growth and demand now depend on our ability to successfully address environmental constraints, Perez also noted.

To achieve this, there must be consensus between business, governments and society. In closing her talk, Perez invited businesses to become part of this consensus-building process.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .

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