For most authors, innovation is based essentially on a range of different technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things (or IOT), Machine Learning, the Blockchain, the Cloud or even 3D printing. In his book “Taking the Plunge! A Different Take on Innovation,” Alain Conrard pores over these technologies in detail. But, he also embraces an ambitious vision that reaches far beyond technological considerations.

In his book, Alain Conrard sets the stage for the elaboration of a real culture of innovation.  This culture puts the end user, the human being, at the heart of the process. Because the innovation dynamic now kicks off with assessing user needs, customer experience has now become crucial. Alain Conrard uses the term “utributor” to refer to the main character of the system. The “utributor” plays a pivotal role in the value chain, from beginning to end, as opposed to the user who stands by as a spectator and final recipient.



With the release of Taking the Plunge! A Different Take on Innovation, Alain Conrard’s approach reflects what many public figures also believe. On the heels of Jacques Attali (writer and President of Positive Planet), and Maurice Levy (Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Publicis Groupe), Carlo Purassanta, President of Microsoft France, joins in and shares his views with Alain Conrard on the following three topics: technologies, the different types of innovation and the revolution in ways we use innovation. 


Carlo Purassanta believes that his main mission is to provide customers with “technological opportunity so that they do not get disrupted by new players who completely reshuffle their industry.” After bringing up the different technologies that shape the innovation dynamic, he explains the benefits of Cloud computing, one of Microsoft’s leading technologies around the world.

Carlo Purassanta underscores how important it is that innovation not be boxed in or pre-determined. Innovation comes in many shapes and sizes (incremental, disruptive and so on…and even trompe-l’œil), going from evolutionary to disruptive. He even suggests that these types of innovation should complement and not compete with each other.  

In a very captivating exchange of views, Carlo Purassanta and Alain Conrard, show how the new ways we use innovation have completely reshuffled the design, production and even the distribution process of a product or service.

When asked by Eric Revel to comment on the conclusion of the book, he shares Alain Conrard’s view on the three essential rules around innovation that boil down to – innovation that serves humanity, society and the environment. On another central topic of the book, Carlo Purassanta adds that, “data proficiency has become a fundamental aspect since we use and produce more and more data all the time.” He continues by raising awareness on the question of personal data with regard to third parties. “Innovation requires a higher degree of maturity on the part of citizens. We need to be better informed on the values, the ethical responsibility and guiding principles of the companies we decide to share our personal data with.” He refers back to one of the central themes explored by the book: In this all-out technology frenzy, human beings must reclaim control and make sure they are at the heart of the innovation dynamic.

Carlo Purassanta

Carlo Purassanta

President of Microsoft France