This seemingly innocuous question leads to some interesting discoveries.
One is that thirty-six people working in the business of innovation attempting to answer this question on an online forum gave some pretty flimsy answers, two is that the majority of respondents voted to innovate in order to boost revenue, three is that having answered probably a thousand questions on policy, capital, and innovation, this question never came up.
The question is a good one, as all questions beginning with why are. First, my answer:
We must innovate for humanity to become more adaptable to nature’s entropy, prolonging our life as a species on earth.
My answer is directly attached to the highest-order normalization of nature’s knowable truth the human species is subjugated to, from which we can then break-down the clear objectives of human existence resulting in the goals and need to innovate.
We must face the reality that the human species, like all species on earth, is subject to the rules of nature to prolong life on earth. We do not make up the rules defining our longevity, nature does.
The impact of the coronavirus, cancer, and global warming, just to name a few, should make that abundantly clear to us. We are not in control, nature controls us. So, my fellow earthlings, what objectives of innovation support nature?
To answer that question, I must tell you a little about our cosmos and how nature dictates the evolution of one-hundred billion stars, surrounded by planets, to the power of four-hundred billion galaxies.
From the explosion of the Big Bang, our planet is one of the trillions of fragments from the explosion swirling and rotating through space. Just like fireworks where you see the sparks flying, diverging, and eventually slowly dimming as they fall back to earth.
Our planet is behaving just like one of those fragments in slow motion, losing its luster in about 3.5 billons years. This process of irreversible loss of energy is referred to as entropy.
Depleting availability of energy means our planet is subject to change constantly. With the survival of any species, including humanity, predicated on its ability to adapt.
Climate change, to highlight a natural phenomenon, can be (and is) aggravated by humanity but is not caused by humanity, for climate change is caused by the ever-changing influence of entropy. The climate has and will always be changing thanks to the complex forces within the cosmos that are also subject to entropy.
Climate-change is in essence a tautology, a descriptor used by people who know very little about the nature and context of our climate. A misapprehension that should not deter us from cleaning house, I hasten to add.
The objective of humanity, therefore, is to adapt. To adapt to whatever change nature throws our way.
Simply put, the depletion of available energy – defined as entropy – must be compensated for with the improved efficiency and strengthening of human renewal. Meaning, evolutionary, humanity must get stronger and more resilient. Not quite what we are achieving today.
The role of innovation must be to improve the strength of human renewal, quite a different charter than to sell snake-oil of human wants, packaged as pump-and-dump valuations short on value sold to the public as the last in the chain of greater-fools, appallingly oblivious to the needs of human renewal.
Humanity must establish and align the incentives of its systems with its evolutionary objectives to reap the benefits of innovation for generations to come.
And we will, once we adopt a new operating system for humanity that – for the first time – assigns the merit of money only to those who, instead of deploying oligarchic algorithms cunningly tapping into the coagulating consumerism of our commonalities, begin to embrace the value of our differences to expand the fractal of human ingenuity and capacity.