Authors: Laurette Dubé, Pan Du, Cameron McRae, Neha Sharma, Srinivasan Jayaraman, Jian-Yun Nie
Publication: Technology Innovation Management Review, Vol. 8, No. 2, February 2018
Inclusive innovation has not yet reached societal scale due to a well-entrenched divide between wealth creation and social equity. Taking food as the initial test bed, we have proposed the convergent innovation model to address such challenges still facing 21st century society by bridging sectors and disciplines around an integrated goal on both sides of the social-economic divide for innovations that target wealth creation with an upfront consideration of its externalities. The convergent innovation model is empowered by two key enablers that integrate an advanced digital infrastructure with leading scientific knowledge on the drivers of human behaviour in varying contexts. This article discusses the structure, methods, and development of an artificial intelligence platform to support convergent innovation. Insights are gathered on consumer sentiment and behavioural drivers through the analysis of user-generated content on social media platforms. Empirical results show that user discussions related to marketing, consequences, and occasions are positive. Further regression modelling finds that economic consequences are a strong predictor of consumer global sentiment, but are also sensitive to both the actual price and economic awareness. This finding has important implications for inclusive growth and further emphasizes the need for affordable and accessible foods, as well as for consumer education. Challenges and opportunities inspired by the research results are discussed to inform the design, marketing, and delivery of convergent innovation products and services, while also contributing to dimensions of inclusion and economic performance for equitable health and wealth.
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