Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Keynote Presentation from John Kao: Navigating the New Geography of Innovation


John Kao begins by mentioning that most companies believe that innovation is the answer, but what exactly is the question and direction?

Innovation is a territory and journey, not a point, that includes many differnet types of innovation (disruptive, front end, open, etc.). Large scale innovation is complicated because it goes beyond what corporations are used to in their geoengineering space.

Why innovate?
We have a different global landscape where the US is no longer central in the way it was in 1945. The US was half of the industrial workforce back then.

Drivers of Innovation world
1) The internet as global connector
2) Cultural shifts: American dream has become global dream
3) Talent flows “Hollyworld”
4) Capital flows
5) Globalization of science Ex: Singapore
6) Globalization or higher education

China has a brute force as a strategy, they know that quantity will lead to quality. Chile is one of the best countries in building global innovation process, the US excels with the system integrators model. A national strategy that overlies general innovation in still in alpha for theUS, countries like Sweden have someone in place for that role. We need a general innovation role that leads to the other narratives of innovation in the administration. Finland has a national center design lab and we are seeing this as an element of strategic advantage.

John Kao concludes by showing a video in which John Kao is interviewed and explains how the US has lost its edge. In the video John explains how funding for research and education should be high up there with our priorities in order to catch up with countries like China and Finland that are leaders in innovation.

"We need to acknowledge that we have a problem."

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