As I advised trends agencies, worked for some industry suppliers as a science and technology expert, explored with relish how science fits in society with Jean-Claude Ameisen or Michel Serres, or simply observed the multiple, powerful impacts of science, and then technology, on my ecosystem, to me there was no doubt that trends could not be analyzed or understood without a bit of knowledge, even a layman’s knowledge, of scientific currents - and vice versa.
Since 2000, my work has been focused on building bridges between fields that generally do not communicate much with each other, or do not do it the right way: science and marketing, scientific startupers and the world of business development, researchers and technology buyers, France and the USA, public research and private companies.
I usually make the link between the two. I sometimes play the role of a conciliator, but also quite often of the free electron, the troublemaker. I strongly believe that innovation results from connection, because the very nature of an alliance is to force you out of your comfort zone and learn about the other and his/her own language.
As a matter of fact, creativity and inventiveness are generated by instability and discomfort. No one has ever invented anything by remaining idle in their armchair, watching TV. Inventions arise from joy or pain, never from the status quo.
Associating science and trends is logical and productive for all these reasons. There still remains to determine how to actually match them, though.
Of course, to develop a product, we start by exploring trends. But in practice, this analysis often comes too early compared to the development process as a whole, and there are strong indications that at the end of the day, it gets lost. Therefore, it is crucial to keep trends in mind at every stage of the process, like market data.
Studying science through the prism of trends also compels us to search for meaning, explore it and better understand the approach underlying the technologies we use. Doing this exercise makes technical trades more interesting, while providing researchers’ daily lives with texture and new colours. It is no longer about applying a mechanistic logic that merely involves seeking an effect and performance, but more about exploring the world, whose components become increasingly more coherent. Give meaning to your researchers’ daily work, and they will communicate better and be happier!
And then, it is obvious that today, science is developing at high speed, leading to the advent of new technologies, which in turn enhance scientific research, while deeply, powerfully changing our world and human beings. This interdependence makes it even more fundamental to bring consistency to the approach, which, although it does seem more complex, is actually pretty simple.
Not only is it easy to do, but once we have put in the effort, it is a treat.