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Innovation. But what for?

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Which purpose is carried by innovation? That’s the question explored by Jean-Guillaume Péladan, in the column he signs in the report “From Tech to Deep Tech”, co-published by the Hello Tomorrow initiative and the consulting firm The Boston Consulting Group.

In our connected world - undergoing profound changes, shaken up by digitalisation, challenged by the environmental and energy transition, and with ever widening social inequalities - innovation is a matter of survival. We all agree. But what is the purpose of this innovation?

The intensity and diversity that characterise the spirit of the Hello Tomorrow initiative naturally lead to a key question: what are these innovations all about? Not all innovation is good. We can no longer assume that “what I undertake or what I do with my money has little bearing, since I help to keep the economy going” in a Schumpeterian cycle of endless creative destruction. We now know that GDP growth is a poor indicator for measuring improvement in welfare, but is rather accurate in assessing the pace at which we use natural resources, destroy the biosphere and weaken the climate.

If there are no benefits for the stakeholders, there can be no success, no purpose and no point

Therefore selecting or adjusting a start-up company’s mission, or defining a fund’s investment strategy, becomes a founding act. The societal and environmental impact of a project, of an investment, is now a fundamental issue – whether the company has been recently launched or is a large publicly listed corporation.
It is our job to question the real advantages provided not only to the clients but also to society as a whole (users, residents, employees, suppliers…) and to the environment, from the very first euro we invest. If there are no benefits for the stakeholders, there can be no success, no purpose and no point. In this respect, the impact of the business model on human and natural capital provides a meaningful perspective, perfectly aligned with the interests of the capital providers.

Download the Hello Tomorrow x BCG report >>

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Tax shift, reaching a circular economy through the tax-system

If we are fully aware today of negative externalities related to business activities, there is an emergency arising for public authorities to act. A hands-on solution at their disposal: leveraging taxation to redirect it towards the use of natural resources, to optimize their exploitation, rather...Read

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Responsible Way Special Edition : the purpose-driven company

On the occasion of our annual conference, discover our special edition of the Responsible Way dedicated to purpose-driven companies. Through the example of tangible solutions leading towards a greater « circular economy », several interviews of committed entrepreneurs, such as Jean-Luc...Read

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