In a Highly Complex World, Innovation From the Top Down

New York Time's following article illuminated the very basic nature but not often talked about "innovations" in the modern world. There are no shortages of enthusiasm on "democratizing" innovations where "growing numbers of people influence what innovations are made and when" however the reality perhaps is different than "elite" generated "exaggerations": "the rosy scenario is exaggerated and that user-generated innovation is merely a kind of “democracy lite,” emphasizing high-end consumer products and services rather than innovations that broadly benefit society."

Author G. Pascal Zachary gives an example: "huge amounts of money are spent on improving Web search engines or MP3 players, while scant attention is given to alternative energy sources. Battling diseases like AIDS or Alzheimer’s — efforts that lobbying groups in wealthy countries help highlight — attract legions of well-financed innovators, while big global killers, like childhood diarrhea and sleeping sickness, are ignored."

Even if vast majority of public wants a solution to these growing problems in health related or energy related issues, the general mass feels helpless since "The underlying complexity of many innovations demands an ever-rising technological literacy from the public, and yet such an outcome “is a dream that will not likely come to pass,” insists Mr. Hughes, a visiting professor at M.I.T."

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In a Highly Complex World, Innovation From the Top Down