Innovations come from first ideas

InnovationLifeCycle.jpg

The figure shows the beneficial effects of innovations. With each successive emerging technology that goes from innovation to diffusion the rate of revenue and return keep increasing. A series of these cycles can lead us into the next millennium for the betterment of all creatures, if we carefully nurture the seeds of these emerging technologies.

“The all items Consumer Price index for the USA increased 0.8 percent over the last 12 months. This is notably lower than the 1.3 percent change for the 12 months ending November. The energy index has declined 10.6 percent over the span. In contrast, the 3.4 percent increase in the food index is its largest 12-month increase since February 2012.” As per the US department that tracks these arcane statistics.
All the facts coming out of the US economy on manufacturing, employment, CPI, GDP growth seem to show signs of a stable environment, in which the markets may be poised to change, into a growth trajectory. With a crumbling infrastructure to take care of the president is promising huge projects. I agree that when a nation’s most memorable engineering works become five decades old, it is time to reenergize and start work on the boldest of the bold new projects now. The Golden Gate and the GW Bridges were great but now we need the next generation of green transport in the form of electric vehicles powered by solar or wind or other non carbon renewables.
New energy, transportation and information grids have to be built just like the old Interstates were built way back when. As cities become smarter they will generate a utopian lifestyle supported by the new information age. Wireless connectivity, driverless cars, efficient lighting and digital security are all developing at a rapid pace to meet this brave new world. Yet these developments need new ideas and thinking and innovators and problem solvers. We are returning thousands of PHDs and graduates every decade due to our immigration policy. The nation’s firms have to set up research centers in these foreign countries where they are returning, taking the jobs and new ideas with them.
Where will the highly skilled labor required for the next millennium come, if we continue to turn away the best and the brightest from our shores. The sign at immigration now reads to the world “Innovators not welcome; we are doing quite well with what we have.” Twelve million workers have disappeared from our employment ranks and millions more of skilled teachers, nurses, doctors, engineers and scientists will retire with the baby boomers. We need to replace these skilled positions with new replacements or our development and way of life will come to an end. With increased productivity fewer workers can support more dependents but there is a limit.
Our public policy must meet the people’s needs even when they cannot see it for themselves. An open society that welcomes new ideas and cultures thrives while a hemmed in society loses touch with the real world. Xenophobia may sound comforting but at the end one must realize that a State has no religion or race, as that would limit its future potential. Ideas and dreams make the future brighter and we must rise to welcome a new dawn.
What our new sign at immigration should read is “Innovator’s welcome, the race has just begun!”

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