2009 is said to be the year of innovation. It’s an initiative of the European Commission with the aim of highlighting the role that creativity and innovation play in fostering economic and social prosperity. Great. Another typical “much ado about nothing”?
The problem with the word “innovation” - at least in Estonia - is that people are tired of it. They are tired of the fuss about it, especially because it’s still not very clear what it really stands for. Everybody talks about it but that’s that. And this has devaluated the meaning and effect of innovation.
What has all this got to do with the Slow Movement you ask? Well, when I did some research on the plans and projects of the Innovation year 2009 in Estonia and checked their website I noticed that all the companies end entrepreneurs that had registered to be a part of the innovation movement were not entirely R&D and technology based - a lot of them, who think they are being innovative, are actually living slow - i.e. a non-profit organisation that promotes walking, a local ecotourism union, an energy cottage that provides you with herbs grown in an unpolluted environment and also offers a chance to take long walks in their stress-relieving and energyzing trails. If that’s not slow then what is?
When they talk about innovation they usually mean “creating something new”. In that sense the slow movement isn’t all that innovative at all because there is nothing new to taking time off, investing time and attention in our loved ones or reading a great book instead of watching another late night movie on telly. But the problem with mankind is that we tend to forget the truths that are centuries old. That’s why it is extremely innovative to bring that knowledge back to people around us. Especially at the time of economic crisis and over-globalisation. There is too much information, even noise I would say, which makes people deaf and numb. And this is what makes the initiative of creativity at an international level that much more welcome.
According to Wikipedia the word “innovation” stands for a new way of doing something. So why not live slow without giving up a particle of our living standards? Let the year of innovation begin!
Recent posts by this author
- What Can I Do? - June 12th, 2009
- Nature, animals and little children - June 10th, 2009
- Slow in joy and sorrow - May 19th, 2009
- Slow work - it's easy, but not simple - February 18th, 2009
- Slow in the periphery - January 24th, 2009