Riding the Digital Dragon - Essential for the Convergence of Health and Economics in Food Innovation
It has been said that the scope of the digital revolution has lead to an age of radical transparency. The pace of change is relentless and for all intents, accelerating. Understanding, and more importantly internalizing, this pace of change is an essential first step in riding what might be best described as a digital dragon. The deluge of data can be intimidating, potentially overwhelming. But we cannot afford to ignore this wealth of data. Indeed, we must finds ways to add to it and to understand it. In adding to an already vast dataset, researchers should look beyond passive data acquisition (such as internet searches, phone locations and speeds, purchasing behaviours) and seek those opportunities where individual consumers actively and thoughtfully contribute to the expansion of data, and so to food innovation insights. This can be accomplished when contributors recognize that they will benefit in turn from their contributions. (Where possible, avoiding the collection of personally identifiable information will facilitate contributions). Finally, we must learn to look beyond the original intent of the data capture in order to identify new insights and possibilities that will enhance our ability to leverage these in the public health sphere. These concepts can be illustrated with specific examples from the food industry.
Richard Black, PhD
Adjunct Professor at Tufts University
Principal of Quadrant D Consulting,
Executive Partner, R&D CPG, at Pilot Lite Ventures