A host once asked Richard Branson in our presence how he would define an entrepreneur: “People who undertake initiative to create additional value to society improving a given situation via a new approach.” So in my words, implementing innovations is pure entrepreneurship! Maybe that’s why in State owned Infrastructure sectors it is so hard to implement Innovations – may be not enough room for entrepreneurs? The safer people feel in their jobs, the less braveness left to try something new? Because, to use another quote of Richard Branson: “You never know when you’re trying something new what can happen” – but also – “The right people focusing on the right things can, in time, get on top of most problems of this world.” So the good news is that believing in people would be all braveness required!
Having built a world market leader in thermal interface materials solutions to 6 factories and 3 licensees, globally employing more than 1,000 staff through “learning by burning” (in all senses) I have seen lots of trouble as you may imagine plus perhaps even more you couldn’t even think of! My team and I learned from every iteration – so I couldn’t agree more with Richard Branson’s quotes. Although I think to know what it means to get an enterprise to the top (and to sustain there), Carbotopia™ is an entrepreneurial hike of a K2! As the example of my dear compatriot Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner shows – there are sponsors willing to ease access, mentor without stakeholder pressure and cooperate multidisciplinary to provide stability for the time necessary to achieve such ambitious goals.
In the EU we have seen “Lighthouse Project” funding as a “first of a kind” recognition but generally failing to achieve Excellence in terms of creating a readily roll-out capable cost-effective broadly applicable outstanding standard. In most cases competing initiatives even lost chances for not having reached the “certification” of the one-off grant allocation and while collaborations of multiple solutions’ stakeholders for the task to accomplish could have speeded up and enriched a co-learning process, most lighthouse projects slipped their time schedules, suffered cost overruns and became a negative reference for the solution. In the US we’ve seen good venture capital seeding who often pushed towards premature public offerings, burning reputation down the way, often leading to financial distress prior to completing aims, closing investor access for new innovators perceived within the same category.
At some point prosumers, recognizing their total exposure to today’s Waste Management incoherence might mobilize as a crowd to fund the first time implementation of a relieve promising Infrastructure Innovation alike Carbotopia™. Since Innovation has to be carried by all stakeholders concerned or involved you could already help us towards outreach for external recognition and support to become part of society ideally a topic of Corporate Social Responsibility for the retail and supply sectors. The versatility of CSR sponsor financing plus their market placement power and marketing potential to multiply communication could facilitate Infrastructure Innovation all around this world unprecedentedly.
Because Innovation Implementation success is always a matter of appropriate structure of funding for putting the intended added core values forth and past stakeholders in current profiteers’ greed practices.
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