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March 05, 2007

Countdown to Innovation

Starting tomorrow in New York, IBM will once again set the table for innovation and collaboration with the Global Innovation Outlook 3.0. What is the Global Innovation Outlook, you ask? The GIO, as it is affectionately known, is essentially a global series of open and candid discussions –- called “deep dives” -- with business leaders, academics, politicians, non-profit groups, and other influential types that have the knowledge and ability to affect change through innovation. I know, it’s a mouthful. But it’s a pretty big deal.

The GIO tackles some very tricky subjects; global issues that have a great need for innovative advancement. Issues that affect both business and society: healthcare; the environment; transportation. For a thorough backgrounder on the GIO, click here.  

By way of introduction, my name is Dan Briody, and I’ll be capturing the conversations from the deep dives all year long on this blog and through various other printed and online mediums. There are about ten of us that put the GIO together, and as the clock ticks down the final minutes and hours before the first deep dive, we’re all anticipating an enlightening year. It is a massive operation, this GIO. This year alone we’ll be collecting insights in 17 different countries on six continents. And the topics we’ll be covering are intensely interesting: Media and Content; Africa; and Security and Society.

Tomorrow’s deep dive on Media and Content will include some of the brightest minds in the world. Representatives from media and entertainment giants (Disney, HBO, Sony), marketing and advertising firms (Ogilvy & Mather, Mr. Youth), academic institutions (Syracuse University, University of Pennsylvania), VCs (Union Square Ventures, iN3 Partners) and non-governmental organizations (International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Public Knowledge) will gather to discuss, debate, and with any luck, emerge with some ideas for innovative approaches to everything from user-generated content to the blurring of the lines between advertising and entertainment.

The best part of the GIO? It’s wide open. You may not all be able to participate in the actual deep dive meetings, but you can read all about the insights that are emerging on this blog, and even contribute your own thoughts to keep the conversation. There will also be printed publications that come out periodically and will be available here.

It’s time to get this project started. Come back often and join the discussion.

March 5, 2007 in Africa, Media and Content, Security and Society | Permalink

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Comments

Looking forward to participating! And I'm glad to see the blog already up and running.

Posted by: Anil Dash | Mar 5, 2007 5:41:03 PM

OK, let's take the bull by the horns, and go for 'Africa'. And the usual suspects, 'What is Microsoft up to', 'Commercial Copyright', and 'Innovation'.

Bill Gates has just invested a pile of dollars into developing Windows Vista and Office 2007. He's presumably expecting to recoup his investment, and more, by selling copies of them; mostly to small and medium businesses throughout the Western world. Unashamedly capitalist, and if he succeeds that will represent commercial progress. Of course, with what happened to IBM OS/2 and IBM Lotus SmartSuite, IBM might have other ideas; but that's capitalism too.

But the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has a pile of dollars, and a mission to try to resolve the problem of malaria, which mostly affects Africa. To succeed there, he's going to need scientific progress. He's going to need to discover the infective mechanism of the malaria parasite; he's going to need to decide whether to treat the mosquitos or the humans; he's going to have to develop some pharmaceutical to do the job; and he's going to have to develop a distribution channel to get the pharmaceutical to where it's needed.

He'll need some Innovation; some scientists and engineers. If he's serious about deploying his financial resources for the benefit of Africa, then he won't need commercial copyrights or patents. They would only get in the way.

If he cracks it, he'll deserve a Nobel Prize. For medicine. A first for Microsoft.

Commercial progress, or Scientific progress ? Time to shift the balance ?

Posted by: Chris Ward | Mar 9, 2007 8:17:22 AM

Anil:

This is great news, I am counting down too! And have also been reading about IBM's involvement in the BoP (base of pyramid) movement that has been sweeping through the likes of some very large corporations. This is beautiful.

Chris:

Hi, Chris. Those are very insightful comments that you made. I guess Mr. Gates has to do something, innovation and marketwise, Microsoft is sitting on so much cash reserves that it would almost be a crime not to do so.

And like you, I am wathcing to see what the foundation does in Africa. Something tells me that the outcome will be much talked about in the next 3-5 years and not only will some of Africa's rural communities benefit, and I am sure that Mr. Gates will at the same time lead the way for Microsoft and other Western companies to benefit too (this is very good).

If it turns out this way, then I would await the ceremony in which Bill Gates is awarded a nobel prize.

Posted by: Benin Mwangi | May 29, 2007 4:06:05 PM

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