We interview innovation leaders from around the world and share their insights on corporate innovation.
Sharon Zickovic is the cofounder and Chief Innovation Officer at Wicked Lab. Wicked Lab supports multi-stakeholder groups address complex social policy problems (wicked problems).
My biggest learning over the last 12 months is that it is now widely accepted that innovation ecosystems are complex adaptive systems. The idea was being talked about eight years ago when the book ‘The Rainforest: The Secret To Building The Next Silicon Valley’ was released. With the release last year of Brad Feld and Ian Hathaway’s book ‘The Startup Community Way: Evolving an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem’, the acknowledgement that startup communities, entrepreneurial ecosystems and innovation ecosystems are complex adaptive systems has become mainstream.
I am excited by social media platforms for social learning. These enable the social learning experience to be broken down into tasks, learners to reflect on their experience of completing tasks and to receive real time feedback from an educator.
As a social enterprise that focuses on addressing complex social policy problems, our biggest barrier is exclusion from R&D support by the Australian government. In Australia, research in the social sciences and humanities are excluded activities for the Research and Development Tax Incentive. We overcome this barrier by self-funding all of our research and development.
There will be a greater focus on systemic innovation over the next 12 months. Systemic innovations are a set of interconnected innovations, where each is dependent on the other, with innovation both in the parts of the system and in the ways that they interact. Systemic innovation is considered to be the most appropriate form of innovation for addressing complex wicked problems such as climate change and the impact of Covid-19.