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Help Create An Innovation Agenda For The Next Administration

12 like 2 dislike

Darrell West of the Governance Studies program of the Brookings Institution is seeking to crowdsource ideas, feedback and insights into how the government can promote an innovation economy.  The results of this effort may go into an eventual report put out by West for new members of the next Administration.  Below this post, we've pre-loaded an initial list of 96 different possible agenda items, as prepared by West, for an innovation agenda, covering a variety of proposals touching on these topics:

  • the building of digital infrastructure
  • the promotion of entrepreneurship and economic development
  • improving productivity in the private and public sectors
  • improving education and workforce development
  • strengthening creativity and invention
  • improving university commercialization
  • improving decision making through data analytics
  • protecting digital assets
  • harmonizing cross-border laws to promote the digital economy
  • promoting socially responsible innovation

Now we need your help:

  1. Read through the list of items listed below this post
  2. Vote (up or down) on the items, based on the priority you believe they deserve
  3. Comment on individual items, with suggestions, thoughts, information, clarifications, etc.
  4. Respond to others' comments and discuss the various ideas being proposed
  5. Add your own items if you feel there are ideas that are lacking from the initial 96 items

Together, we can help shape a powerful agenda for innovation.

initiated Aug 13, 2012 in Economics by Mike Masnick (22,930 points)   59 99 160
edited Aug 13, 2012 by Mike Masnick

113 Responses

7 like 0 dislike


Amend Bayh-Dole to increase the wider use of publicly funded research

response added Aug 13, 2012 by Mike Masnick (22,930 points)   59 99 160
8 like 1 dislike


Enable leaders to improve decision-making through data analytics

response added Aug 13, 2012 by Mike Masnick (22,930 points)   59 99 160
@mmasnick Do they really need "enabling"?  I think they're already about as able as they ever can be; this one falls under "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink."

Or possibly under "it is very difficult to get a man to understand something when his campaign contributions rely on him not understanding it." ;)
@masonwheeler Perhaps... though I think that making the data more available and accessible could be quite helpful.  I think that's the key goal with this item.
What is "the data" and who are the "leaders"? When will we know that they are "enabled"? I like the thrust of this but it's quite vague.
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Use social media and blogs to improve government accountability and regulation

response added Aug 13, 2012 by Mike Masnick (22,930 points)   59 99 160
@mmasnick Do these blogs help that we currently have? Who has time to read them all? Let alone government time to compose them?
@anon_e I don't think anyone is expected to read them all, but rather focus on the ones in the areas of importance to them.  And government employees can help write the information for them.  This appears to be more about building a closer relationship with the public, which I think can only be a good thing.
@mmasnick Blogs help with communication some -- but the trade off is they take time to write, which requires diversion from other items.

Government employees in several federal agencies are discouraged from posting to government blogs on their topic without Public Affairs approval for each individual post, so you've introduced additional overhead here.

Lastly, more transparency is not always good. While in several areas we want to be transparent, one could also demonstrated that increased strict patrisianship occurs when you have perfect transparency as the public does not reward any member of a party appearing to "reach across the aisle" to another party -- which means in some cases you have to have less-than-perfect transparency to achieve bipartisian understanding and compromises?
@anon_e If you are claiming that more transparency is not a good thing then we have a fundamental disagreement in how we view things.  That's fine, but I don't think it will be productive to debate the points.  Separately, transparency has nothing to do with partisanship.  We're talking about transparency of data
A good idea, but how would you know when this has been done? How do you measure improvement? How do you know when a given social media mechanism has improved things?

I think this is a bit of: "I know! Let's sprinkle some technology on it!"
@jimharperdc Agree 100% ... this reminds me what was already tried in 2008-2009 when several folks tried "sprinkle technology" and found it flopped.

I want to see these ideas succeed, they just need more thought.

@mmasinck You're mixing up what I said. I said transparency is good in the right context. However if politics is defined as the art of compromise -- and if you remove any opportunities for individuals behind-the-scenes to work out compromises (because you've now made everything public, which now means any time someone publicly goes counter to their party's strict position) don't be surprise if nothing is ever bipartisian again b/c you've made things so transparent there are no opportunities for compromises.

I love transparency. I just wish advocates of it would recognize like all things -- including water -- to much of it is a bad thing to the system (aka, you drown).

Does this help?
7 like 0 dislike


Approach confidentiality of key cybersecurity data through a risk-based trust model, rather than riding on top of National Security classification systems.

response added Aug 13, 2012 by Mike Masnick (22,930 points)   59 99 160
7 like 1 dislike


Implement a spectrum rights system that allows for multiple, non-interfering uses, and prioritize cognitive radio to make more efficient use of existing spectrum.

response added Aug 13, 2012 by Mike Masnick (22,930 points)   59 99 160
This has a great deal of potential to improve innovation - creative use of spectrum and new radio designs. Vote this up, people!
8 like 2 dislike


Increase adoption of smart energy grids to improve the transparency of the power grid

response added Aug 13, 2012 by Mike Masnick (22,930 points)   59 99 160
I'm unclear on what problem this addresses. What is opaque about the power grid and what negative effect does that have?
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Develop new metrics for measuring international trade through digital economy

response added Aug 13, 2012 by Mike Masnick (22,930 points)   59 99 160
8 like 2 dislike


Use prizes and cash awards to reward public sector innovation

response added Aug 13, 2012 by Mike Masnick (22,930 points)   59 99 160
With the bulk of innovation that meets market needs (as opposed to Martian wow-factor) coming from the private sector, I think we should focus on improving private-sector innovation and reducing government interference with it.
8 like 2 dislike


Build knowledge-management systems across federal research efforts to reduce duplication and maximize impact of extant work.

response added Aug 13, 2012 by Mike Masnick (22,930 points)   59 99 160
@mmasnick Multiple KMS? Or do we really need just one for OPM? And do we run the risk of by the time its built, with our slow procurement cycle, the world has already moved on?
8 like 2 dislike


Improve worker retraining for those making a transition to new jobs or new sectors

response added Aug 13, 2012 by Mike Masnick (22,930 points)   59 99 160
Is this really about innovation? And is it anything new?
@jimharperdc I think you could argue that it is about innovation in that there are consequences of innovation in that some people do get displaced.  I believe the argument here is that there would hopefully be less resistance to disruptive innovation if there were an easier path to moving those who were displaced into productive roles elsewhere.

Also, the verb here was "improve," so no, it's not necessarily new, but there are plenty of arguments that could be made that such programs should be improved.

We can argue over the likelihood of any such program actually being useful, or figuring out whether or not it was really "improved" but I believe that's the general thinking here.

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