Weekly B-MOW: Washington Innovation Summit

March 18, 2011

I go to a lot of events. Many of them are boring. But I put my neck out a few weeks ago and said that the Washington Innovation Summit would not be. And I was right. I mean, really interesting panels, very forward thinking topics and some great keynotes. If you haven’t heard Geoffrey Moore speak on the transition in enterprise IT from “systems of record” to “systems of engagement,” then you don’t know what the next major business opportunity in the global economy will be.

Apparently, the whole day was video recorded, and will be available on the Technology Alliance website. And you can follow the audience’s questions and comments on Twitter via the hashtag #WAInnovation (including several insightful tweets from yours truly and a back and forth on how funny Bill McSherry is).

But if you want an immediate taste, I took a video of the opening panel, featuring some of the state’s economic development luminaries talking about how we continue to invest in economic development in a time of scarce public money.

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Two Words That Go Great Together: “Innovation” and “Summit”

March 2, 2011

The Prosperity Blog doesn’t usually shill for events. We like to keep our integrity so that you see us as an unbiased observer of the regional economic development scene. (Except for all that shilling we do for our own initiatives and priorities, but hey, man’s gotta eat.)

So, given that general practice of restraint, you will hopefully take it with some seriousness when we step out of that restriction and tell you that you probably don’t want to miss the 2011 Washington Innovation Summit on March 18. Seriously.

There’s two reasons we’re encouraging you to attend. First, the presenters – leading technology, business and policy experts like Crossing the Chasm author Geoffrey Moore and Larry Smarr, Founding Director of the California Institute for Telecommunications & Information Technology – plus a who’s who of panelists from the region and state: Steve Davis, Bruce Kendall, Ed Lazowska, Rick LeFaivre, Rogers Weed, Kim Zentz and a ton more (including our own Bob Drewel). By the way, note that I didn’t tell you who that last list of people are…if you don’t know, then you definitely need to attend!

The second reason you should probably go, is that it’s all about the issues we care most about here at the Prosperity Blog:

  • How the state is fusing support for innovation into its overall economic development strategy;
  • How emerging information technologies are dramatically changing our economy, presenting our state with new challenges as well as exciting new opportunities;
  • How the very nature of the enterprise is evolving, and how we should respond; and
  • How our industries can grow exports and strengthen global relationships.

As we’ve said before, innovation is like coolness, so be there or be square. And, as an added incentive, if you find me at the event and mention this blog post, you’ll get a sincere handshake from me…and if you’re lucky, I might even touch your shoulder with my left hand while shaking with my right. That’s how real economic developers do it.


What’s the Difference Between Silicon Valley and Siberia?

April 13, 2010

I can’t stop thinking about this NYT piece on the Russian government’s efforts to create their own “Silicon Valley,” a center for innovation and entrepreneurship. And it’s not only because of the quasi-comical Soviet-esque way they’re going about it (seriously, the idea was conceived by the Kremlin’s Commission on Modernization), but also because they’re struggling with the same questions that we and every other country still struggles with: how can you replicate the Bay Area’s success? Read the rest of this entry »