People are resistant to change, we're all creatures of habit and it takes extra work to change those habits. Most of the time, we are all too tired to do that extra work. There's enough going on without the need to change. This is why often necessary changes are imposed on us. Think of this recent outbreak of Covid-19. If the authorities in the hardest-hit places were to sit back and let people choose to self-isolate, how many would ignore the advice? There are those who would prefer to put their trust in a shouty bald guy on YouTube rather than leagues of independently trained and independently thinking scientists. In some respects, it's their right to put their trust in who-ever they want however in other respects, there has to be a point where law takes over. We can't just do what we want, it protects us from harm.
This brings us to hard power revolution. This is where force is used to bring about change in society. Hard power is inherently destructive, it ruins lives, often leaves people dead, and it breaks down the routine in favour of a new one. Perhaps there are times when hard power is the only choice, a last resort to put an end to perpetual suffering. More often though, soft power can apply the right changes without doing any harm. Soft power is the art of creating new systems and routines to replace the old which society gladly adopts. This is done through communication, literature, art, music, and philosophy. We know what we want, we know what's right, and if that can be focussed on an idea that works, then it will manifest - with a little help from an innovator.
What do we need to think about when innovating for society? What processes matter to the general population so that our work can be successful? How do we have to think?
Your idea needs to work for one person and a million people with the same results. We all start small, where are you going to stop though? Could it be feasible to implement your idea across the entire world? There are costs, there is labour, there are cultural differences that really matter to people, there is the need to trust other people to do their job to your standard. Can you scale your idea? Would you be able to see this through, will the arithmetic add up, can you handle all that responsibility?
People need to feel connected to your idea. In order for the idea to grow and be adopted, the people involved all have to have a sense of belonging. Can they interact and co-exist with your work? If your idea evolves in the wild, with input from its users, implementers, and its creator as one force, it will be more easily adopted by those involved. Your work belongs to everyone once it starts being used.
Look around you, see what there is an abundance of. Make that your starting point. We all pay dearly for requiring expensive ingredients for our products. The rarer and more sought-after a thing is, the higher its price. We ultimately pass this on to the customer and so only certain people can reach our product. In order for something to be accessible for the general population, it has to be able to make use of abundant things. It has to be affordable.
Talk to other innovators. This can't be just your idea, for something to extend into society as a whole then it has to become something outside of the individual. Of course, your precise product is irreplaceable and unique, no-one can touch it. The thinking behind it though, that belongs to everyone who appreciates your idea. They want to help implement it for the good of those around them. After-all, it was for the good of society in the first place wasn't it?
Be transparent. It's essential that society can see your process, understand what you do and why, and know what their role is. Don't be shy about making money, being good at something, and don't try to keep secrets. Trust is vital for populations to want to associate with you or your work. You need to be able to be there for people to examine until their heart is content. It doesn't feel nice, tough. You're going to have to get used to it.
What is the point of your idea for the user? Is it going to benefit the user in a way that ultimately makes it worthwhile? If your idea benefits society but not the user first-hand then it probably won't take off. People want incentives and they need their own reason. We have to think of both things at once. What does it do for them, what does it do for all. They need not be the same thing, but they can be as well.
Finally, this brings us to the ultimate goal of your idea. What is it actually going to do? Can you sustain it and can it sustain itself in society? How will you merge the doing good for everyone theme with being able to put it to use? What is the ultimate goal of the idea? In what ways does your idea benefit society? Are you sure it will benefit society or are you just guessing based on your own political ideas? These things matter the most because if you implement your process well the result will change the world for good or for worse.
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