Vijay Vaitheeswaran: Will America Participate in the “Networked Future of Innovation?”March 22, 2012
In his new book, Need, Speed, and Greed: How the New Rules of Innovation Can Transform Businesses, Propel Nations to Greatness, and Tame the World’s Most Wicked Problems, Vijay Vaitheeswaran offers his perspective on innovation that is not limited to invention and technology. Vijay is the award-winning China Business & Finance Editor for The Economist, member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He stopped by The Dylan Ratigan Show to discuss the ideas behind his book, and America’s role in the ever-changing global economy.
“Don’t think you can put up a wall around America and say ‘only American innovation.’ Because you’re missing out on the great ideas that you could connect with the global innovation hubs,” says Vijay.
What does innovation mean, then? “We think of innovation as meaning invention. Technology, IP, gadgets, gizmos. When governments measure innovation they usually say ‘how many PhD’s? How many patents?’ This is the wrong way. These are inputs into the process. Innovation, simply put, is fresh thinking that creates value,” explains Vijay.
Creating value is one of the biggest challenges facing America’s economy. ”The harder part of innovation is actually creating value. That could be for shareholders, if you’re a government it could be for citizens. If you’re a social or hybrid business model, it could be for stakeholders. The hard part is not a gadget or gizmo, it’s making sure you’ve solved a societal problem,” says Vijay.
Watch his entire segment with Matt Miller and the Megapanel here. Scroll down for more video, and an excerpt of his new book. For more, visit his website, NeedSpeedGreed.com.
“Innovation is not just about producing new stuff or new ideas, it’s actually about consumption. Most of the benefits actually go to societies that are open to new ideas, new products, new business models,” says Vijay.
While America has traditionally led the way in innovation, he’s concerned that is changing, and not for the better.
“Right now, we’re beginning to close our borders, and close our minds to these things, he explains. “The greatest risk is if the most open economy in the world — ours — begin to close our minds to networked, open ways of doing innovation that are replacing the old AT&T/Bell Labs way of doing it, which is a silo,” Vijay explains.
For more, watch Vijay’s DLD 2012 Keynote on “Need, Speed and Greed” here. (DLD is a global conference network on innovation, digital media, science and culture.)