Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Interesting Article: U.S. no longer 'technology king'

Ok, so between the STEM Conference on Friday, the e-Communities Summit yesterday and a few random topics taking shape in my mind, I have tons of posts I could be writing now..instead... an internet search took me on a tangent and I read this article in the BBC News. And my disclaimer, this article is definitely outside of my education realm as it focuses on global business/technology issues.

The first two paragraphs do a good job of summarizing the idea:

"The US has lost its position as the world's primary engine of technology innovation, according to a report by the World Economic Forum.

The US is now ranked seventh in the body's league table measuring the impact of technology on the development of nations."

Interestingly enough:
  • "Despite losing its top position, the US still maintained a strong focus on innovation, driven by one of the world's best tertiary education systems and its high degree of co-operation with industry"
The US is always credited for innovation. It is said that our schools do a good job of teaching kids to think outside the box and to be creative. This seems to agree. But how is that?? I don't feel like the schooling I went through in my K-12 years or at the college level OR the curriculum that I taught to 5th, 6th and 8th graders inspired innovation or thinking outside of the box.
  • "Denmark is now regarded as the world leader in technological innovation and application"
Loosely connected to this idea (since I didn't make it to Denmark), Iceland is ranked 8th (previously 4th). I remember their strength in technology being explained to me during my visit to Iceland last year. Something about a result of several factors..... one being that since they waited in the initial wave of wiring the country, the wiring is top-notch and allows for faster, more wide-spread connection. Then there was also a strong emphasis on education in the country. Not sure how it all relates to innovation and technology application, but I'm sure it does! Education always leads to success. :-)
  • Factors cited in Denmark's success: "The country's efficient market environment, conducive to the availability of venture capital, and the sophistication of financial markets, was also given recognition."
Is the converse of this true? Does this imply that the US has a less efficient market environment and is less conducive to the availability of venture capital, etc....
  • "China was knocked to 59th place, nine positions down, with information technology uptake in Chinese firms lagging."
This surprises me... I guess as much as I hear about China and all that's happening there I would expect them to be higher on the list and to see that more innovation is happening there. Apparently I'm wrong!

So this is all entirely over my head. I don't understand the factors involved in these matters. But I do find it interesting. Especially in light of the focus on STEM topics in recent years (and the conference I attended last week).

1 comment:

Jen said...

I think China's forte is making things cheaply for us, not inventing things!