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GEAB 173

The monthly bulletin of LEAP (European Laboratory of Political Anticipation) - 15 Mar 2023

2023-2025: The great Western innovation bug

The exponential nature of the pace of innovation of all kinds is increasingly terrifying the Western human collective. Between frightened looks at the future, growing difficulties in adapting to change, and the staggering cost of transformations and their maintenance (starting with cybersecurity), the West will gradually take the word “innovation” with horror. In recent decades, a frantic race for innovation has taken hold. Individuals, companies and even states will mostly emerge from this race in disorderly ranks. This is one of the first reactions to the apprehension of the VUCA world (for “Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity”) which is taking place with such difficulty. A race that the scarcity of competitors will allow to slow down for the greater good of all.

This evolution has already begun, we are content to note it, to compare it with what is happening in Asia, and to anticipate its consequences. In the West, progress is no longer systematically associated with innovation and technology,[1] so it is logical that a distance will be established between the collective and this culture of innovation. This disengagement will give rise to two polarised trends: on the one hand, a pursuit of progress that is increasingly disconnected from the needs and interests of the population, which will contribute to the other trend, that of the partial withdrawal of the populations, civil society and governments from the most radical innovations, primarily those relating to digital technology… Two trends that are very far removed from the serenity with which other societies continue to absorb the contributions of a technology rooted in human needs.


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