OER Text materialCultural ChangeChapter 3, subsection 3.3. The concepts of innovation, discovery, and invention are used to explain cultural change. An innovation refers to an object or concept’s initial appearance in society—it is innovative because it is markedly new. There are two types of innovation: discovery and invention. Discoveries make known previously unknown but existing aspects of reality. Inventions result when something new is formed from existing objects or concepts—when things are put together in an entirely new manner.