Monday, October 20, 2008

Innovation for the Sake of the Economy

FCW.com recently conducted an interview with Judy Estrin, current CTO at Cisco Systems. Her opinion is that Science and Technological Innovation have been the main reason for U.S. economic growth in the past, however, the current climate is not continuing to foster this type of atmosphere. In her book, "Closing the Innovation Gap", she discusses the importance of innovation, and how it is imperative for the U.S. to start on the path of cultivating innovation once more, as we discussed in this previous post. One of the points she makes in the interview conducted by FCW is:

"If you want sustainable innovation, which is really what we need to drive the economy, it’s not enough to have exciting new products. The iPod is a wonderful device, but in and of itself, is not enough to drive the economy. What you need is innovation in lots of different areas. You need breakthrough types of innovation like the Internet, whether it’s to drive the economy, to improve the quality of life, or to solve some of the major challenges that we have as a nation and a planet."

What are your thoughts on her perspective?

2 comments:

intentional innovation said...

Ms. Estrin's quote is a wonderful invitation to think. Individual innovation contributions need not be economic to make an impact. Whether your strong suit is as a civil servant or entertainment executive, the global economy needs your bright ideas to run more efficiently and with less conflict.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Intentional, above, about the invitation. And those grander innovations that Estrin alludes to (fire, indoor toilets, slicing the bread, the Internet) do not come along very often. How do we foster and nurture innovation? If it takes all of us... perhaps by starting to look at everyone as a potential innovator? What impact would that approach have in public schools, as an example, let alone in the cultures of innovation that corporations seek to build?

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