Joren De Wachter

Joren trained as a lawyer in both Belgium and England & Wales, and spent about ten years in private practice. Subsequently he moved in-house to work for the software industry. In 2008, he decided to set up a boutique consultancy on how to use Intellectual Property Rights for technology companies and investors. This decision originated from the observation that the understanding and use of IP rights is often quite poor. Moreover, many businesses don’t have a clear view on the balance between protecting their intellectual capital (through exclusive rights) or opening up (through open source or open innovation). The consultancy has allowed him to look at Intellectual Property Rights as a professional tool. How are they used? What purpose do they serve? Why do they exist at all? And do they achieve their goals? In his TED talk, he explores how a society can ensure it has the highest possible level of innovation and creativity. As humankind struggles with challenges such as global warming, the financial crisis and its consequences, the threat to biodiversity, issues of health care, questions of poverty and income inequality and many more, it is clear that innovation and creativity are becoming ever more important in helping us to come up with possible solutions. Intellectual Property Rights are one key aspect of innovation and creativity, he stresses.