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Innovation Updated: 22 Aug 2017

Giants of Design Thinking Tim Brown and Roger Martin meet face to face

Tim Brown and Roger Martin are two key names to remember in Design Thinking, now one of the most important innovation trends. Following many years of debate on the matter, we had these two giants meet face to face to outline their ideas in light of the real world and the main preoccupations of an economic and social reality that is filled with problems but also opportunities for improvement.

BBVA design thinking

If there two reference personalities were to be named in the area of innovation and Design Thinking, these certainly would have to beTim Brown and Roger Martin. For many years, these two world famous pioneers have been responsible for a series of reflections and advancements that we can glean from this conversation, allowing us to confidently conclude that capitalism needs to implement and improve Design Thinking in all its processes.

The struggle against inequality in today's society

Our current economic system and the effects of the economic turmoil are increasing inequality in society and reducing available personal income. We are facing a unidirectional as well as quite rigid economic and social organization.

To change this system of interactions to a communication system that is bi-directional at all levels, with a capacity for innovation in processes, in order to create a society that participates in decision making and where it is possible to foment new economic and social relationships is a key aspect of the struggle against this inequality.

The design of voting systems, the creation of different educational paths, and the implementation of better health techniques cannot be hindered by our own legal systems, because if something is effective against inequality, this is innovation capacity and the increasing of options within market economies.

The design of processes, innovation systems, and implementation models for new and more efficient economic relationships globally benefits all of society, resulting in an improvement in personal development opportunities.

The legislative barrier and scant capacity for innovation

The Design Thinking-oriented creative process is usually conditioned by legislation in all its aspects. The innovation and creation process–including the definition of the problem, solution, prototype, and subsequent evaluation–is not applicable in countless fields where we encounter a legislative barrier.

Brown and Martin's proposal is that legislation itself carry outan early testing system and that this legislative barrier be the first to follow a design process that is really adapted to the requirements of society.

We can see, for instance, how the protection of patents and industrial property was a system for the compensation of the inventor that was very adequate in the past, with a symbiosis between society and the innovator but then degenerated intothe concession of patents and brands, now acting as a hindrance to innovative capacity because some patents merely hold up ideas for the economic protection of those who have registered them.

There are countless examples of relatively absurd patents that do not create anything and only benefit "patent trolls", as the authors describe them. As an example of an absurd patent, for instancethe round corners of a telephone, or systems that due to their social benefits should be given over to the common good, as we have seen with a number of medical patents.