How innovation can inspire the world

Imagine a world without technology, advancement or progression. Where problems are overlooked and people don’t desire change – a stagnant state of living, void of innovation.

Thankfully this isn’t our world. Innovation has been key to many of humanity's greatest successes and our curiosity is therefore seen as one of our most valuable qualities.

We are all capable of innovating, and should be encouraged to do so whenever possible. Even the most simple innovations can revolutionise the way we think and live, and in turn move the world forward. 

Image by Owen Billcliffe

The Longitude Prize has been around for 300 years, encouraging people to open their minds to new solutions to the world’s toughest problems. Originally launched in 1714 to determine longitude, the Prize changed nautical history, unlocked accurate navigation and saved countless lives.

It was also among the chief inspirations for the Virgin Earth Challenge, our ongoing $25 million prize for scalable and sustainable ways of removing greenhouse gases from the air.

The Longitude Prize returns this year to help solve the problem of global antibiotic resistance. Offering a £10 million prize fund, the Longitude Prize 2014 was developed by Nesta, with the British public deciding which issue to tackle.

The challenge has been set to create a cheap, accurate, rapid, and easy to use test for bacterial infections that will allow doctors and nurses to better target treatments. I’m excited to see what ground-breaking innovation is incubated by the challenge.

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We should all seek to innovate, or be curious about innovation. Innovation truly is one of our greatest gifts.

It’s been key to driving success at Virgin – where we have never entered an industry just to add to a cluttered market, but instead to reinvent the game with innovative and disruptive products and services. By not limiting ourselves to what we know or have been told to be true, we have been able to dream big.

If you seek to innovate, you will be presented with opportunities and possibilities that can inspire the world.


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