Live series: The future of British innovation

With innovation increasingly in the business spotlight, Your Ready Business launched its first Live series event – The Future of British Innovation – at the Royal Institution of Great Britain on the 6th June 2013.  

Today, your morning train commute is powered by a machine conceived nearly 200 years ago. The mechanics of the original 19th-century steam train have of course evolved; the business model that finances it and its role in society has also changed. It has enabled exploration, supported the creation of the nation state and served as a catalyst for the growth of industry. And, of course, it delivers you to work in the morning (although possibly not on time).

Stephenson’s steam engine and Turing’s ‘Universal Machine’ are just two of the British inventions that continue to transform the way we work and live, decades and even centuries after their first concept. They are examples of innovations whose on-going application has seen the original concept continually evolve and refined to meet society’s changing needs.

But Britain, the nation that led the world into the Industrial Revolution, has arguably struggled to maintain a culture that consistently supports creativity and innovation. Being innovative has always been about much more than simply having a ‘light bulb moment’. It is about new ways of thinking, crossing boundaries and changing people’s perceptions. But Britain’s aversion to failure has arguably held us back. Innovation relies on originators and first adopters. It needs an audience who are open and willing to being challenged; and it needs the means for sharing the risk (and opportunity) that is associated with innovation.

Our panel of business leaders for ‘The Future of British Innovation’ Live series event explored Britain’s tradition of innovation and how they themselves have created award-winning innovative businesses. They also shared their opinions and insights on how we as a nation can foster a culture of innovation and discovery, and how your business, big or small, B2B or B2C, can become more innovative and seize the opportunities available.

Our audience of business decision makers were invited to join in the discussion, with questions for the panel and comments from the floor.