Sunday, January 29, 2006

EU urged to take radical action on research & innovation 'before it is too late'

[23 January 2006 -] The European Commission has received a final report from an independent Expert Group which calls for a Pact for Research and Innovation to be signed by political, business and social leaders to show their commitment to creating an Innovative Europe. The experts state that current trends are unsustainable in the face of global competition. Therefore a new vision is needed to address a series of productivity and social challenges faced by Europe. The group was set up by the European Commission following the European Council held at Hampton Court in October 2005 and asked to advise on ways of boosting the EU’s research and innovation performance. More - Read the "Creating an Innovative Europe" Report

World Economic Forum closes with new initiatives that seize "the creative imperative"

The World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting 2006 has closed with participants detailing new projects in disaster relief, hunger, anti-corruption, financing for development and public-private partnerships. "I was particularly impressed by this notion of 'I will'," said Founder Klaus Schwab. "That's what the purpose of this meeting is. The Forum will provide platforms for collaborative efforts so the new initiatives or ones that have been enhanced will be implemented," he told participants in Davos. Held under the theme "The Creative Imperative", participants used workshops and discussion groups to generate innovative solutions to global challenges. "There was a new effort to bring together people to discuss the big themes, and brainstorm action," reported Laura Tyson, Dean of the London Business School. Peter Brabeck, Chairman and CEO of NestlĂ©, urged participants to take individual responsibility to act. "I think sometimes we are not translating what we are discussing in virtual terms into action which would really reflect the 'spirit of Davos'. I think the Forum is here to help us to find out what the main issues are and then it is up to us to act individually," he said. "Some of what we achieved in the trade sessions, discussing the education divide and others, we got excellent inputs to create a more balanced world," added Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries. The panelists agreed that the rise of the developing world is changing the balance of power. This makes it imperative that social imbalances are redressed, said James Wolfensohn, former head of the World Bank. "If we don't do that, we will not have a stable planet… and I think Davos is approaching these questions," he said. Webcast

WEF puts on its creative-thinking cap

[25 January 2006 - swissinfo] Ahead of the annual World Economic Forum meeting, WEF managing director Ged Davis tells swissinfo there needs to be greater creativity in problem solving. Davis says all possibilities must be exhausted to successfully meet the challenges of a shifting global landscape. More

Creativity Survivor at Davos

[26 January 2006 - Fast Company Now] In yesterday's post, I described a creativity face-off at Davos. Participants were asked to describe their vision of the keys to creativity, and the audience voted on those ideas until two finalists remained. As promised, here's the outcome.

Last to be voted off the island was Ideo's Tim Brown, who suggested that creativity is spurred by approaching problems with a beginner's mindset, and by exploring ideas through the use of rapid prototyping.

And the winner is: Google's Marissa Mayer, who argued for "a healthy disrespect for the impossible" combined with the virtues of constraints. In other words, aim high, but focus. Mayer described how an artist friend once told her that it was much easier to paint on a canvas that already had something on it--a mark or a line of some sort--than to begin with an entirely blank canvas. The existing mark is a constraint, something the artist has to think about and work around. And product developers at Ikea begin with a different sort of constraint, she said. They start with a price they have to meet--say $49--and then think about what they can make for that price. More

Secret to future growth: be creative

[27 January 2006 - Richard Florida - The Financial Express] As the world’s elite gathers for the World Economic Forum summit in Davos, the focus is on harnessing creativity to make nations and businesses more competitive. That sweeping question tends to produce narrowly tech-centric discussions. One favorite approach is to project the raw numbers of science and engineering grads into the future, highlighting the rapid rise of India and China. The issue, then, becomes how to keep up. That’s true, as far as it goes. But the economic advantage of the US, in particular, derives from much more than technical prowess. The real key is the rise of its creative economy, in which growth comes as much from entrepreneurship and entertainment as from engineering. More

What Is Happiness?

[28 January 2006 - Newsweek] World leaders gathered at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this week, couldn’t quite agree on the answer.: Enough of weighty questions of global economics, finance and geopolitics. Once in a while, even hard-charging CEOs and statesmen at the Davos global talk-fest need to kick back and relax. So what do they do? Why, change the subject and talk some more, of course. The other night the topic was happiness. What is it, how to find it, and what to do with it if found? More

Friday, January 20, 2006

World Economic Forum: Interview with Kenneth Rogoff, Thomas D Cabot Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Economics, Harvard University

[January 2006 - World Economic Forum] Harvard University: Thomas D Cabot Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Economics, Kenneth Rogoff, says there is a greater premium than ever on creativity in all walks of life. More

World Economic Forum: Leaders urged to seize "The Creative Imperative" at Annual Meeting

The Creative Imperative, 25-29 January, Davos, Switzerland
[January 2006 - World Economic Forum] A working list of Annual Meeting sub-themes is listed below:

* The Emergence of China and India
The shift of gravity to Asia and the challenges and opportunities for the global community

* The Changing Economic Landscape
Managing and dealing with economic imbalances, increased oil prices, excessive demand for natural resources, disruptions

* New Mindsets and Changing Attitudes
Global freedom and democracy, the impact of technology and digitalization, the emergence of the open society, responding to extremism, expectations of the next generation

* Creating Future Jobs
Understanding the changing nature of growth and job creation, global employment, new skill requirements, labour mobility, and resulting social and economic consequences

* Regional Identities and Struggles
Political crisis in Europe, instability in the Middle East, the future of Latin America and Africa

* Building Trust in Public and Private Institutions
The need to reconnect with constituents, build trust and legitimacy, and demonstrate effectiveness

* Effective Leadership in Managing Global Risks
Addressing the leadership deficit; fresh approach to complex issues; resisting short-termism

* Innovation, Creativity and Design Strategy
Business, government and social innovators are taking on new creative capabilities and innovation strategies in response to a rapidly changing global landscape