Bertelsmann Stiftung (ed.)

Addressing societal challenges through disruptive technologies

Innovation for Transformation – Results Paper 3

Format Type
Date of publication
1. edition
58 pages, PDF


Free of charge


Disruptive innovations are inventions that trigger radical changes within societies, cultures and political systems. They thus contribute to greater competitiveness, and they have the potential to tackle major societal challenges. Presenting examples of how disruptive innovations are promoted in the United States, Israel and Japan, our study examines the lessons learned with relevance for Germany and Europe.

The results of this study are published as a results paper within the framework of the Reinhard Mohn Prize 2020 project, “Fostering Innovation. Unlocking potential.” This Bertelsmann Stiftung project is tasked with identifying promising mechanisms, institutions and strategies that could be applied to efforts advancing innovative capacity in Germany and Europe. The twofold aim of such efforts is to ensure, for one, that we remain technologically – and thus economically – competitive. But just as important is the need to address societal challenges while ensuring humane, democratic and inclusive economic development.

With this vision in mind, the Bertelsmann Stiftung conducted an extensive international good-practice research study and, in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI, bundled the findings into four so-called results papers. Additional results papers in the “Innovation for Transformation” series address issues such as

The final publication in this series, An agenda for the future: Innovation for transformation, presents a summary of the results papers’ overarching conclusions.

Related projects

Cover Fostering Innovation. Unlocking Potential.

In order to remain competitive and overcome the challenges we face in society, both Germany and Europe must promote their innovation capacity. We are looking for strategies and instruments that might help us with this.

Cover Reinhard Mohn Prize

"To innovate, learn and make a difference works best by throwing a glance over our frontiers."

(Reinhard Mohn)