Is Russia the "Innovation Nation"?

At the upcoming Cebit technology event in Germany, Russia is officially advertising itself as the "Innovation Nation." It's basically an attempt by Russian government officials to highlight the nation's wealth of programmers, technologists and scientists and entice foreigners to invest directly in the nation's technology sector. The goal, of course, is to diversify the Russian economy away from missiles and oil rigs:

"At Cebit from March 15-21 in Hanover, Germany - the world's largest

annual trade show for information and telecommunications technology -

Russia, this year's "partner" country, is presenting itself as "the

innovative nation." Its accomplishments are clouded, however,

by Russian software piracy, cybercrime, and secret-service surveillance

of Internet connections.


President Vladimir Putin has long

pushed for diversification of Russia's economy, whose growth in recent

years has rested almost exclusively on record prices for oil, natural

gas and other raw materials. "Information and

telecommunications technologies are Russia's next resource," asserted

Leonid Reiman, the country's communications minister. The Russian

government is backing the creation of special economic zones for them."

Hopefully, this new "innovation nation" advertising slogan is based on more than innovative ways of poisoning ex-KGB officials, innovative ways of expropriating private sector assets, and innovative ways of playing hardball in political elections. Russia is one of those "emerging" markets that never quite seems to "emerge." While the law-and-order regime of Vladimir Putin has certainly brought a bit of stability to the nation, it's hard to believe any deep-pocketed foreigners will really want to invest their money in a country after they saw what happened to Khodorkovsky and Yukos. (Trust me, Khodorkovsky isn't serving time at some kind of Camp Cupcake).

[image: Big Putin is Watching You]

The 4 types of thinking talents: Analytic, procedural, relational and innovative

Understanding thinking talents in yourself and others can build strong teams and help avoid burnout.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to collaborate within a team and identify "thinking talent" surpluses – and shortages.
  • Angie McArthur teaches intelligent collaboration for Big Think Edge.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Do you have a self-actualized personality? Maslow revisited

Rediscovering the principles of self-actualisation might be just the tonic that the modern world is crying out for.

Personal Growth

Abraham Maslow was the 20th-century American psychologist best-known for explaining motivation through his hierarchy of needs, which he represented in a pyramid. At the base, our physiological needs include food, water, warmth and rest.

Keep reading Show less

Scientists reactivate cells from 28,000-year-old woolly mammoth

"I was so moved when I saw the cells stir," said 90-year-old study co-author Akira Iritani. "I'd been hoping for this for 20 years."

Yamagata et al.
Surprising Science
  • The team managed to stimulate nucleus-like structures to perform some biological processes, but not cell division.
  • Unless better technology and DNA samples emerge in the future, it's unlikely that scientists will be able to clone a woolly mammoth.
  • Still, studying the DNA of woolly mammoths provides valuable insights into the genetic adaptations that allowed them to survive in unique environments.
Keep reading Show less

Believe in soulmates? You're more likely to 'ghost' romantic partners.

Does believing in true love make people act like jerks?

Thought Catalog via Unsplash
Sex & Relationships
  • Ghosting, or cutting off all contact suddenly with a romantic partner, is not nice.
  • Growth-oriented people (who think relationships are made, not born) do not appreciate it.
  • Destiny-oriented people (who believe in soulmates) are more likely to be okay with ghosting.
Keep reading Show less