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Mapping Weak Signals

Inspired by: FP7 » From Closed Innovation to Top-Secret Innovation?

version: 3 / updated: 2011-11-08
id: #1870 / version id: #948
mode: VIEW

Originally submitted by: Vanessa Watkins
List of all contributors by versions (mouse over)
Last changed by: Rafael Popper
WI-WE status:

Source of inspiration

European Commission Framework Programme for RTD (FP7)

Theme/activity of inspiration

Theme 8 - Socio-economic Sciences and the Humanities

Sub-theme/area of inspiration

Blue Sky Research on emerging issues and other research economies

Optional reference/s to FP7 project/s

Use the following format: Project Acronym (Project Reference No.). Use commas if more than one project is associated to this Wild Card, for example: ALFA-BIRD (213266), SAFAR (213374), LAPCAT-II (211485)
Source: INFU (225229) - http://www.innovation-futures.org/ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8162325.stm http://www.macnotes.de/2009/01/05/mwsf-alles-infos-zum-keynote-ticker-zur-macworld-2009/

Signal's headline

(max. 9 words)
From Closed Innovation to Top-Secret Innovation?

Signal's description

(approx. 150 words)
Please describe the Weak Signal (approx. 150 words)
n Summer 2009, an employee of one of Apple’s manufacturer committed suicide after loosing a prototype of a next generation iPhone, There are rumours that he was maltreated and his house was searched illegally. Apple, commonly seen as one of the most innovative brands, treats its upcoming products like a state secret. Apple thereby contributes to the hype created by its uncountable communities of followers, e.g. websites, which offer live-tickers during Apple Keynotes (conferences where Apple launches new products) have to shut down their normal sites and use all available server-power to withstand the run of followers.


innovation, open innovation, apple, i-phone, secrecy, suicide


(max. 250 characters)
Apple’s success could be a weak signal for a new emergence of not only closed but top-secret innovation strategies. Using the hype around a brand, companies are creating consumer-religions.

Signal's first apperance


Signal's potential evolution

It could lead to...
issue type of issue/development potential impact on society timeframe for the issue to become at least 50% probable
#1 Change in current innovation patterns new/emerging

Under what assumption the Weak Signal might evolve.

Apple’s success could be a weak signal for a new emergence of not only closed but top-secret innovation strategies. Using the hype around a brand, companies are creating consumer-religions. The suicide is an extreme example of how very serious this can become. This weak signal could indicate an increasing avoidance of open or user-integrated innovation in the consumer good industries and instead a concentration on creating myths.


please specify
please select
Level 4: important for the whole world

Filters preventing the signal's monitoring

economic filters (business/market interests)

Key driving forces of this signal

Please use these boxes to provide up to 2 drivers of HIGH importance. Click on HELP to see examples:
Driver 1 Driver 2
Social An increasing number of people partly define their identity by joining product/brand communities. →Post Modern Lifestyle.
Economic More and more companies use storytelling as an ongoing tool to create sustainable hype and curiosity around their brands.
Values/Ethical/Cultural More and more companies understand, that design and/or the association with the arts load up a brand with a desirable flair, which fosters a brand-hype. → Design Innovation gains acceptance.

Signal's relevance for European Grand Challenges

where? please justify:
particularly relevant Europe world
Work-Life balance and mental health
Globalization vs. localization
Innovation dynamics

Signal's relevance for thematic research areas

please justify:
particularly relevant
Research infrastructures

Pan-European strategies influencing the signal

please justify:
particularly relevant
Facilitating and promoting knowledge sharing and transfer