Exploring the Unknown: Corporate advantage from Terra Incognita

From: Article 13
Published: Wed Jun 29 2005

While some exploration is still powered by scientific curiosity, it is more common today for expeditions, exploration and recording of the outer reaches to be funded and driven by commercial interests.

Business needs the new knowledge which exploration of the unknown can provide if it is to continue to innovate and add value, but some new ground rules are needed which take into account the whole costs of exploration, that enable value to be extracted without destruction, and that include more stakeholders in the decisions about exploration, and the design of the systems of extraction.

Commodity businesses and physical extraction offer only a single-shot opportunity to harvest value from the outer reaches of the planet. As business continues to drive exploration into the unknown, how can we build success based on these resources, without exploiting them for their commodity value in such a way that their essential character is changed?

Businesses which delve into exploration of the unknown can build success without exploiting resources for their commodity value through research and innovation, innovation in the processes of R&D and recognition of the value of unexplored areas for the range of eco-services they provide, not just for the value of material that could be extracted.

If we can develop businesses that incorporate these three elements in their new product development and their reporting to a triple bottom line, then exploring the unknown will once again be a noble and progressive pursuit.

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Copyright Article 13 2005
Article 13 are specialist advisors in governance, corporate social responsibility and sustainable development. We develop policy and strategy through the use of research and engagement to deliver innovation, governance and organisational responsibility. We work with companies, governments and academic institutions to meet the growing pressure for better performance, whether it be social, environmental, ethical or economic.
Company: Article 13
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