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Recent events have shaken the world and brought significant changes to our society and economy. In particular, the disproportionate impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement have brought into sharp focus inequalities that cannot be ignored. Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) are being talked about everywhere.
Pearce Jarrett Tear down the barriers My work at Innovate UK is all about promoting EDI in business innovation. As the UK’s Innovation Agency, we have a responsibility to address the system-wide inequalities in research and innovation. Based on current under-representation in business innovation compared to the UK population, there is a significant, under-utilised opportunity for positive economic and societal impacts in the UK. A growing number of studies demonstrate the is significant potential for widening participation in innovation such as the Rose Review and Unlocking Opportunity.
Over the last decade progress towards a more diverse and inclusive innovation system has been slow and there is a danger that the impact of recent events could push back any progress that has been made. However, I would like to think that the opposite is true, right now people and organisations within the system want change and businesses are responding. It is not going to be a quick fix, but it is worth putting sustained effort in because all of this will bring huge economic and societal gains. In a recent blog I talked about the Power of Diversity Data and the need for appropriate data. The environment is changing and so are our societal values.
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