With the 2020 global pandemic leading to an onset of rapid innovations not only to save lives but also to save industries being put through unavoidable tests. In a 2016 study by Stanford & Vanderbilt professors – “Game-Changing Innovations: How Culture Can Change the Parameters of Its Own Evolution and Induce Abrupt Cultural Shifts”, the authors present a realistic aspect of cultural evolution that has taken place since prehistoric times. The study explains the dramatic bursts of parameter-changing cultural innovations that occur because of external factors such as sudden environmental changes in the given period. These cultural changes affected by globally impacted external factors like the COVID-19 pandemic can often onset a plethora of new innovations in punctuated periods. These innovations caused by culturally shifting factors that affect the collective human race, further spur the invention of, related, technology, regardless of whether the population is near its steady-state culturally for those inventions.
What then is the responsibility of today’s innovators to shape the future of our planet and people?
What are the ways one can responsibly make the next game-changing invention?
While I toil painstakingly to reach my game-changing innovation, I am humbled by the knowledge the study of the journey has led me in its making which I´d like to share in the hope that it can spark that seed or help another innovator at steps where I was stuck myself. At the end of the 11 steps, I´d be honored if you could share your perspectives so I can learn from your journey and hone myself.
The 11 step roadmap for your next game-changing invention
Game-changing here is referred to as inventions focused on the broader view of things, with a focus on globally impacting innovations that responsibly shape progressive cultural and social impacts for humanity and planet.
1. Segmentation of a Broader Reality
While physicists may term reality as an illusion and the output of a program running on a cosmos-sized quantum computer, the context here I mean is seeing things as they are with no influence of an idealistic notion of it. Although an idealistic or visionary outlook on things is perhaps the quintessential playground for innovators, it is vital to weigh the state of things, society, environment, community and see them for what they are. To create the next game-changing invention, with today´s luxury of technology, innovators must start from segmenting the harsh truths from their hoped version of various layers of society and segment the good and the bad that make our world. As innovators who are inherently motivated to create, the segmentation of reality here must start with a top-down approach, focusing on the broader view of things as a planet and humanity, then a cause, problem, or community. Segment the bad, the ugly, the disturbing, and then the good, the hopeful, and inspiring. This magnified segregation of reality will give you the courage to see things that help you define the context of creating your game-changing invention. Additionally, segmenting the bad and the good at this scale will reignite your threshold of the possibility that we as humanity and nature possess, and build values for the foundation of your invention that impact something to be game-changing.
2. Understanding One´s Context of Creation
With a deeper, real-time understanding of the broader segmentation of realities that shape our world today, an innovator can now identify the specific good and the bad that feel relatable to their immediate social, emotional, and environmental context. Context here is defined by listing down the reasoning that gives foundation to an innovator´s perspectives and the source of their thinking while making the above segmentation of global realities of good v/s bad, and therefore aid in the creation of their next game-changing invention. It is the innovator´s nature and nurture, past experiences, choices, honors, and regrets and the interpretation of the same that hugely shape the context of the next game-changing invention.
3. Recognizing Personal Reasoning
The context of creation can only influence if it has a meaningful personal reasoning and not something merely created for its monetizable or disruptive element. Therefore, in step 3, the innovator must reflect upon the real personal reasoning that led to the context of creation. One can do this by analyzing the answers of Step 1: Segmentation of Reality, and identify one by one where one originally formed those perceptions.
4. Defining The Social Need
With a clear judgment of reality, powered with a strong sense of personal reasoning and a conscious context of creation, it is now time to identify the one pressing social need that you will empower with your game-changing invention. To do this, you can start by asking questions:
How meaningful is the impact of this invention? (Step 1: Segmentation of Reality)
Why am I capable of doing this? (Step 3: Your Personal Reasoning )
Does it solve a larger problem or a pressing social need? ( Step 2: Context of Creation)
Does it use technology to empower or does it threaten jobs? (Read: Unification Than Disruption)
The lesser the excuses to the answer you would ideally seek and the higher the social impact of your innovation, the closer you are to defining your principal “good,” that will drive your game-changing invention.
5. The Path to Self-Reflection
With the power of knowledge, comes the responsibility to apply it. After going through an intensive analysis of the segmentation of realities to find the road to your game-changing invention, by now you would be armed with the wisdom of thought, reasoning, and personal experiences and an original context. This leads to the next step that is the path to self-reflection, understanding, and acceptance.
More often than not, an innovator or creator can only transition to their next phase of innovation if they have taken actions on what their intuitive self has been nudging. A creator´s interpretation of self-worthiness is directly related to what they can create or not. Be it creating their innovation.
To be able to create something that could impact and move lives in a positive way, it is essential for the innovator to first set on a path of self-reflection and correct courses where needed, pay attention to things intentionally ignored, take action where previously avoided and rectify what’s needed. The path to self-reflection is like paving the way to be able to make a game-changing invention that does what you imagined. And no innovation can make an impact by an individual who is disappointed in oneself.
6. Interpreting The Math of Combinations
Combinations here, are referred to as the new perceptions formed by combining the new knowledge derived by combining your present understanding vis-a-vis past assumptions. In this step, place your answers from Step 3 & 5 and those of Step 1 & 4 together and draw parallels and combinations.
You will learn whereby defining your social need is directly proportional to your path to self-reflection and that your segmentation of reality is a direct reflection of the answers derived from deciphering your personal reasoning.
7. Converting Combinations Into Creativity
A George Washington University doctoral dissertation conducted by Angela J. Cotellessa- “In Pursuit of Polymaths: Understanding Renaissance Persons of the 21st Century” is an extraordinary study focusing on the life experiences of modern-day polymaths or renaissance men like Michelangelo, Newton, Leonard Da Vinci which shows how the combinations of various experiences, childhood, and economic and physical influences shape some of the best minds and inventions. You can read more about how I derived my combinations from economic struggles during childhood and interpreted them as creativity in this article. While interpreting the combinations there will roadblock of creativity and doubts based on past assumptions and the lack of yet-to-unlock wisdom. This is the point where the innovator must drive from observing her personal strengths & weakness and list down the times she felt accomplished, fulfilled, or content. She can start by asking questions like.
What made me accomplish things?
What made me feel fulfilled?
What gave me contentment?
When you list down all the reasons as mind-map, you will arrive at a clear summary of the creativity that you have derived from these experiences. This, in turn, will give you the power to give shape, form, and structure to your game-changing invention with this revisit to the strengths & weaknesses that make you.
8. Connecting The Dots
You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.Steve Jobs
In this step, the innovators must, with their advanced creative abilities connect the dots and draw combinations from two methods.
- Connect the personal dots derived by converting combinations into creativity to your social impact innovation.
- Identify key factors that form part of your faint idea of the invention. List down the best businesses or names in respective fields who have aced in at least 3 to 5 of your combinations derived from step seven. For example- list down an idea or innovator who has succeeded in any one of your combinations of creativity if not two. Highlight the reasons winning element of their success and see why it worked.
This connecting the dots between the above two steps by seeing how your personal parallels (1.) connect to your idea of success (2) will give you a deeper clarity on what your game-changing invention will be.
9. Devising The Solution
This is the step where you process your learnings from these steps and devise a framework, scope, or architecture of the possible workings of the solution that could be your game-changing invention. This is a crucial step as after all the processing of personal and social information with a new eye, it is important to follow up with devising the solution and giving it an in-depth structure and find the right means to communicate, and execute it.
10. The Courage of Decision
Most inventions and world-changing ideas are stuck at the action stage because of the lack of commitment or decision to do it because of its perceived grandness to the creator itself. This fear-instilling grandness of an idea to change something that herculean is indeed the excitement that quenches the innovator´s curiosities to do it right. This is transitioning step on the journey to creating your next game-changing invention.
11. The Doing: Unify, Seek, Share
The final step is living the invention and giving a hundred percent to ensure no stone unturned. A perspective to succeed here would be to collaborate than compete, unify than disrupt, seek than doubt, share than hide your learnings with others.
If you like what you read, I have recently started writing with consistency and would love to hear your perspectives, connect, help.