Wednesday, April 13, 2005

More thoughts about InnoVenture: A change in values?

As mentioned in the previous post, InnoVenture 2005 was a smashing success. Mary Ann Pires wrote an interesting editorial about InnoVenture 2005 in the Greenville News, which spurred a few thoughts of my own.

Mary made the observation, "the state's "progressives" ... [must] get finally together and affect the values change necessary to dominate more regressive elements."

We do need to create a deeper culture of innovation here, which pervades the community, from businesses to universities to government to public education. There are some who will have to be dragged along kicking and screaming.

I'm not sure what "regressive elements" are, but a big challenge is people and institutions that benefit from the status quo either seeing it in their interest to change or facing some outside pressure that forces them to change. Typically people and organizations do not change until they have to.

This is the most important reason we need to foster an environment where entrepreneurs can create new institutions targeting people not well served by the status quo, whether this is emerging high impact companies or charter schools. I am very encouraged by the blooming of innovation that is occurring all over the state.

As Michael Porter says, this is a marathon, not a sprint. We're making progress.

Something I feel very strongly about is that, while we need to study best practices in more highly innovative communities, we have to create a culture of innovation that fits the character and values of our community, not San Francisco or Austin or anywhere else. We will fail it we try to be a clone of somewhere else. We have to be globally distinctive.

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