“For decades I have faced the challenge of turning scientific discoveries into practical innovations. If there is one thing that I have learnt from this pursuit, it is that while the problems which occur during implementation and application may sometimes be technical, much more often they are of a social nature. Social resistance towards innovation can be observed at all levels of society – in small teams, in entire companies, and in the public at large. People who are reasonably well-off have little interest in change. This aspect is constantly underestimated. The fact is that an invention will only win recognition if the social environment is sufficiently open and flexible.”
Dr. h.c. mult. Branco Weiss (1929-2010)
Dr. Branco Weiss graduated in 1951 from ETH Zurich with an MSc in chemical engineering. Subsequently he established a number of national and international companies. From 1987 to 1994 he lectured on “Management of New Companies” and “Technological Strategies” at ETH Zurich. He was a fellow and board member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Science, an honorary member of the Swiss Engineers and Architects Society, as well as an honorary member of Alumni Association of ETH. In addition, he was the founder and president of the Swiss Venture Capital Association and a frequent lecturer on innovation and high-tech entrepreneurships. He was awarded several honorary PhD degrees from various universities. Branco Weiss died on October 31, 2010.
More information on Dr. Branco Weiss (Wikipedia)
Easing Human Hardship: Article in the NZZ newspaper by Branco Weiss (German and English)