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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

18 like 4 dislike


Improve U.S. broadband penetration from 70 to 95 percent

response added Aug 13, 2012 by Mike Masnick (22,930 points)   59 99 160
This is not a role of the federal government any more than improving Segway penetration. It's industrial policy that us Internet users might like, but if people won't pay for more broadband and people won't invest to give it to them, I don't see the government "fixing" that. Underlying hindrances to broadband adoption would be good to address, but I wouldn't address it by adopting end goals, Soviet-style.
@jimharperdc If one argues that broadband is core infrastructure, a la the US highway system, you could make a very different argument.  I'm not saying that's the case, but would you argue that the highway system was "Soviet-style"?
@mmasnick Building "core infrastructure" is not an authority the constitution gives the federal government, so it doesn't change the argument for me. The highway system, which Ike championed given his familiarity with the autobahn in Germany, was arguably preparedness in case of attack. (So, um, it's Nazi-style?) This puts it in the category of "provid[ing] for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States." Improved communications would be cool, but we're talking about them as a spur to innovation not for repelling foreign invaders, so they're not in that category of public goods that protect the country. Broadband is a private good that can be built and paid for by the individuals that want to provide it and those that want to buy it.
16 like 2 dislike


Streamline processes for building cell towers and laying fiber optic lines

response added Aug 13, 2012 by Mike Masnick (22,930 points)   59 99 160
@mmasnick What's the problem here at the moment?
@anon_e Both things are incredibly difficult to get approved so we don't have nearly enough of either.  It's almost impossible to get approvals for either thing right now, which limits how much we can grow two critical pieces of infrastructure.
@mmasnick Is there a solution to making it better through collaboration with the private sector?

So many outside-of-government people (particularly CEOs, sorry) come in to government thinking top-down solutions work in government. Government is about partnerships and government is about equitities. So think more about the partnerships that could be built with a consortium of private sector groups, or a quasi-government foundation the private sector help founds to help take the burden off of government where appropriate to get the job done. That would be much better -- unless you have specific legislative or EOP policy language to suggest? And remember: policy is usually a sledgehammer and not a chisel.
Precision needed: identify the impediments to cell tower construction and laying of fiber optics lines so we can tell if they have been removed. (Removal of some impediments - i.e. property rights - may be controversial with this commenter. Removal of others - state and local franchising requirements - are not necessarily a federal role.)
17 like 4 dislike


Increase broadband speed to 100 mps, especially for schools, hospitals, and libraries

response added Aug 13, 2012 by Mike Masnick (22,930 points)   59 99 160
The subsidy system that already exists in this area is a playground for corruption. Spending to meet these targets necessarily comes from other societal priorities that might be higher, including returning money to taxpayers to that they can spend their money on the things they actually want.
@jimharperdc What if the goal wasn't subsidies, but incentives?
@mmasnick Well, the goal as written is an outcome: 100 "mps" (miles per second? that's some slow-ass Internet! ;-)

I don't think the government should set a target outcome, but rather set the framework in which the community's goals are met. If people want 100 mbps, they should get it. If they don't care, they shouldn't.

Planners like outcome goals because it makes it look like they created something, and nobody knows that they couldn't afford to be stay-at-home moms and dads because of the taxes they pay to support someone's broadband plan, among many other "national goals."
13 like 0 dislike


Balance intellectual property protection with other priorities: secure infrastructure, business model innovation, the creation of new works.

response added Aug 13, 2012 by Mike Masnick (22,930 points)   59 99 160
@mmasnick Agreed. And a proper balance requires the right priorities.  For example, fair use needs to stop being "a defense" and be recognized as an explicit right that trumps copyright.  The burden should be on the accuser to prove that the person making use of a work did not use it a manner consistent with fair use rights, not on the accused to prove that they *did*.
Vague. This is an invitation to debate priorities, not an agenda item.
16 like 4 dislike


Improve Internet and mobile access to underserved communities

response added Aug 13, 2012 by Mike Masnick (22,930 points)   59 99 160
The government is not an Internet and mobile communications provider. If the government is impeding Internet and mobile access in underserved areas, what are the impediments so that we can identify the removal as a specific action item?
12 like 0 dislike


Expand open-access policies from funding agencies to include reasonable public access to data

response added Aug 13, 2012 by Mike Masnick (22,930 points)   59 99 160
13 like 1 dislike
Adopt an independent invention patent system that allows multiple parties to hold the same patent and develop clear rules for this system.
response added Aug 13, 2012 by ninja s (1,270 points)   1 4 3
12 like 1 dislike


Improve data quality in and highlight successful third party use of this data

response added Aug 13, 2012 by Mike Masnick (22,930 points)   59 99 160
@mmasnick Did work?
I think data relevancy might be a greater issue with Generally speaking - I'm sure there are exceptions - the data feeds in haven't met up with public demand or interest. How does highlighting successful third-party of data advance innovation? By making it *look* like there's innovation? Strange innovation meta-policy - to make it look like there's innovation!
11 like 0 dislike


Speed movement from paper to digital textbooks

response added Aug 13, 2012 by Mike Masnick (22,930 points)   59 99 160
@mmasnick Do paper textbook gatekeepers see value in going digital? The innovator in this will get hammered by the rest by upsetting the apple cart (as that hasn't happened). Vision, cajones, and paradigm shift.
@quintinitad I think, to some extent, everyone sees some benefits in going digital -- especially in the ability to do more creative things.  But that doesn't mean they don't also see things to be worried about.
This is ambiguous. Depending on what it is, it may or may not be a federal or even governmental role.
13 like 2 dislike


Expand entrepreneur and venture capital visas for those who invest major resources in job creation

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

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