Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Innovation Nation

Former professor at Carnegie Mellon University and a founder of Tartan Laboratories, William Wulf is preaching about improving the innovation ecology of the United States:

But learning and investment are not enough, Dr. Wulf says. An innovation economy depends on intellectual property law, tax codes, patent procedures, export controls, immigration regulations and factors making up what he calls “the ecology of innovation.” Unfortunately, he argues, in the United States too many of these components are unworkable, irrelevant, inadequate, outdated or “fundamentally broken.”

Instead of an "ecology of innovation," I would term it a "political geography of innovation." Dr. Wulf is railing against a political geography meant for a bygone era and economy. In many ways, he's describing Pittsburgh. I'm sure his experience at CMU, a la Richard Florida, did much to inform his policy critique.

Pittsburgh's political geography served the industrial economy well. What is needed is some political innovation, a new landscape to serve the knowledge economy. If you're wondering if such a model exists, try exploring the concept of transnationalism.

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