• Dr. Timothy Wei

3 Considerations for HOW to Innovate in an Era of Disruption - Dr. Tim Wei

Updated: Aug 1




In our previous article, Dr. Tim Wei asked a fundamental question: "How do we innovate in an era of disruption?" In this article, Dr. Tim Wei offers his answers as to how we can move forward in an era of exponential change.


Three considerations need to be folded into answering this question. First, we must understand that we cannot look backward to build a world for the future. I recently attended a lecture by a famous climate activist who basically argued that we need to solve the problem of global warming so that his grandchildren will be able to farm the way his grandfather did. While the challenges may be accurately identified, strategic roadmaps addressing those challenges must focus on building a safe, sustainable future state.

"First, we must understand that we cannot look backward to build a world for the future." -Dr. Tim Wei

We also need to understand that ‘changing the world’ and ‘shaping the world’ are two very different things. It is far easier to rock the boat than to steer it through turbulent waters toward an unknown horizon. In this paradigm, ‘new’ and ‘different’ can no longer be sufficient reasons for change in their own right. Again, long range vision, strategy and anticipation of broader societal implications and impacts must be integral to responsible, sustainable innovation.

"Again, long range vision, strategy and anticipation of broader societal implications and impacts must be integral to responsible, sustainable innovation." -Dr. Tim Wei

Finally, the innovation timeline needs to be accelerated to stay ahead of the disruptions. The 20th century academic and corporate R&D enterprise is ill suited as the innovation engine model for 21st century disruption. Though still incredibly valuable, any one university, lab, center, etc. will be too slow and too limited to keep pace with ever changing challenges and opportunities.

"Finally, the innovation timeline needs to be accelerated to stay ahead of the disruptions." -Dr. Tim Wei

At Chang Industrial, innovation in an era of disruption happens at the nexus of thought leadership and creative application of breakthrough science and engineering. This is enabled by a community of experts working in a virtual R&D innovation environment. With a growing network of academic and industry partners, highly multidisciplinary teams are brought together to address problems ranging from fully autonomous food production facilities that address worker health, safety and availability, to transport and logistics for the imminent age when autonomous vehicles become ubiquitous. This network integrates the best and latest knowledge emerging from world-class university laboratories (in fields such as analytics, robotics and advanced materials) with the entrepreneurs and technologists in the private sector skilled at bringing innovations to market. Like the industries and communities it serves, this virtual R&D innovation enterprise is flexible and dynamic, connecting individuals and capabilities in unique ways for each individual project. In the end, effective and responsible innovation across the 21st century requires visionary and thoughtful shaping of the disruptive forces at work in our lives.

"In the end, effective and responsible innovation across the 21st century requires visionary and thoughtful shaping of the disruptive forces at work in our lives." -Dr. Tim Wei

We hope you enjoyed our Innovation in an Era of Disruption series! To stay up to date with all of our latest content, follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.


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