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What Does Hillary Think of Innovation? Or Mitt, Barack, or Rudi?

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on November 14, 2007

The next edition of Inside Innovation comes out online Thursday night and in print on Friday and one of my favorite stories asks the eight leading Republican and Democratic political candidates for their innovation agendas. I was surprised by the answers—Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney have clearly thought deeply about the issue and have interesting answers. So too Obama and McCain. But the others?….Well, you’ll see for yourselves.

One issue for me is whether or not the politicians understand that innovation is not necessarily invention. Neither is math and science. For me innovation is the creation of possibilities that turn into products (services, experiences etc.) that have value. As you’ll see in the candidates definitions of innovation, that appears to be lost.
But just the fact that most of the leading political candidates are thinking about innovation is a surprise to me.
What do you think shsould be the political agenda for innovation?

Reader Comments

Christine Flanagan

November 15, 2007 7:21 PM

I don't mean to sound trite Bruce - or maybe I do - but I think the political agenda for innovation should be to get the heck out of the way. Our national policy makers keep defaulting to strategies and incremental solutions to try and solve wicked problems. It doesn't work. It may make things better for a spell but it's hardly revolutionary. How many times have we thought how nice it would be to just flatten our educational system and start over? We're doing something pretty radical here in the state of Rhode Island to accelerate transformational innovation. (Forgive the buzzword.) Through the non-profit Business Innovation Factory collaborators are using the state as an experimental platform for testing new business models. It's not a lab - it's a real-world test bed. Here you can be radical while still playing it safe with the current way of doing things.

I'm reading John Kao's book Innovation Nation. He talks a lot about the power of place. I believe Rhode Island has that desired level of insulation from the main stream that will allow people to explore new business models in an open, creative and ultimately, game-changing way. Time will tell - but here's hoping I'm right.

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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