Innovating on Innovation

I find myself in Aspen for a few days, in a discussion with a roomful of other interesting folk, talking about Innovation, the Innovation Gap Judy Estrin has written about in her recent book, and almost any other subject regarding innovation one might imagine.

There are a few points / questions I am hoping we get to address:

1. K12 education. If we drive all creativity out of our young students by the time they reach six or seven years old, it will be Game Over before anyone can worry about improving innovation in later institutional life.

2. IP Protection. If any country can just copy or steal IP that cost huge amounts of investment money, it won’t be long until innovation comes to a grinding halt. Why would I spend a billion on an OS, only to find it for sale in Hong Kong for $1 the following Monday morning?

3. The pure science side. I think the US (and perhaps global) scientific machine has been broken for fifty years or more. Instead of breakthrough science, the system promotes incremetalism and risk avoidance. If we believe that pure science leads to applied science, then to technology, all as steps on the Innovation Ladder, then we need to repair the Science Machine.

Name your top three most brilliant living scientists today! Can’t do it? But you can name several teen pop rockers from around the world? And ten actors? Fifteen writers? Yes, that’s the problem.