2 The Non-economic Values of Innovation

2.1. Introduction

In the last 15 years, the networking of individuals and organizations, the multiplication of data, and media dematerialization have brought about changes in human activities, leading us to reconsider uses and to satisfy them in different ways. This alteration generates exponential needs for innovation that involve all aspects of the economy: agriculture, industry, services, even business management and finance. These innovations are technological innovations related to procedures and products, but also marketing or organizational ones, as defined by the OECD [OEC 16].

If we consider technological procedure and product innovations (TPP), the economy is experiencing an era we can readily call complex, given the amount and depth of the changes brought about by fundamental inventions and discoveries. This era is still dominated by a capitalist model, where profit, boosted by a competitive and hostile environment, is a constant goal, which is furthermore regarded as driving growth and therefore collective well-being. By now, the growing complexity of the technological, economic and strategic problems that companies must face requires increasingly subtler answers, and the operating speed of this “intensive innovation” [HAT 06] seems essential if innovation projects are to be presented to decision makers in a volatile and uncertain environment.

This model has seen the rise of an extreme tension: on one hand, the growing complexity ...

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