Disruptive innovation requires humanities’ input

Disruptive innovation has to be accompanied by social and cultural progress. In the provocative opinion piece, Kirsten Drotner from the University of Southern Denmark and Mariachiara Esposito from Science Europe call for policy makers in Europe to abandon the prevailing approach to innovation that has informed European policies and funding programmes, in particular Horizon 2020. Instead, they call for a recognition of the role of arts and humanities research in fostering future innovation.

A crowdsourcing approach to innovation

I truly believe that, if people open up, collaborate and work together, they can achieve greater results than anyone working alone. This is why I have co-created Babele, an online crowdsourcing platform for business planning. The concept of Babele was the subject of my MBA thesis in 2009 in Brazil. My research aimed at drawing a roadmap on how to harness collective brainpower to innovate in the area of sustainability for the common good. For example, this could be achieved by developing projects aiming to achieve the triple bottom line of economic prosperity, environmental quality and social equity.

Thinking and Acting in a Disrupted World: Governance, Environment, People, Inequality and Disease

An ecological civilization should care for the natural and built environments, the cultural heritage, the collective bonds, education, health, ethics, aesthetics, equity and justice. But this involves many actors, in a planet united only by the media and ‘globalization’ and divided by confrontation and competition.

Smart transport: looking to a safer and greener future

Smart transport is the incorporation of modern technologies into our transport and logistics sector. Advancements in space data and satellite technologies have huge potential to improve transport infrastructure, making it more efficient, cost-effective and sustainable. Public investments in space technology have already resulted in useful improvements in this sector, however there is a lot more to come. In this article, we present some of the leading projects using space enabled technologies to improve road safety, deliver goods efficiently and revolutionise public transport. Through funding and support, our transport system can become safer, more user friendly and kinder on the planet.

Applied mathematicians in the service of pressing global issues

Nowadays there is a diffuse border between pure and applied mathematics. The pure mathematician – an atypical scientist inclined toward the abstract – – is capable of switching at any time to the role of applied mathematician in order to address and solve the pressing global issues that threaten humanity. From assisting manned space missions to modelling the processes of ice melting or the spread of an epidemic, the applied mathematician’s contributions are crucial for humankind. The confidence we have in the truths of applied mathematics, which – within the philosophy of science – is part of the so-called Wigner’s puzzle, is a kind of evolutionary feature of the discipline.