No matter what field you are in, you can always find better, more effective, and faster ways to do what you are currently doing. Yet in most cases those improvements will only provide you with incremental improvements. Thinking outside of the box for brand new ways to do things is very difficult for most people — mainly because often that radical new way may not fit the role they currently serve in the process in question.
Working in the humanitarian field I have certainly seen lot of improvements over the past decade. Yet, even though a few of those improvements have been championed by me, I have to admit that they have simply improved humanitarian response by a small fraction. We have not really seen the real change that is needed to truly provide adequate support to those affected by natural disasters or other crisis.
At the same time we are seeing technology drive massive disruption in the way we work, live, and spend our free time.
Like so many other fields, the field of humanitarian response is resisting any disruptive change. This is because in most cases disruption causes the existing actors in the field to become obsolete. Furthermore, to fuel any potential disruption, some form of venture funding is required, yet those who provide the majority of funding for the humanitarian field also feel challenged by disruption and have been very reluctant to provide true venture funding, except for incremental innovation efforts.
Turning a $16 billion “market” upside down and making it community focused and driven is no simple task. There will be lions in the road to that disruptive future, yet we must be willing to find the path towards this new way of dealing with crisis.
I challenge you to think how your field can be disrupted and truly be made more effective, humane, and efficient. I will be spending a good chunk of my time in the future thinking about the field I am passionate about — humanitarian response and how we can disrupt it.
Tell me what you plan to do in order to disrupt your field — or mine!!
Published August 20th 2017 at Medium