Moving toward an Innovation Nation

One of the main reasons I’ve been so bad about writing on Davos Newbies the last few months is my involvement with a book that is being published today, Innovation Nation. My colleague John Kao wrote Innovation Nation because he believes the United States faces an erosion of its innovation capabilities, and that threatens our future prosperity.

But the message of Innovation Nation isn’t only directed toward the US. John’s assertion is that “what is good for the world is good for the US”. He believes the role of an “Innovation Nation” is partly to work as a systems integrator and broker in a network of innovators to tackle the world’s most thorny problems.

We’ve created a website both to promote the book and to foster a discussion around its themes. There will shortly be more on the blog at that site, so have a look and enter the debate.

There’s also a more dramatic way to connect with Innovation Nation. John will be on The Colbert Report on Thursday evening, the 50th anniversary of Sputnik. What’s the Sputnik connection? One of the ideas in the book is that our diminishing innovation capacity is a “silent Sputnik”: there are no beep-beeps from space, but we need to respond to this silent event with as much vigor and determination as to the one in 1957.

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