Tech entrepreneurs get all the love these days, but the scarcest and most important type of entrepreneur is the one innovating tirelessly to change the organization in which they work. In many ways we are living in a time of innovation scarcity: despite a relentless stream of headline and attention-grabbing advancements in technology, in broader terms the supply of innovation simply isn’t keeping up with increasing demand for new and better ways of doing things.
Just as the world seems be slowing down in producing innovative ideas – the growth rates of scientific publications and patent registrations fell to the lowest level since the end of the global financial crisis (according to the Thomson Reuters State of Innovation Report) – we are all facing new and ever-trickier challenges in terms of ensuring the safety, stability and prosperity of communities and countries worldwide.
To really meet these challenges, we need to encourage “undercover entrepreneurs” to drive change within established organizations across all sectors – business, government and civil society. Yet, according to the 2014 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, in every region around the world employees who are entrepreneurial are few and far between; they represent a much lower percentage of the adult population than regular entrepreneurs. The highest level is in the US at 6% of the population, where more than twice as many people identify as entrepreneurs.
Innovation driven by entrepreneurial individuals is the only hope for sustainable economic and social prosperity. Watch the TEDxOxbridge video in this article to see how you can become an “undercover entrepreneur” and help solve some of the world’s biggest challenges.
Author: Nicholas Davis, Head of Society and Innovation, World Economic Forum
Image: A businessman walks in Tokyo’s business district April 18, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai