A time of crisis calls for immediate action, adaptability and putting innovations in focus. A new challenge that the whole human race is facing now, COVID19, has forced all of us to take a step back and rethink our reality. Almost all segments of our lives are impacted by this pandemic. Some are affected directly, some indirectly. Researchers from all over the world are making huge efforts to come up with vaccines and maybe this is the time when DNA origami can step in? This crisis calls for openness, collaboration and sharing of ideas on the global level so that a solution could be discovered as fast as possible.
Acceleration of innovations
The silver lining of this and almost any other crisis is the acceleration of innovations. The pressure and importance of acting fast paradoxically create a vacuum where there is no room for distraction, leading to more focused efforts. There is no time to waste during the whole innovation process. Ideas are gathered fast, testing is done rapidly, all due to the importance of discovering innovative solutions which can ultimately make the difference between life and death.
Diminished risk of failure
In the race against time, the fear of failure seems to be diminished. If we take online education for example, for many years there has been an aversion towards this way of learning, partly because of the fear of the unknown, partly because it was a big step that could maybe result in failure. Now, in this time of crisis, we see how all these innovative solutions in education, such as learning apps and virtual classes which we were so resilient of, are stepping in and providing the much-needed support and infrastructure. Another plus side of online education is the enhancement of students’ digital skills. Besides education, AR, VR and MR are also being used even more for entertainment purposes and are slowly becoming mainstream. Risking seems to be more acceptable because, all of a sudden, it’s a failure only if you don’t try.
A global crisis such as this one affects everyone, in every segment, every industry. Some will, unfortunately, cease to exist, while new categories of businesses will be created. It is of utmost importance to be open and collaborative in these turbulent times. This diversity of minds also enriches the whole innovation process and additionally accelerates innovations. It will also give a chance and an opportunity for some businesses to survive through this tough time, because they could be converting their workflow and adopting innovative processes. This cross-sectoral coalition will result in more superior solutions.
Innovations and infrastructure
Innovations need infrastructure. If there isn’t any, creating the infrastructure itself is the innovation. In the time of crisis, we are also forced to face the gaps in the infrastructure we have created and come up with innovative solutions to breach them. We’ve already seen how online education managed to overcome infrastructural problems. Remote working as well. Companies managed to reorganize their workflow which seemed impossible not so long ago. Smart cities, 5G, robotics, IoT, AI, and bioinformatics all serve as the infrastructural foundation for further innovations. A few years from now, a pandemic crisis such as this one could be stopped on time thanks to innovative technologies of early detection of such viruses. Maybe a few years down the road bioinformatics will be working side by side with smart cities to create a safer environment for all of us.
We will unfortunately not be prepared for every crisis that we face, but it will give us a much-needed nudge in the right direction. It will force us to act fast, work together and be more open in search of innovative solutions. It will force us to become more aware of the gaps we have in our systems and drive us to work to improve them. A crisis disrupts the status quo and turns everything upside-down, making way for innovations which are the key solutions.