Twelve Innovations for 2012: Nesta's forecasts span many fields

             These twelve forecasts are illustrative of the many different fields in which innovations are possible – not simply in products and services, but also in social enterprise, processes, behaviours, culture, and business models. Some of the twelve innovations in Nesta’s forecasts are at an early stage (3D printing); others about to break (the Big Society Bank); and some articulate (and intensify) emerging trends (Innovation for frugality –  frugality as cost-conscious science is also discussed in the Economist’s “World in 2012” – in terms of the trend towards applications-driven research as opposed to curiosity-driven research).
            Nesta’s willingness to develop and to test new concepts provides a spur for the various sluggish sectors which are less willing to take the risks involved in launching innovations – to the detriment of their customers; but also it addresses some more fundamental issues that do not fall neatly into the categories in which we are currently thinking. While Apps, Kindles and Car Clubs are clearly here to stay, the extent to which local authority services will be privatised, the degree to which social enterprises can attract capital, and the influence that the Big Society can have in its present form are evolving issues. In the meantime, online retailing goes from strength to strength, our media continue to migrate to the internet, electronics continues to be the biggest field for innovations; and sources of information and platforms on which they are available continue to proliferate.