Clash of Civilizations. It has been in headlines for ages. Now we can observe a new global clash. A conservative vs. inventive mindset. Innovation vs. the comfortable old “business as usual.” The “usual” has been disrupted and won’t stay the same. Not in our collaborative era.

In his recent blog post, Linear vs. Exponential, Peter Diamandis says we have a “revolution of sorts” and it is just a start of a breakthrough. This is the world where governments are losing control of what is happening around with research and innovation. Economic gap makes people restless and eager to change the current system. Building a new people-powered economy means more affordable housing, more responsible business and more collaboration on all levels. Corporations with rigid “sell-earn” approach are less and less favorable as people are seeking for companies whose story they can connect with.

Change is scaling up exponential and all government officials can do is to watch it silently or to try to adapt fast. Any other solution? Placing an obstacle does not seem to be a good idea. Entrepreneurship and innovation will simply move to another place.

New Pathways for Research 

Chances of getting a grant from the National Science Foundation in the US, for example, is quite low with the application success rate of 22 percent. This does not bring research and development to a standstill. Activity simply relocates to other centers globally. When Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) was slowing down construction of solar infrastructure, cutting-edge research found more agile markets where it could be more valued. Borders are permeable after all.

But funding research does not rely solely on institutions anymore. Search for grants is happening on Experiment.comPetridish.org, RocketHub.com and other platforms. Crowdfunding has made research of the most peculiar scientists possible. And you don’t need to do “panda science” to please mass audiences or to get loyal backers. It can be anything from a high-tech vest that expands perception beyond 5 senses to mini-rockets to be sent into a deep outer space. Crowdfunding green lights everything.

Does Innovation Have an Address?

If innovation had an address, would it be Silicon Valley? At least, we used to think so. Other countries are disrupting this idea with responsive governments that are more flexible. Singapore was the second country to start regulating bitcoins. Another pioneer, Israel,  is the most likely place to start a business as it has a double number of startups per million residents in comparison to US. So the field is growing and it is becoming more exciting to observe where the newest trends are coming from.

In the next 10 years 200 of Fortune 500 companies will no longer exist. What is the replacement? Exponential entrepreneurship. It removes barriers and permeates into all sectors regardless of geographic or regulatory constraints. This is a new economy rising from the bottom up. “The innovation value chain”, which consists of insight, inspiration, design, development and implementation, does not need a physical space or an approving nod from institutions. It has a virtual space and nods from millions of people who back up each other to create and to challenge the existing system. 

 People image via Flickr