Inclusive Innovation means making sure that many diverse perspectives are included in the innovation process, to come up with solutions that can benefit many people. Our upcoming digital tank meeting IPx nr 51 on September 15th will be hosted by Ericsson ONE and co-facilitated by The Social Few on the theme “How to walk the talk with inclusive innovation”. Participants can expect honest conversations as well as practical and implementable advice on how to create a sustainable strategy for inclusive innovation.
“Inclusive innovation is about ensuring that a truly diverse set of perspectives inform, engage and build the ideas that are changing the world. We should focus on making sure that we create a safe, constructive and meaningful space for as many diverse perspectives as possible, so that they can actually contribute. Diverse perspectives in the room can mean disagreements and lack of team cohesion, unless the right leadership and mandate is present to actually channel this into innovation,” explains Mala Valroy, Ericsson ONE.
“Inclusive Innovation is solutions by and for the many. Innovation that solves challenges and problems for many people – preferably all around the world,“ says Suzan Hourieh Lindberg, Founder & CEO The Social Few.
At the workshop, attendees will discuss and workshop around the importance of having a diverse team when working with innovation. Diverse perspectives are essential to challenge the status quo and create space for new ideas to flourish.
“The lack of inclusive innovation is not only an enormous loss for those who are excluded, but it is a significant competitive and monetary loss for those who are launching these new product and solutions. Inclusive innovation can broaden your market reach, it can sharpen your unique value proposition and completely transform how quickly you achieve product-market fit. It can save you millions in costs as you try to redesign and redeploy your innovation into something that is actually useful. It’s an opportunity to evolve and thrive, and unlock more potential in your idea than you had ever imagined when you started,” says Mala Valroy.
A high-tech world, but still not equal and inclusive
It is important to include diverse perspectives when working with innovation, by including people with different gender identity, ethnic identity/languages, sexuality, age, urban/rural background and perspectives that are connected to the product or service you provide. It is however not as easy as having a checklist of what perspectives should be included.
“It is both efficient and effective to have as many perspectives as possible when developing human centered solutions that are aimed to reach and activate the many. That way you’ll come closer to ensuring the solution is suitable for everyone. It’s not only a matter of being inclusive, which should be important enough itself, but also about being smart – the more people you can help and offer your products, services etc to, the better for your organisation. It’s simply smart to develop inclusive innovations,” explains Suzan Hourieh Lindberg.
Society today is full to the brim with technology and advancements, but we are still stuck in the same place as we were centuries ago when it comes to equality and inclusion.
“Traditional innovations are built through insular conversations, and struggle to retrofit diverse perspectives after the fact when they realize that billions of potential users, customer or community members are not served. Even in 2019, the most sophisticated AI for facial recognition failed to work on people of African descent. Female reproductive health is a vastly untapped multifaceted market, and yet something as basic as period tracking was only introduced to Apple watches last year – four years after the first watch was released. The list of examples is, sadly, almost endless,” says Mala Valroy.
Bring a colleague to the workshop
To ensure an inclusive perspective on the workshop, each Innovation Pioneers attendee is asked to bring another person from their organization to join the workshop.
“I think this is the perfect example of what inclusive innovation means. Even though you might attend the tank meeting, your colleagues will probably have a completely different set of impressions and insights from the very same meeting. What better way to ramp up inclusive innovation in your organization than starting by inviting teammates and others from a completely different part of the company to compare your thoughts and reflections? This is why inclusive innovation isn’t a simple checkbox – the more perspectives you have, the better!” says Mala Valroy.
“At the workshop, we will clarify the importance of having all parts of the organisation being a part in driving the work in increasing the overall perspective density. Also, shortly the “how” of doing just that,” says Suzan Hourieh Lindberg.
Some last piece of advice?
“The challenge most organisations experience is to firstly attract and then to utilize the different perspectives they have. Also last but not least to activate and to communicate to the part of the population we mostly only speak of: minorities, mostly the marginalized groups. Also the same groups that are substantially underestimated from both an employee and a consumer perspective,” says Suzan Hourieh Lindberg.
“I would encourage you to not only include more perspectives than you currently do, but to also push the boundaries in how you collectively solve the problem. If you all seem to approach the problem from the same angle, it’s time to find someone who doesn’t and give them a seat at the table,” explains Mala Valroy.
Sign up now IPx nr 51 (Digital Tank Meeting) hosted by Ericsson ONE and co-facilitated by The Social Few on ‘How to Walk the Talk with Inclusive Innovation’. September 15th 09:30 – 12:00 (Members Only).