‘Initiate to Innovate’


TEDxTilburgUniversity 2015 revolves around the idea of Initiate to Innovate.

Innovation is a very extensive concept and has a lot of outlying definitions. Some describe innovation as “finding a better way of doing something”. In economic terms innovation is “an idea that has to be replicable at an economical cost and that must satisfy a specific need”. Because of the extensiveness for interpretation of the subject, the focus has to be on innovations which are ideas worth spreading.


This type of innovation does not include incremental advances which make things faster and better. No, innovations which are worth spreading are revolutionary innovations that will change the life of people.


The thought behind this specification is to find people who see an opportunity, a need that has not been filled yet — and act upon it. We want to focus on the people who take a risk and show the initiation that is needed for radical innovation. In our theme, ‘Initiate’ describes the action of taking that risk. Without any initiation, there would be no radical innovation. We mean the individuals who singlehandedly come up with an idea, take it to the next level and become successful with it. This is what ‘Innovate’ stands for. The result of the radical action of entrepreneurs will change the life of people.


The best example of late is Steve Jobs of Apple who changed the use of cellphones dramatically, not just by design but as example by coming up with the innovative ‘swipe’ movement over a display. Jobs further proved he was a true innovator by dramatically changing the face of the music industry (by the creation of iTunes and seemingly easy beating of giant companies such as Sony). Also, the world of animation movies was changed by Jobs with highly successful results such as Toy Story and many others.Jobs was successful by his urge and vision to do things dramatically different.


In the field of technology we see concepts such as ‘home automation’, ‘infinite batteries’ and ‘eHealth’. Such concepts can become bigger and more extensive, but where does for example radical innovation in technology end in a hospital? Will a smart watch become your personal doctor and monitor all your blood values for example? And which new innovation in technology that does not yet exist will change our lives in a way that we cannot live without it after a few decades?


As for entertainment, we are now looking at for example Virtual Reality Headsets which create the possibility to do so much more than watch television, or play games. Although Virtual Reality already exists a long time, the question is if these Headsets will innovate radically enough the coming years so that everybody will wear them in 2030 and we possess all the needed information in front of our eyes at all times?


Even innovation for design is very important. We can now create 3D printers to design new sorts of materials and products. But which radical innovation will create a 3D printer that will print all the food in a restaurant so cooks and waiters are not needed anymore and you can order whatever you want in any restaurant? And what to think about a radical innovation which will create a material for clothing that will not become dirty and cannot be ripped apart?


Innovations are everywhere around us, but only those that are radical enough, are the ideas worth spreading


Time till TEDxTilburgUniversity