In a new book, author Vijay Vaitheeswaran argues that the rules of innovation have changed and that we need to consider bottom-up solutions to the world’s top-down problems. It is essential to empower citizens to change the world directly, which is currently happening in the third world through advances in mobile communications and micro-credit, rather than rely on cumbersome government projects. Developed economies, which are struggling to maintain their middle class, must adapt their educational systems to the new knowledge-based economy.
What’s the Big Idea?
Instead of acting as though ‘greed is good’, we need to use ‘greed for good’, says Vaitheeswaran. We need a new kind of capitalism that rewards businesses who create the largest social value by innovating solutions to the world’s problems, rather than Wall Street’s style of capitalism which consumes massive resources without producing many social benefits. And rather than choose winners by funding specific companies, government should level the playing field for all competitors by investing in government and academic R & D.