Innovation and Its Enemies

Author: Calestous Juma
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190467036
Release Date: 2016
Genre: Political Science

New technologies may be heralded as life-changing innovations or feared as risks to moral values, human health, and environmental safety. Anxieties surrounding technology are often heightened by perceptions that their benefits will accrue to small sections of society while the risks are more widely distributed. Innovation and Its Enemies identifies the tension between the need for innovation and the pressure to maintain continuity, social order and stability as one of today's biggest policy challenges.

Innovation and Its Enemies

Author: Calestous Juma
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190467050
Release Date: 2016-06-06
Genre: Political Science

The rise of artificial intelligence has rekindled a long-standing debate regarding the impact of technology on employment. This is just one of many areas where exponential advances in technology signal both hope and fear, leading to public controversy. This book shows that many debates over new technologies are framed in the context of risks to moral values, human health, and environmental safety. But it argues that behind these legitimate concerns often lie deeper, but unacknowledged, socioeconomic considerations. Technological tensions are often heightened by perceptions that the benefits of new technologies will accrue only to small sections of society while the risks will be more widely distributed. Similarly, innovations that threaten to alter cultural identities tend to generate intense social concern. As such, societies that exhibit great economic and political inequities are likely to experience heightened technological controversies. Drawing from nearly 600 years of technology history, Innovation and Its Enemies identifies the tension between the need for innovation and the pressure to maintain continuity, social order, and stability as one of today's biggest policy challenges. It reveals the extent to which modern technological controversies grow out of distrust in public and private institutions. Using detailed case studies of coffee, the printing press, margarine, farm mechanization, electricity, mechanical refrigeration, recorded music, transgenic crops, and transgenic animals, it shows how new technologies emerge, take root, and create new institutional ecologies that favor their establishment in the marketplace. The book uses these lessons from history to contextualize contemporary debates surrounding technologies such as artificial intelligence, online learning, 3D printing, gene editing, robotics, drones, and renewable energy. It ultimately makes the case for shifting greater responsibility to public leaders to work with scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs to manage technological change, make associated institutional adjustments, and expand public engagement on scientific and technological matters.

Innovation and Its Enemies

Author: Calestous Juma
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190467043
Release Date: 2016-06-06
Genre: Political Science

The rise of artificial intelligence has rekindled a long-standing debate regarding the impact of technology on employment. This is just one of many areas where exponential advances in technology signal both hope and fear, leading to public controversy. This book shows that many debates over new technologies are framed in the context of risks to moral values, human health, and environmental safety. But it argues that behind these legitimate concerns often lie deeper, but unacknowledged, socioeconomic considerations. Technological tensions are often heightened by perceptions that the benefits of new technologies will accrue only to small sections of society while the risks will be more widely distributed. Similarly, innovations that threaten to alter cultural identities tend to generate intense social concern. As such, societies that exhibit great economic and political inequities are likely to experience heightened technological controversies. Drawing from nearly 600 years of technology history, Innovation and Its Enemies identifies the tension between the need for innovation and the pressure to maintain continuity, social order, and stability as one of today's biggest policy challenges. It reveals the extent to which modern technological controversies grow out of distrust in public and private institutions. Using detailed case studies of coffee, the printing press, margarine, farm mechanization, electricity, mechanical refrigeration, recorded music, transgenic crops, and transgenic animals, it shows how new technologies emerge, take root, and create new institutional ecologies that favor their establishment in the marketplace. The book uses these lessons from history to contextualize contemporary debates surrounding technologies such as artificial intelligence, online learning, 3D printing, gene editing, robotics, drones, and renewable energy. It ultimately makes the case for shifting greater responsibility to public leaders to work with scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs to manage technological change, make associated institutional adjustments, and expand public engagement on scientific and technological matters.

The New Harvest

Author: Calestous Juma
Publisher: OUP Us
ISBN: 9780190237233
Release Date: 2015-09-01
Genre: Agricultural innovations

African agriculture is currently at a crossroads, at which persistent food shortages are compounded by threats from climate change. But, as this book argues, Africa can feed itself in a generation and can help contribute to global food security. To achieve this Africa has to define agriculture as a force in economic growth by advancing scientific and technological research, investing in infrastructure, fostering higher technical training, and creating regional markets.

The Politics of Innovation

Author: Mark Zachary Taylor
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190464141
Release Date: 2016-05-04
Genre: Political Science

Why are some countries better than others at science and technology (S&T)? Written in an approachable style, The Politics of Innovation provides readers from all backgrounds and levels of expertise a comprehensive introduction to the debates over national S&T competitiveness. It synthesizes over fifty years of theory and research on national innovation rates, bringing together the current political and economic wisdom, and latest findings, about how nations become S&T leaders. Many experts mistakenly believe that domestic institutions and policies determine national innovation rates. However, after decades of research, there is still no agreement on precisely how this happens, exactly which institutions matter, and little aggregate evidence has been produced to support any particular explanation. Yet, despite these problems, a core faith in a relationship between domestic institutions and national innovation rates remains widely held and little challenged. The Politics of Innovation confronts head-on this contradiction between theory, evidence, and the popularity of the institutions-innovation hypothesis. It presents extensive evidence to show that domestic institutions and policies do not determine innovation rates. Instead, it argues that social networks are as important as institutions in determining national innovation rates. The Politics of Innovation also introduces a new theory of "creative insecurity" which explains how institutions, policies, and networks are all subservient to politics. It argues that, ultimately, each country's balance of domestic rivalries vs. external threats, and the ensuing political fights, are what drive S&T competitiveness. In making its case, The Politics of Innovation draws upon statistical analysis and comparative case studies of the United States, Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, Turkey, Israel, Russia and a dozen countries across Western Europe.

Economic Catch up and Technological Leapfrogging

Author: Keun Lee
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
ISBN: 9781785367939
Release Date: 2016-08-26
Genre: Business & Economics

This book elaborates upon the dynamic changes to Korean firms and the economy from the perspective of catch-up theory. The central premise of the book is that a latecomer’s sustained catch-up is not possible by simply following the path of the forerunners but by creating a new path or ‘leapfrogging’. In this sense, the idea of catch-up distinguishes itself from traditional views that focus on the role of the market or the state in development.

The Future and Its Enemies

Author: Virginia Postrel
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1439135320
Release Date: 2011-05-10
Genre: Social Science

Today we have greater wealth, health, opportunity, and choice than at any time in history. Yet a chorus of intellectuals and politicians laments our current condition -- as slaves to technology, coarsened by popular culture, and insecure in the face of economic change. The future, they tell us, is dangerously out of control, and unless we precisely govern the forces of change, we risk disaster. In The Future and Its Enemies, Virginia Postrel explodes the myths behind these claims. Using examples that range from medicine to fashion, she explores how progress truly occurs and demonstrates that human betterment depends not on conformity to one central vision but on creativity and decentralized, open-ended trial and error. She argues that these two opposing world-views -- "stasis" vs. "dynamism" -- are replacing "left" and "right" to define our cultural and political debate as we enter the next century. In this bold exploration of how civilizations learn, Postrel heralds a fundamental shift in the way we view politics, culture, technology, and society as we face an unknown -- and invigorating -- future.

Social Innovation In Africa

Author: Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317294276
Release Date: 2016-07-15
Genre: Business & Economics

Encouraged by the emergence and early impact of social innovators on the African Continent, but frustrated by the slow pace of large scale change, this book is focused on filling the knowledge gap for those tackling Africa’s serious social problems. It lays out the required building blocks for achieving scale at impact. By creating clear mission, vision, and values statements and piloting and rolling out business models that are demand-driven, simple, and low-cost, with compelling measurement and evaluation tools that leverage technology. It also explores the steps for attracting and retaining talent and financing and forming strategic partnerships with the private, public and non-profit sectors to foster scaling. Practical case studies provide inspiration for those who seek to become innovators or to be employed by them. Finally, it outlines the crucial steps for key stakeholders to take in order to support the emergence of more social innovators on the African continent, create an enabling environment for the scaling of high-impact initiatives and advance collective efforts to build stronger communities for current and future generations. This is a practical and inspirational guide for all entrepreneurs and individuals that seek to combine business and social goals and for those in the public, private and non-profit sectors that aim to foster and support these projects.

Cycles of Invention and Discovery

Author: Venkatesh Narayanamurti
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674974159
Release Date: 2016-10-24
Genre: Science

Using Nobel Prize–winning examples like the transistor, laser, and magnetic resonance imaging, Venky Narayanamurti and Tolu Odumosu explore the daily micro-practices of research and show that distinctions between the search for knowledge and creative problem solving break down when one pays attention to how pathbreaking research actually happens.

The Ethics of Invention Technology and the Human Future

Author: Sheila Jasanoff
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393253856
Release Date: 2016-08-30
Genre: Technology & Engineering

We live in a world increasingly governed by technology—but to what end? Technology rules us as much as laws do. It shapes the legal, social, and ethical environments in which we act. Every time we cross a street, drive a car, or go to the doctor, we submit to the silent power of technology. Yet, much of the time, the influence of technology on our lives goes unchallenged by citizens and our elected representatives. In The Ethics of Invention, renowned scholar Sheila Jasanoff dissects the ways in which we delegate power to technological systems and asks how we might regain control. Our embrace of novel technological pathways, Jasanoff shows, leads to a complex interplay among technology, ethics, and human rights. Inventions like pesticides or GMOs can reduce hunger but can also cause unexpected harm to people and the environment. Often, as in the case of CFCs creating a hole in the ozone layer, it takes decades before we even realize that any damage has been done. Advances in biotechnology, from GMOs to gene editing, have given us tools to tinker with life itself, leading some to worry that human dignity and even human nature are under threat. But despite many reasons for caution, we continue to march heedlessly into ethically troubled waters. As Jasanoff ranges across these and other themes, she challenges the common assumption that technology is an apolitical and amoral force. Technology, she masterfully demonstrates, can warp the meaning of democracy and citizenship unless we carefully consider how to direct its power rather than let ourselves be shaped by it. The Ethics of Invention makes a bold argument for a future in which societies work together—in open, democratic dialogue—to debate not only the perils but even more the promises of technology.

Technological Innovation in Legacy Sectors

Author: William B. Bonvillian
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780199374519
Release Date: 2015-09-15
Genre: Industrial policy

The American economy faces two deep problems: expanding innovation and raising the rate of quality job creation. Both have roots in a neglected problem: the resistance of Legacy economic sectors to innovation. While the U.S. has focused its policies on breakthrough innovations to create new economic frontiers like information technology and biotechnology, most of its economy is locked into Legacy sectors defended by technological/ economic/ political/ social paradigms that block competition from disruptive innovations that could challenge their models. Americans like to build technology "covered wagons" and take them "out west" to open new innovation frontiers; we don't head our wagons "back east" to bring innovation to our Legacy sectors. By failing to do so, the economy misses a major opportunity for innovation, which is the bedrock of U.S. competitiveness and its standard of living. Technological Innovation in Legacy Sectors uses a new, unifying conceptual framework to identify the shared features underlying structural obstacles to innovation in major Legacy sectors: energy, air and auto transport, the electric power grid, buildings, manufacturing, agriculture, health care delivery and higher education, and develops approaches to understand and transform them. It finds both strengths and obstacles to innovation in the national innovation environments - a new concept that combines the innovation system and the broader innovation context - for a group of Asian and European economies. Manufacturing is a major Legacy sector that presents a particular challenge because it is a critical stage in the innovation process. By increasingly offshoring production, the U.S. is losing important parts of its innovation capacity. "Innovate here, produce here," where the U.S. took all the gains of its strong innovation system at every stage, is being replaced by "innovate here, produce there," which threatens to lead to "produce there, innovate there." To bring innovation to Legacy sectors, authors William Bonvillian and Charles Weiss recommend that policymakers focus on all stages of innovation from research through implementation. They should fill institutional gaps in the innovation system and take measures to address structural obstacles to needed disruptive innovations. In the specific case of advanced manufacturing, the production ecosystem can be recreated to reverse "jobless innovation" and add manufacturing-led innovation to the U.S.'s still-strong, research-oriented innovation system.

Demagogue

Author: Michael Signer
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 0230618561
Release Date: 2009-02-03
Genre: Political Science

A demagogue is a tyrant who owes his initial rise to the democratic support of the masses. Huey Long, Hugo Chavez, and Moqtada al-Sadr are all clear examples of this dangerous byproduct of democracy. Demagogue takes a long view of the fight to defend democracy from within, from the brutal general Cleon in ancient Athens, the demagogues who plagued the bloody French Revolution, George W. Bush's naïve democratic experiment in Iraq, and beyond. This compelling narrative weaves stories about some of history's most fascinating figures, including Adolf Hitler, Senator Joe McCarthy, and General Douglas Macarthur, and explains how humanity's urge for liberty can give rise to dark forces that threaten that very freedom. To find the solution to democracy's demagogue problem, the book delves into the stories of four great thinkers who all personally struggled with democracy--Plato, Alexis de Tocqueville, Leo Strauss, and Hannah Arendt.

Permissionless Innovation The Continuing Case for Comprehensive Technological Freedom

Author: Adam Thierer
Publisher: Mercatus Center at George Mason University
ISBN: 9781942951247
Release Date: 2016-03-15
Genre: Technology & Engineering

Will innovators be forced to seek the blessing of public officials before they develop and deploy new devices and services, or will they be generally left free to experiment with new technologies and business models? In this book, Adam Thierer argues that if the former disposition, “the precautionary principle,” trumps the latter, “permissionless innovation,” the result will be fewer services, lower-quality goods, higher prices, diminished economic growth, and a decline in the overall standard of living. When public policy is shaped by “precautionary principle” reasoning, it poses a serious threat to technological progress, economic entrepreneurialism, and long-run prosperity. By contrast, permissionless innovation has fueled the success of the Internet and much of the modern tech economy in recent years, and it is set to power the next great industrial revolution—if we let it.

The Synthetic Age

Author: Christopher J. Preston
Publisher: Mit Press
ISBN: 0262037610
Release Date: 2018
Genre: Nature

Imagining a future in which humans fundamentally reshape the natural world using nanotechnology, synthetic biology, de-extinction, and climate engineering. We have all heard that there are no longer any places left on Earth untouched by humans. The significance of this goes beyond statistics documenting melting glaciers and shrinking species counts. It signals a new geological epoch. In The Synthetic Age, Christopher Preston argues that what is most startling about this coming epoch is not only how much impact humans have had but, more important, how much deliberate shaping they will start to do. Emerging technologies promise to give us the power to take over some of Nature's most basic operations. It is not just that we are exiting the Holocene and entering the Anthropocene; it is that we are leaving behind the time in which planetary change is just the unintended consequence of unbridled industrialism. A world designed by engineers and technicians means the birth of the planet's first Synthetic Age. Preston describes a range of technologies that will reconfigure Earth's very metabolism: nanotechnologies that can restructure natural forms of matter; "molecular manufacturing" that offers unlimited repurposing; synthetic biology's potential to build, not just read, a genome; "biological mini-machines" that can outdesign evolution; the relocation and resurrection of species; and climate engineering attempts to manage solar radiation by synthesizing a volcanic haze, cool surface temperatures by increasing the brightness of clouds, and remove carbon from the atmosphere with artificial trees that capture carbon from the breeze. What does it mean when humans shift from being caretakers of the Earth to being shapers of it? And in whom should we trust to decide the contours of our synthetic future? These questions are too important to be left to the engineers.

Women in Tech

Author: Tarah Wheeler
Publisher: Sasquatch Books
ISBN: 9781632170675
Release Date: 2016-03-29
Genre: Business & Economics

Geared toward women who are considering getting into tech, or those already in a tech job who want to take their career to the next level, this book combines practical career advice and inspiring personal stories from successful female tech professionals Brianna Wu (founder, Giant Spacekat), Angie Chang (founder, Women 2.0), Keren Elazari (TED speaker and cybersecurity expert), Katie Cunningham (Python educator and developer), Miah Johnson (senior systems administrator), Kristin Toth Smith (tech executive and inventor), and Kamilah Taylor (mobile and social developer). Written by a female startup CEO and featuring a host of other successful contributors, this book will help dismantle the unconscious social bias against women in the tech industry. Readers will learn: · The secrets of salary negotiation · The best format for tech resumes · How to ace a tech interview · The perks of both contracting (W-9) and salaried full-time work · The secrets of mentorship · How to start your own company · And much more Bonus content: Perfect for its audience of hackers and coders, the book contains puzzles and code, created as love letters to women in the tech industry. A distinguished anonymous contributor created the Python code for the cover of the book (ghosted in gloss on the hardcover jacket, and also printed on one of the first pages). It references the mother of computer science, Ada Lovelace. Run the code to see what it does! Mike Selinker and Gaby Weidling of Lone Shark Games, and cryptographer and DefCon puzzle master Ryan “LostboY” Clarke created an “easter egg” of puzzles throughout the book - readers who decipher the puzzles get a prize from the author!