In almost all cases, you will find that there is a history to what you are doing.
Whenever something new comes to the market, they are usually not the first. Even if the technology is considered new, there is a history of the problem you are solving or the need you are covering. If you put up a digital tracker for luggage in the airport, it might not have been implemented yet, but the situation of luggage has a history ever since people traveled for the first time, which you know, we did most of the time before we settled down 10.000 years ago to start farming.
The understanding of light, which was needed to create the camera in 1826, was started 3-400 years BC, in a Chinese dynasty. It's evident that whatever you do, someone has been on the trail before, and your job as an innovator is to establish yourself in that trail, and then create a new path or be the first one to make the trail finished, or continuing the trail to further open up for new trails going different places.
Understanding of light, which was needed to create the camera in 1826, was started 3-400 years BC
When Young Sustainable Impact (YSI), a youth organization running an innovation program for youth, by youth, was founded in December 2015, it was in the wake of the newly established COP 21, and 17 sustainable development goals. 10 years before saw the first know accelerator, Y-combinator made in the US. This was followed by one in the UK in 2007. They were a reaction to the exponentially growing amount of startups, and the lack thereby of talent, network, and money. 10 years later, history has developed, and sustainability has to be on the agenda for business, startups, and therefore accelerator and incubators. YSI might not be very similar to Y-combinator, but rather YSI is a mixture between an incubator, educational system, and an accelerator. YSI positions itself as a fighter of climate change, based on the COP21 meeting that led to the Paris agreement. Later, YSI changes to focus on all 17 SDGs and ended up getting 10.029 applicants from 170+ countries. A number indicating that YSI has put themselves in the right historical shoes.
Without an understanding of where you come from, who you can be in the world you decide to operate in, and why it's important - you will never be able to go all in and find the ability to create and manage real innovations of history, be it humanities, your industries, or simply your companies history.
November / 2018
Text author: Didrik Strøhm Photo: found in Volans Breakthrough report