Shackleton Centenary Expedition

Joseph Schumpeter and Innovation December 04 2007


Today's topic ladies and genlemen is innovation, something that we here at the Shackleton Foundation are trying to further by making it one of the key components for choosing recipients of the Foundation's charitable grants of up to £10,000. Bold, innovative and useful is the order of the day.

Browsing the BBC's website today, I came across an article by the Open University's Professor Paul Quintas regarding the long view on innovation.

The risk and uncertainty of taking ideas forward and turning them into reality takes time and money. Managing that risk and investing that time and money is something that the Austrian theorist Joseph Schumpeter advocated, as the benefits accrued to the wider society can be almost infinite. We believe that this is true today as it ever was.

Professor Quintas argues: there are currently unprecedented opportunities for entrepreneurial activity to exploit the technological platform provided by, in particular, information and communications technologies including the world wide web, new materials and biotechnology.

This then led me to an article about managing innovation. The Open University again uses Schumpeter to argue that the concept of innovation itself has evolved from the original view that Schumpeter in his early years advocated, that of the individual innovater as an entrepreneur and leader. Now to a greater degree, interdisciplinary teams facilitate innovation through interaction.

Either through incremental innovation, or through the radical innovation that Schumpeter argued led to the gales of creative destruction, we want to hear from you if you have an idea that is bold, innovative and useful.

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