The future of innovation

Technology evolution is widely regarded as the key to managing challenges such as climate change and inequality; but there’s also the risk that the changes arising from this won’t make society better. How do we get innovation right?

Technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate. From the global proliferation of sensors that track every aspect of the physical environment to the less visible algorithms that shape our digital lives, the past two decades have produced innovations once thought unimaginable.

At the cutting edge of this transformation is a group of innovations known as ‘deep technology’. An umbrella term for tools such as artificial intelligence, robotics, blockchain, genomics, and autonomous vehicles, deep technology is regarded by some as the bringer of a utopian, sustainable and equitable future; and by others, as a Pandora’s Box that will usher in an era of gross privacy violations, new risks to human safety and well-being, and a technocratic, unequal society. 

So should we be worried, or can these advances be used to add value to society? When it comes to harnessing the innovation and entrepreneurship that technology enables, how do we shape the process so that it solves some of the world’s biggest challenges and improves lives, rather than exacerbating problems and creating new ones?

In the fifth episode of the ‘Let’s Write the Future’ series, we speak to Steve Leonard, founding CEO of SGInnovate, a private-limited company wholly owned by the Singapore government that helps deep tech entrepreneurs in Singapore scale up their work and bring their innovations to market. Prior to this, Steve was the executive deputy chairman of the Infocomm Development Authority, the statutory board with various responsibilities for the information technology and telecommunications industries in Singapore.

Tune in to this latest episode, where we explore topics such as: 

  • How can innovation be used to address the Sustainable Development Goals?
  • How is deep tech being used to improve our cities?
  • What are some of the controversies surrounding artificial intelligence and can it be used for the betterment of humanity?
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