– Article in partnership with IBM –
Technology events offer comparisons that stimulate the mind. “IBM Think Rome” is one of them. In the beautiful setting of the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rome, IBM welcomed experts and companies working in the world of technology and innovation. It was a pleasure to be part of it and a stimulus to share the reflections I have gathered in this article.
The key role of creativity alongside technology
Creativity can be regarded as an attitude, an ability that all human beings share, or – as Albert Einstein once said – where intelligence has fun. One thing that we can all agree on is creativity has played a central role in the development and evolution of Western civilization, insofar as it has allowed us to consistently improve our material, social, and cultural conditions.
In lead-up to the digital age, we have achieved extraordinary things. Chief among them, we have transformed our operations into data that is processed by increasingly cognitive algorithms that can then optimize decision-making. While that is already impressive, we are about to go even further.
The post-digital era is already unfolding before our very eyes. Within the immediate future, we will no longer pay attention to digital, because it will be ingrained in the fabric of our daily lives, like electricity, mobile phones, and tap water. As in the case of power outages, we will only notice digital when it is absent.
In my view, this evolution was only possible because of our creativity, ingenuity, and desire to look beyond the status quo. Technology is surely an enabler, but the human touch is required to forge novel tools and methods.
The importance of human creativity travels hand in hand with new technologies in the Digital Transformation pathway Click To Tweet
“Let’s Create”: the IBM stimulus that combines creativity and innovation
Recently, I had the opportunity to reflect on this while attending the IBM Think Rome 2022. There, I had the privilege of meeting the creators IBM selected for its “Let’s Create” initiative, a group of visionaries who have injected technology with ingenuity to create value for their businesses and for society.
While speaking with Chiara Coricelli, the CEO of Pietro Coricelli Spa, she showed me how her company – together with IBM Consulting – has implemented blockchain to ensure traceability and transparency in the production of Italy’s precious and exquisite extra virgin olive oil.
Soon after, I met with Milena Zappoli – the Head of Environmental Innovation for Hera Group. Incredibly, she and her team have managed to leverage the artificial intelligence from IBM Watson® Machine Learning to improve the waste collection and separation process and increase the level of recovery and recycling of materials.
Alternatively, Paolo Mazza (People & Culture at BlueIT Società Benefit) is working with IBM to automate organizational processes. The goal is to reduce the need for human involvement in repetitive and low-value activities, so that people can do work that is more meaningful and that better aligns with their organization’s objectives and bottom line.
What’s more, the chat I had with Bianca Romano, IBM’s Client Engineering Manager, helped me to understand how the company’s innovative and inclusive approach has magnified co-creation with their clients by accelerating knowledge exchange and transforming ideas into new business value.
The winning combination remains the union of technology and human creativity
This experience confirmed something I have long sensed: Human beings are shaping the Digital Transformation.
In fact, IBM Consulting was born out of that very realization. The tech giant’s professional services and consulting arm embraces the concept of co-creation to generate new ideas that make an exponential impact and change the way we act. Their inclusive and holistic approach accounts for far more than technology; it recognizes that the human mind stores all of our experiences and is home to our deepest creative drives and urges. As described on their website: “We believe open ecosystems, open technologies, open innovation, and open cultures are the key to creating opportunities and the way forward for modern business and for our world.”
How could anyone challenge their principles? Combining our abilities has always proven more advantageous than acting independently and is at the heart of civilization. For thousands of years, we have continued to fuel the fire that feeds our creativity and innovation. This fire must continue to burn brightly so that we can forge a transformative path that serves our entire global community.
- Original article previously published here