Assignment: Make America passionate about innovation

It's been a while since the innovation was a national focus

Next month I have the honor of heading off to the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication where I’ve been invited to be an executive in residence.  During my three days in Eugene, I’ll give a keynote, meet with faculty, work with students in a few classes and perhaps participate in a TedX conference.

But what I’m most excited about is that I get to come up with an assignment that students will work on in anticipation of my arrival. So here it is:

Assignment: Make America passionate once again about Innovation.

Not since the days of Sputnik and the genesis of the space program has innovation truly been celebrated by an entire nation. Sure we have Silicon Valley and Steve Jobs. But that addresses but a sliver of the problems and challenges that science, technology and innovation might actually solve – energy, health care, potable water, education, heck even longer lasting batteries for our iPhones.

Perhaps more compelling — despite a flurry of new gadgets, hybrid cars, and the Internet of everything – are facts like these:

  • Most experts believe the United States is fewer than 10 years away from losing its leadership position to China and India.
  • Those two nations are rapidly becoming the choice of global companies as they determine where to locate their R&D facilities, thanks to their emphasis on math and science education.
  • America continues to see an increase in high school drop out rates, test scores that pale in comparison to other countries, and plummeting school budgets that don’t do much to help. 
  • It’s an epidemic at the college level, too. Consider that at UC Irvine, whose research labs detected the harmful CFC gases that deplete the ozone layer, the reputable program has lost $70 million for research, faculty, and classes.
  • NASA’s budget is less than one percent of the total defense budget.
  • Wall Street’s emphasis on quarterly profits encourages chipping away at R&D budgets in order to help bottom lines.

Last week, appearing on Tom Ashbrook’s On Point, MIT President Susan Hockfield suggested that if we really want more scientific and technological breakthroughs — the kind that solve big problems (energy, education, health), foster social mobility and spur economic growth — we need a national passion around innovation.  “The nation has to fall in love again with science and technology,” Hockfield insists.  “We have the have basic elements, but we no longer have the focus.”

So what if we take innovation and make it cool. Turn it into a cause. Get everyone behind it — kids, parents, educators, small businesses, big businesses, government officials, taxpayers.

What if we created this movement by using some of the innovations we have seen in the last few years – Skype, Twitter, YouTube?  Or used emerging marketing techniques to do it – gaming dynamics, crowdfunding, and user-generated content?  Perhaps we should even invent new products and services as part of the campaign to demonstrate the challenge and the thrill of inventing?

I’m hoping that the students come up with something that makes the idea of innovation viral. Something we root for like a national sports team. Or at least a campaign that extends the conversation beyond the halls of MIT, the broadcasts of NPR and the offices of venture capitalists.

What do you think?  Any ideas, links, leads, suggestions to help the journalism and communication students at the University of Oregon get started?

54 comments
ben
ben moderator

Agree that this is super important. A lot of people believe Obama will undertake a similar goal in the upcoming State of the Union.

DiPinto
DiPinto

My client is Raytheon, so I really appreciate the assignment. I am also very aware of the shortage of engineers we face and will continued to be challenged with in the future. We have an initiative focused on engaging students in math and science. We engage tweens, teachers and defense industry peers. Mostly social and online efforts. I would love to hear the insight of your students! Best of luck!

JulieGrant
JulieGrant

Great assignment! Can I spread it around the homeschooling community in New England? It would be interesting to see what those students say as well! Have a great trip West! Getting kids excited about innovation begins pretty early I would guess, I can see it now... Mom, why is the German Shepherd connected to Johnny's Playstation3......?

JonHearty
JonHearty

Congrats on your upcoming trip to Oregon! What an interesting assignment you have planned! I think you are hitting on something really important, something that most people of my generation don't truly appreciate. I think the startup community is finally giving us a taste of the potential of innovation, and movies like The Social Network are shedding light on the power of a man or woman and his or her laptop.

Today, with just a computer, a person can change the world.

I agree that we really need to unite as a country and take pride in innovation. All of the things that you mentioned - game mechanics, crowd-sourcing, etc. - are all great ideas. We need something to keep us passionate and competitive in a world of growing complacence.

I look forward to a post about how things went in Oregon!

JayCollier
JayCollier

As you implied with your title, "Creativity Unbound," we need to free innovation from what binds it. I think innovation is a natural process of change. So, what prevents that process from moving forward?

In order to innovate, you must often leave something behind, physical (such as project resources that can be used for new initiatives) or conceptual (a previous worldview that must be reorganized to see anew).

For Americans, the process of loss, transformation, and renewal gets stuck at loss: we deny the death of habit, bureaucracy, the status quo, the body at the end of this journey. We are trained to be fearful consumers every step of our lives, to buy whatever is needed to avoid decay.

If you can teach students, writers, thinkers, and doers to get comfortable with the challenges of creative destruction -- to use wisdom to prioritize, leave behind, and move forward -- then I believe innovation will emerge naturally.

Jack Balkin's The Laws of Change is a wonderful guide to navigating that transformation. <http://amzn.to/g6GUHw>

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

This is really tough as an assignment Edward. I hope you can add some fire. The places that are perfect in this country to kick start innovation have half the country preferring to stay dumb. It shocks me too. Most is due to legacy industries that are clinging to profits at the sake of our future (Oil, Fossil Fuels, Religion, Logging/Paper, Bloated Healthcare, Military etc) and even the most Pro-Business Party the GOP because while they might hate China and be Xenophobic they are owned by the old industrial-military complex.

We do not have the same drive we did in the 40's -60's. I wonder if its because pay is so low outside the top 20% of jobs? Wouldn't better wages help pull people up, help parents believe in education, and have money to buy the stuff that will be developed via innovation? Maybe we should close Walmart? LOL

dweingrod
dweingrod

Taking a slightly different tack, how about looking at fostering innovation in Journalism and Communication. Many of the, (older), journalists that I know are utterly terrified about what the future holds, but the few younger journalists and journalism students I know are stoked about the opportunity to create something new. They look at the new social platforms as opportunities. I would challenge them to think and even prototype what innovative journalism might look like in 10 or even 50 years.

Some of this is already happening with some of the smarter news outlets, NYT is an obvious example, but here's an article about a small paper in Torrington CT that is trying an innovative approach to local journalism: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/16/nyregion/16towns.html?scp=1&sq=torrington&st=nyt

kristofharling
kristofharling

I think Edward is right; innovation is everywhere in America. The speed of thought manifesting itself into a tangible, relevant and socially influential experience is staggering – Wikipedia celebrates its tenth birthday on Saturday! Ward Cunningham must be a very proud father!

Defining America by innovation is a different challenge than when JFK laid the foundations to landing a man on the moon. America’s post war confidence and cash set against a competitive protectionist unity, created a unique Petri dish of creativity. Innovation was cultivated, nourished and protected within the 50 states. Compare that to today where technology has bred collaborative and open development and where competition is not yet a necessity to survive but an entertainment – think Ansari X Prize.

In truth America never really defined itself through innovation but through education. Innovation was just the byproduct.

rnadworny
rnadworny

Let's not forget the role of popular culture (read TV or movies). One of our enduring heroes from the 60's, when science was cool, was the logical scientist Mr. Spock from Star Trek (and he's still showing up 40 years later in TV shows!)

What equivalent do we have today? Reality TV shows? They show the opposite of innovation inspiration. Let's put all of the creative minds who read your blog together and develop the fictional content to celebrate science and innovation and make it cool and MustSee.

scottRcrawford
scottRcrawford

A thought. Or three. It feels like something vital is missing. Innovation is a means, not an end. What's missing is some compelling vision of the future that becomes the unifying purpose + national rallying cry? When we set out to be first to set foot on the moon, that was something to genuinely shoot for that demanded all of our imagination, might and, yes, innovation. We had an audacious goal. And a competitor to race. What's the equivalent today? Is it educational access/attainment? Can we set a goal of using all our might and intelligence and innovation to ensure that we have a zero dropout rate? What other goal could we set today that would require an all-in commitment? What would be outrageous, audacious, outlandish enough? How about a new socio-economic system that would break the current model completely and replace it with one our grandkids might actually thank us for?

Have a blast.

Tom_Matte
Tom_Matte

You had me at TEDX! I think you would do a great 16 minute presentation. As to your point. If you asked your readers for 100 innovative things America has done in the last 12 months, the list would be complete in a day. Here is one: Adding the "Like" button on Facebook. You can joke if you want, but that little blue box has done as much for business and personal social interaction as Facebook itself.

Canofpopcom
Canofpopcom

Innovation for & by the masses is a hard brief to crack.. the key i feel to engraining a pioneer spirt in large amount of people is to use engagement through sub-conscious interaction planting the seed & watching it grow.

I think social gaming could be potentially a strong tool for problem solving, i.e. using many players (minds) to crack problems while being entertained, stimulated & rewarded.

I've often thought platforms such as facebook could be used through people power to solve a few problems... i.e. a simple execution could involve the option for everyone to donate $1 / £1 / €1 to a good cause or pressing global issue.. i know i'm being simplistic and rambling on but maybe just maybe it could work.

I look forward to seeing your results & the reaction to your assignment - I leave you with this great example of how one person with a bunch of recycled Clips can create such a positive reaction (over 430k in visits over 4 days)

NASA - The Frontier Is Everywhere
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oY59wZdCDo0

JeffShattuck
JeffShattuck

I think you first have to define what innovation. Is it having a big idea and letting someone else figure out how to build it (this is the way it is now, with the big ideas coming from the US and other countries building them) or is it actually having a deep understanding of, say, chemistry and coming up with a new material? Regardless, somehow math and science need to be made cool and religion and science need to be separated once and for all in our schools (one is a faith, one is a method to test hypothoses). Again, though, what's innovative and why? Is an iPad more innovative than a Baby Jogger Select Stroller? Is an iPod more innovative than a Walkman was in its day? Is a solar powered electrical pump more innovative than a Moneymaker?

http://kickstart.org/tech/technologies/micro-irrigation.html

I'm kind of blabbering, but my point is that I think a clear definition of innovative is required in order to put in place the kind of system to achieve it.

bud_caddell
bud_caddell

Edward, I seriously dig the challenge.

I urge you to drop this as a message inside The Bucket Brigade's Editorial Board, I think they'd have some awesome feedback for you.

Kellyannemeyers
Kellyannemeyers

User generated content = key. When people want to share you know you're doing something right.

NACarpenter
NACarpenter

@edwardboches It's far too long of a story about how I stumbled across this column, but as the son of a Mercury astronaut, you couldn't have chosen a better image of what we were once capable of and what we can still achieve if somehow we can curtail the all out assault on reason, intellect and expertise in this country.

JayCollier
JayCollier

@JeffShattuck @edwardboches @HowieG

Jeff, the companies you mentioned are U.S.-originated brands from the past, but where will future innovation live? Will it only be based in the U.S. market? Now that China has begun to expand from the production/manufacturing realm into the branding game, what will happen? Here's an example of a global branding initiative from Li Ning.

http://jaycollier.net/2011/01/03/see-i-change-the-world/

What is already happening with the first Chinese brands to enter the global market with products and services built on past U.S. innovations? I think these are a few worth watching.

- Google's competitor Baidu http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baidu
- Ebay's competitor Alibaba http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alibaba
- Nike's competitor Li Ning http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li_Ning_%28company%29

I'm not sure I know exactly what "the" models for billions of people in the complex Chinese and Indian economies actually are, but I'm not surprised that the unsustainability issues of energy and transportation are being resolved in a more innovative fashion in China, for instance, than here.

http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/energy/25010/
http://blogs.worldbank.org/eastasiapacific/following-china-s-lead-transforming-transportation

JeffShattuck
JeffShattuck

@edwardboches @HowieG @JayCollier Edward, I don't think China and India's current models are at all sustainable. Further, I'm not sure how innovative they are. I just think they get tasked with executing our ideas because it's a better use of capital (for now) to pay their wages instead of ours to put together, say, an iPad.

Also, from what I can tell, we're not the programmed. I mean, look at the leading companies in the world: Apple, Google, GE, IBM, Oracle, Chevron, Facebook, Twitter, Wal Mart, FedEx, UPS, Verizon... the list is endless. And the programmers are the cheap, well educated, HUNGRY labor forces of Asia and Eastern Europe, working like dogs to make our dreams come true.

Shoot, gotta run, more to say on this, but will have to be another time...

edwardboches
edwardboches moderator

@HowieG @JayCollier @JeffShattuck Also, I have no complaints about China, India et al. Great for them if they can innovate more quickly. Though I'm not sure that 12 hours a day of school year round leads to a well balanced lifestyle. But it's less about what they're up to than simply whether or not we can get passionate about the idea (especially among kids). They all love the next cool gadget, widget, app. They use Shazam and play video games. They know who Zuckerberg is and other entrepreneurs. But we (as Rushkoff or Lanier say) are more the programmed than the programmers. The users of tech rather than the creators. Dependent on science instead of embracing it in a more widespread way. Just wondering if there's value in it becoming a cultural movement. Would that make things better? Improve education? Inspire more creators? Give companies permission to forego short term profits for long term investment? Not sure. But maybe.

edwardboches
edwardboches moderator

@JayCollier Jay thanks for that comment and the link to Balkin's piece. All of this dialog will be helpful for the students to jump start their thinking. And for me to develop my own with more clarity as well.

JeffShattuck
JeffShattuck

@JayCollier @JeffShattuck Jay, I confess, I know very little about Asian culture. I'll check out your posts and the TED talk, thanks.

On the Economist: it's my favorite mag and I agree that people in Europe seem happier with their lives than people in the States, but partly I think it's their culture to say so. America remains a fascinating, yet vulgar, place to Europe and so when Europeans compare themselves to Americans, they tend to think they have it better. Whether they do or not, I don't know, that's a whole other discussion.

JayCollier
JayCollier

@HowieG @JeffShattuck @edwardboches

Yes! And I think that the Asian cultures with a essential experience of transformation -- destruction AND innovation -- at their core are primed for a new burst of growth.

Here's a TED talk from an Indian physician/mythologist/leadership consultant who suggests the ways we organize our businesses, east and west, grows from the very different soils of each cultural mythology, by which he means the powerful stories that capture the essence of our understanding of the world.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7QwxbImhZI

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@JayCollier @JeffShattuck I read the Economist non-stop. We have entrenched lobbies in the US that prevent us from getting head ad a nation..ie special interests. Its very corrupting as we all know. The 80% of the jobs at the bottom 4/5's of the US average $30k. That is not a good thing. From 2000-2008 the average american was making 3% less per year after inflation after 8 years. Imagine telling a worker that after 8 years of hard work your buying power will be less. But the US gets praised for our flexible work force and allocating of resources. It is easy to start businesses here.

In Europe its very hard to start a business. They don't have the Lobby issue we have. They have an old decript power structure that likes the status quo. They are praised for their social safety net, but it limits the national growth rates. That said when compared Europeans are much happier than people in the US and live longer. They work less, have equal standard of livings (Western Europe) when everything is accounted for and are happier.

And most bizarre the Economist with Pew Research found Europe is more upwardly mobile than in the US. You are much more likely to be stuck in the same class you are born into in the US.

I think both places have major problems. But as @edwardboches wrote its not Europe we have to worry about. It's the China, India, Brazil, Singapore, etc that are coming up fast that we have to compete with.

JayCollier
JayCollier

@JeffShattuck Thanks for taking the time, Jeff. My comparison was between east and west, linear and cyclical, one life and transmigration. I shouldn't have written, "America."

Jack Balkin's book is the interpretation by a Yale constitutional law professor of one of the most popular books in the world, the I Ching, which describes cycles of loss and renewal. Even without brand, the culture from which it rose is doing pretty well economically. I wonder what happens when global brands are added to manufacturing.

China and the U.S. have different kinds of state/oligarchical control, but it still is control. Besides, if you study the current media environment in China, you'll find it is much more subtle than the black and white picture you paint: much is happening around central control.

http://jaycollier.net/category/places/china/

Check out this interview with the founder of Ali Baba for an interesting perspective on innovation.

http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/11215

JeffShattuck
JeffShattuck

@JayCollier Jay, when you write "For Americans, the process of loss, transformation, and renewal gets stuck at loss: we deny the death of habit, bureaucracy, the status quo, the body at the end of this journey. We are trained to be fearful consumers every step of our lives, to buy whatever is needed to avoid decay," I have to ask, "Compared to whom?" From my four years of living in Europe, I saw way more resistance to change there than I ever have here. In fact, the Europeans I knew all admired the ability of the average American to change and adapt.

I have never read "The Laws of Change" but I read its description on Amazon and it is not a book rooted in America or even Western culture. A better book for Americans, I might suggest, would be "The Ordeal of Change", by Eric Hoffer, which explores change in the context of the United States. Hoffer argues that we resist change and that we do not create it, but rather it creates us. From what I've seen of the world in my 47 years, I think Hoffer has a point. But, to be fair, I really can't comment on the book you suggest, as I have never read it.

Again, though, I would argue that of all the countries in the world today, America is the most adaptable and, yes, innovative. Are we losing our edge? Perhaps. But to regain it, we need to, as you say, embrace creative destruction and this would have meant letting GM go into Chapter 11, letting many of our largest banks fail, letting AIG fail -- all of which I wish we had done. And that's the problem: to your point, we are afraid to do such things, but filled with fear, though we are, we still do these kinds of things far more often and way ahead of other countries. China's hot now, but just wait. They do not have the culture change requires. They want to manage it, and to my mind, they are playing a fool's game. To bring this all back to advertising, China and India and many other countries are violating the number one rule of social: you can convene but you can't control. They've rallied their assembly, now let's see how they deal with it. Tiananmen Square probably won't happen again, but never say never.

Sorry, just looked back at my comment and it's pretty long! I'll shut up now.

bradnoble
bradnoble

@edwardboches I was thinking of it as a virtual World's Fair, where developers (your audience) could hack up innovative products from the APIs of featured companies (Apple and Google included).

One thing that spurs innovation is openness. So, in a Virtual World's fair, you as a presenter wouldn't want to just show people what you've done (case study and message); you'd want to encourage them to build on what you've done.

Not sure there would need to be an incentive for the developer other than partial rights to the innovation itself in the form of capital to champion the product further.

edwardboches
edwardboches moderator

@bradnoble And a means of inspiring them from all participants. Seems like a campaign that Apple or Google could do.

dweingrod
dweingrod

@edwardboches @HowieG STUNNING. Can't add much to what you said or put it in bigger caps. We are living in a world where information and information transmission and understanding rules. Those who communicate best will innovate best. #shorttermthinking

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@edwardboches @dweingrod Too many Silos people have. A Scientist forgets without someone making him devices to investigate things he can't investigate. And without his Scientific Publications he has no idea what his peers are doing or working on. And without his text books or teachers communicating to him, he can't be a scientist.And without the logger bringing trees to the papermill, or the oil worker bringing oil to the plastic manufacturer who makes the casing for his laptop, or the glass maker who made the fiber optics. Nevermind the janitor to keep his freaking lab clean..or the procurement person who buys him his stuff....

I think we all get self important in some ways. But to forget that even the smallest link in the chain isn't critical is doing ones self a disservice.

edwardboches
edwardboches moderator

@dweingrod @HowieG Great stuff and thanks for the links. Here's an interesting anectodte. Recently I was at an alumnae advisory meeting at BU's College of Communication. The president of BU thinks that communications is a second tier course of study, suggesting that medicine, law, engineering, business are all more important. I found this fact mind boggling. In a world where developments like crowdsourcing can generate solutions to global problems, where Skype can help u s develop new interative methods of conflict resolution, where social media has the power to connect us to and enable the unwired corners of the world, it seems insane that we don't embrace communication studies as among the most important of all areas of education.

At the same time, we have this problem because much of the communication industry is still in the hands of a generation that thinks in terms of us and them. Certainly that's the case on many campuses where the faculty are ex practitioners whose skills and and past careers are less relevant now. I meet young journalists all the time who are leaving traditional publications to go into social media, or blogging, or community management because their employers don't understand engagement, or transparency, or interacting with the reader. Much to be learned and explored here.

dweingrod
dweingrod

@HowieG
Hey Howie, True enough. It's a case by case situation depending who you are sampling. The young journalists I know, (all two of them), understand that they are going into a low paying profession, but are passionate and committed to their craft and really believe that they are living in a game changing era. I agree and hope that they can pull it off. I'm very concerned about the changing role of professional journalism in this world. Certainly for the fact that our civil and democratic society requires an open and robust free press and also for the fact that if the press disappears what will we be blogging about, or against :-).

One of the reasons I feel that it would be interesting to discuss journalism and innovation is because, to get into some of the other interesting discussions in this thread, I think that innovation is becoming a rapidly overused word. The more I delve into it I keep seeing incrementalism being identified as innovation. "Let's add a new feature and call it innovation" . I think that true innovation is the quantum leap forward that we really don't have the tools to describe quite yet.

And that's the place where journalism sits right now. We all know that its broken, but no-one has been able to describe what the future is going to look like. One person who has tried, by staking out a firm commitment to Digital in Journalism is John Paton CEO of the Journal Register group. There's a review of what he has been doing in this GigaOm article: http://gigaom.com/2010/12/02/for-newspapers-the-future-is-now-digital-must-be-first/
and if you have the time read his recent presentation/call to action for the future of newspapers here: http://jxpaton.wordpress.com/2010/12/02/presentation-by-john-paton-at-inma-transformation-of-news-summit-in-cambridge-mass/

@edwardboches - if you want to go the Journalism/Innovation route at Oregon, highly recommend you read the above links. Would have loved to be in Cambridge to hear him present it.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@dweingrod Hi Dan. I think the younger writers are not excited about the low pay these days for journalism. There was a great Adverve episode I think end of the summer with my friend Carolina Miranda as guest who is now a free lancer. We go where the money is often enough.

But you are correct about the evolution and innovation for platforms. In California the Patch is growing for hyperlocal news. TMZ has been a success but the contributors I am not sure get paid. Just need to see how these new platforms can make money.

edwardboches
edwardboches moderator

@kristofharling Or you could argue that a desire for what innovation would lead to (man on the moon) stimulated a greter emphasis on education. Everything is connected to everything in else on one way or another.

edwardboches
edwardboches moderator

@rnadworny Rich, Like that. It could be one of the main objectives of the assignment or one of the solutins, the creation of something highly relevant culturally that helps seed the passion.

edwardboches
edwardboches moderator

@scottRcrawford Scott, these are all great thoughts and will no doubt be fodder for students. Agree that idea of a noble and or meaningul goal, whether it's environmental, water, cross cultural relations, education, or a total re-invention of state government (in need of that here in Mass.) the purpose might help. Thanks.

Tom_Matte
Tom_Matte

I was laying in bed last night and realized the "Like" button was added in April of 2009. So, we either change the rules to 24 months or disqualify it. Either way, innovations will come pouring in.

JeffShattuck
JeffShattuck

@edwardboches I agree, there is a TON of innovation happening in the US, more than anywhere else in the world, I would imagine. So maybe we are not falling behind. Maybe we're already champions of innovation (meaning simply to have a big idea that makes some people's lives better -- and maybe generates a few bucks for the inventor). But when it comes actually making our ideas -- writing the code, building the widget, picking the fruits -- we don't want to do that. Inventing is cool, engineering is not.

Anyway, I feel like a naysayer and a curmudgeon. Obviously, I am all for elevating innovation even higher in terms how we value it and how motivated we are to do it, I just think there should be a way to measure whether or not we've succeeded and that means specifics. Kennedy understood this; Obama did not. It will be interesting to see how history remembers both.

One last note: I think there are already a lot of ways for innovation to become viral: Facebook, YouTube, Creative Commons, Posterous, Flickr, Tumblr, Apple (i-apps), Android (write some code, if people dig it, you're gold!), Linux (and the whole open source movement for that matter), the Internet, TV, radio, games that let you create your own maps, etc. Further, people are positively clogging these channels (save for radio, maybe, although, when you consider talk radio...), with their ideas. As Gladwell put it, ideas are dime a dozen!

JeffShattuck
JeffShattuck

@Kellyannemeyers In my opinion, creativity (or innovation) demands boundaries. If you are to inspire and mobilize a population, I think your goal needs to be somewhat specific. Obama has learned this lesson the hard way: he promoted change, but never defined it. Now, he's struggling to regain momentum and I think he has a hard road to hoe. Consider the example in the post around space flight. From Wiki: "On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced before a special joint session of Congress the dramatic and ambitious goal of sending an American safely to the Moon before the end of the decade." That was specific, inspiring, effective. Just saying we need to care about innovation more is not enough, I really believe that.

Kellyannemeyers
Kellyannemeyers

@edwardboches @JeffShattuck RE Nerds as the new cool kids etc., touches on a concept of innovation that needs to be reconized. In the process of innovation I feel that in someway everyone is an expert in something and simultaniously everyone is a student. With innovative change from business models to sustainability to techonology, comes a linear web of creation and self-humbling education and an eager yearning for movement forward wherever forward may be.

edwardboches
edwardboches moderator

@JeffShattuck Looking are recent issues of Time and Fortune, there is no shortage of innovation: John Hopkins robotics lab; GE's lean manufacturing; Black Hawk Medevac Units; London's Datastore; The Nissan Leaf; privatized prisons; Intel's Centrino wireless platform; Internet TV. The issue is whether we simply take it for granted vs strive to create it ourselves. Nerds are definitely the new cool kids. But we still need a lot more science, math, code being taught in our schools and eliminate the barriers that prevent more young kids from getting into it. It's not about being on Facebook, it's about inventing better uses of Facebook or even wanting to grow up to create the next one.

edwardboches
edwardboches moderator

@JeffShattuck I agree with Kelly. The idea has to be that we celebrate the idea of innovation. We may need tools and skills to achieve it -- education, passion for science, knowledge of coding. We may have to make Buckminster Fuller cool. We may have to get our kids to want to INVENT video games rather than PLAY video games. I want it to stay more open ended to see what we can come up with. I like Susan Hockfield's definition: we need to take great ideas and turn them into usable and marketable technologies and businesses.

Kellyannemeyers
Kellyannemeyers

@JeffShattuck Defining innovation in this context is in someway setting boundaries, which could self defeat the entire purpose.

Kellyannemeyers
Kellyannemeyers

@bud_caddell Just checked out your Bucket Brigade -- very cool. Have some prior twittership with you. Also, sent one your way today. Would love you to join the discussion as this project progresses. Let's connect!

edwardboches
edwardboches moderator

@Kellyannemeyers Agree. Plus innovation more interesting if we demonstrate rather than talk about it. And if we can see it in action for ourselves, rather than assume it's something that others do. What can "I" or "we" or "you" innovate working with others.

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