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How do engineers intend to renew themselves in order to stay a major actor of the innovation ?

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Par   •  15 Octobre 2019  •  Dissertation  •  2 399 Mots (10 Pages)  •  121 Vues

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LEGRAND Guillaume



EURO 1                 24th of May 2019

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How do engineers intend to renew themselves in order to stay a major actor of the innovation ?

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Presented to M. ROY Louis within the project of ISH1 :

Innovation in Techniques and Societies

According to the famous french psychiatrist Boris Cyrulnik : “Tout créateur sort de la norme. Toute innovation est anormale.” Then, it seems to claim the fact that innovation is an unnatural phenomenon and that the engineer-creator is a special man. This quote is very close to this Steve Jobs declaration : “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” So, it’s not enough to be a simple copycat to innovate. According to Larousse dictionary, innovation1 corresponds to the whole process which begins from the birth of the idea to its materialization. It represents all the procedures taken in order to change predefined social norms, to shake the lifestyle of a part or of the entire society. They are, nowadays, mainly initiated by engineers2, those competent and professional people whose mission is to answer technical problematics thanks to their scientific, economic, and human recognitions. Afterwards, how does the engineer intend to renew himself in order to stay a major actor of the innovation ? We will analyze, in a first part, the evolution of the man-engineer and of the innovation throughout the ages before dealing with their futures. The dissertation will build on the different conferences organized as a part of this education.

According to Mister ROY in his conference dealing with Biological Anthropology we learned that, nature hasn’t a known direction towards it intend to evolve or transform itself and at the beginning every species living on the planet was submitted to this non-defined direction and to the natural selection phenomenon. To escape this phenomenon our ancestors began using cognitive functions – as memory, movement coordination, reasoning  –  and as a consequence were able to transform their environment in order to control it and not being submitted to.

In fact, they began to evolve towards the human being that we are today, and this long process called the “Hominization process” is truly the first process including innovation concerning the human being condition. This process regroups all the biological innovations that were needed to reach our human being condition : modifications of our ancestors’ organisms. For example, mutations due to the use of certain regions of their brain that have been never used before, which, as a consequence, permitted the growth in the size of the brain. All these biological processes enabled our ancestors to progress and evolve while creating and innovating to adapt themselves to the environment they were living in.

These mutations and evolutions are also linked to the environment in which they lived. In fact, the living beings that were not adaptable was eliminated by the pressure of its environment. That phenomenon pushed our ancestors to create in order to overcome the implacability of their environment and that is a thing that is within our genetic patrimony. Human, through its evolution, acknowledged how to adapt and transform its environment to survive : That makes innovation fundamentally human.  

It is fundamentally human also because no other species on the planet has the ability to adapt. The majority of the animals innovated towards a “point of perfection” they don’t change now. We have taken the example of the bees which are nowadays threatened of extinction because their environment changed too quickly, and they are not able to adapt itself at the same speed. Contrary to the bees, humans are flexible because they have not known an evolution towards “perfection”, and innovation is within the human being condition to answer a logic of flexibility and adaptation. By definition engineers are innovative because they are humans.

The useful creation is not the only driving force of the innovative human mind.

To this specific trait is added an irrepressible need to always go forward and to express the ideas emerged as human reflections3 goes by : as a novelty constantly attracts another, the necessity to conceive and apply these new ideas from this enormous source that is human imagination is endless.

The different steps from the emergence of a problem to solve to its solution are gathered in the stages of G. Wallas : preparation, incubation , illumination, and verification.

It equals to divide a harmonious process by distinguishing various defined states that follow the path of the birth of an idea to its development.

It is essential to well differentiate the weight of the terms associated instinctively together as synonyms but involve some important nuances :

·        Creativity is by the imaginative mind, fertile and adventurous, it is a passion that give birth to an idea which will be expressed by its realization.

·       Innovation takes part of this realization. It is the expression of the unprecedented by the novelty and/or the improvement.

·        Inventiveness links these two terms because it applies as to this mental exercise as its technical realization

·        Engineering is more specifically about the elaboration of a concept towards its practicability considering all requirements.

·         We can also think about the ingenious who finds the solution almost spontaneously to the problem.

Speaking about inventive mind is more adapted than speaking about invention.

Nowadays we name a person who discovers an archeological site that he is its inventor however it is not; it is his patent.

We don’t truly invent; we search, discover singularities and elements that can represent an interest and anything that can associate creativity to improvement of the mind.

In the Middle Ages, ancient principles are reassessed, and the work property is assimilated to a use and this recognition establish the idea of appropriation with the juridical recognition of the inventor or the creator.

From the end of the 14th century appear the first means that give the exclusivity and the use of its invention to an inventor. The principle of property of a breakthrough is a good acquired from the 16th/17th centuries.


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