Creativity and Innovation are lifeblood of the modern economy. It is a fundamental aspect of many job creation strategies across the developed world. And many would think Americans are leading the world in innovation. Apple, Google, Tesla and numerous American companies dominate the global innovative companies’ lists. However, a transformation has slowly been taking place in this arena. During the last decade or so, American share on these lists has been declining while others have been rising. In part, this could be just a matter of business cycles. However, another more serious concern has been raised by some that this is because of ‘rickety’ foundation of innovation in the US. The R&D spending in US is declining and efforts around basic science research and to find solutions to big questions are lacking.
Focus on fundamental questions of life, related to any discipline of human endeavor, is now more important than ever. With that goal in mind, Downtown STL, Inc. has started a monthly series called Innovation Fridays, as a platform for conversation around some of those big questions. Many scholars, thinkers, and iconic entrepreneurs believe that innovation comes from idea sharing, and typically doesn’t happen in a vacuum. You need people from a variety of disciplines coming together to solve big questions or you need people taking idea from one field and applying it to another. Collaboration is key. And I believe everyone has a bent for innovation, from someone in a village in Ghana to the brilliant rocket scientist at NASA. However, people are often immersed within their own fields and have less chance for cross industry connections.
We envision ‘Innovation Fridays’ as a platform where people from all kinds of industries come and tell us their story and the big questions that they are trying to solve. And the hope is that it will spur some new thought processes and ideas for everyone. Steve jobs famously defined Apple as standing at the intersection of arts and technology. Similar examples of cross industry collaboration are behind almost every innovation. We hope the experiences of amazing people that you will hear about on each session of Innovation Fridays will expand your network, spark more ideas, solutions, new companies and a better future for the planet.
Our next session is on May 29, 2015, themed, ‘Cultural Melting Pots: Ingredients and opportunities for innovation’. The speakers are Vin Ko from Mosaic Project, and Roberto Garcia from LISTO. More details and sign up page here. I hope you will join us for this conversation.
What: Innovation Fridays
When: Friday, May 29th, 8:30 am
Where: Pi Pizzeria, 610 Washington Avenue
Published: May 26, 2015