Innovators Matter Most, and What to Do to Encourage More of Them
In the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal (sub req), Robert Litan, Vice-President of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, weighed in with an op-ed piece on why innovators matter most: "Their enterprises are the ones which create the jobs and industries of
the future -- as they have lifted the economy's productivity in the
past. The automobile, the airplane, the telephone, air conditioning,
the personal computer and its software, and Internet search engines --
all were launched by innovative entrepreneurs rather than large companies."
With that as context, Litan lays out the four challenges ahead for successful innovation to occur within the U.S. economy:
- Creating a highly-skilled work force;
Overall, I think these are some great recommendations -- although there is certainly some controversy baked into some of them. For example, the exhortation to create a highly-skilled work force sounds straightforward enough -- but it also includes a corollary to recruit "as many skilled immigrants as are willing to come here." The basic idea, of course, is that some of America's most innovative companies have been launched by immigrant entrepreneurs -- but if you go to places like Texas, I don't think the idea of unfettered immigration is going to be a very popular idea. (These are the same folks, after all, who want to build a steel-and-concrete wall along the Mexican border!)
ASIDE: It's Entrepreneurship Week USA this week! Be sure to hug your favorite entrepreneur.
[image: They Made America, sponsored in part by the Kauffman Foundation]
What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.
- Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
- Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
- Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
Torn between absolutism on the left and the right, classical liberalism—with its core values of compassion and incremental progress whereby the once-radical becomes the mainstream—is in need of a good defense. And Adam Gopnik is its lawyer.
- Liberalism as "radical pragmatism"
- Intersectionality and civic discourse
- How "a thousand small sanities" tackled drunk driving, normalized gay marriage, and could control gun violence
As Game of Thrones ends, a revealing resolution to its perplexing geography.
- The fantasy world of Game of Thrones was inspired by real places and events.
- But the map of Westeros is a good example of the perplexing relation between fantasy and reality.
- Like Britain, it has a Wall in the North, but the map only really clicks into place if you add Ireland.
The lost practice of face-to-face communication has made the world a more extreme place.
- The world was saner when we spoke face-to-face, argues John Cameron Mitchell. Not looking someone in the eye when you talk to them raises the potential for miscommunication and conflict.
- Social media has been an incredible force for activism and human rights, but it's also negatively affected our relationship with the media. We are now bombarded 24/7 with news that either drives us to anger or apathy.
- Sitting behind a screen makes polarization worse, and polarization is fertile ground for conspiracy theories and fascism, which Cameron describes as irrationally blaming someone else for your problems.
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