Building an Innovation-Based Economy

Smart Policy: Building an Innovation-Based Economy | Brookings Institution.

“Darrell West, Allan Friedman and Walter Valdivia argue that the United States needs smarter technology innovation policies in order to capture the economic advantages of the digital economy and improve long-term growth. Growth through smart innovation policy should be front and center for lawmakers as they wrestle with social and economic challenges in an information age, these scholars write.”

A link to this article was Tweeted by Steve Case this morning. The article summarizes the highlights of the paper: Smart Policy, Building an Innovation-Based Economy by The Brookings Institution. It is so important that our government creates policies that facilitate the growth of productivity through technology. It is difficult to believe that anybody really needs convincing that these things need to happen. The full paper is a great read. If you cannot read the whole thing, I suggest skimming the case studies. My two personal favorites:

Case Study (pg.10) –

Reverse auctions represent a way to save money and improve the ability of small companies to compete for government contracts. Agencies post their needs for goods and services and online websites allow companies to bid down the prices. A 2011 study by David Wyld of Southeastern Louisiana University entitled “Reverse Auctions: Saving Money and Increasing Transparency” found that reverse auctions could save the federal government $8.9 billion. One of the chief virtues of reverse auctions is their use of technology to increase the number of suppliers. This raises the level of competition and creates tremendous efficiencies in the process. A case study of the U.S. State Department demonstrated that reverse auctions enabled small businesses to win the majority of the government contracts bid through this mechanism.

Case Study (pg. 22) –

Professor Henry Jenkins of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his colleagues argue that students require new learning skills in the 21st century. They include:

  1. Play: “the capacity to experiment with one’s surroundings as a form of problem-solving,”
  2. Performance: “the ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery,”
  3. Simulation: “ the ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real-world processes,”
  4. Appropriation: “the ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content,”
  5. Multitasking: “the ability to scan one’s environment and shift focus as needed to salient details,”
  6. Distributed Cognition: “the ability to interact meaningfully with tools that expand mental capacities,”
  7. Collective Intelligence: “the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others towards a common goal,”
  8. Judgment: “the ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information sources,”
  9. Transmedia Navigation: “the ability to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple modalities,”
  10. Networking: “the ability to search for, synthesize, and disseminate information,”
  11. Negotiation: “the ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative norms.”