Eras of Innovation

John W Lewis's picture
Chat Date: 
Thu, Sep 08, 2016

Innovation is not what it once was! On the other hand, maybe innovation has not yet come of age. Let's discuss a question raised by Ken Gordon on the #innochat facebook group  (if you are not a member of the group, please apply and we'll approve your membership asap!)

This topic was triggered by on a New York Times article "What Was the Greatest
Era for Innovation? A Brief Guided Tour" 

On what basis could or should we judge which era was the greatest for innovation? On the other hand, maybe that is a nonsensical question because each era is different and there is no basis for comparison. If we can judge it, what are the characteristics by which to evaluate the level and importance of innovation in different eras?

Maybe you think that the greatest era is yet to come because innovation is continuing to accelerate and we have yet to see the full effect. For example, perhaps humankind's ability to move to sustainability power supply (and away from stores of fossil energy) will be the greatest achievement of all.

Another way of looking at it is that there have been a number of high points, — high water marks, if you like — from which we have retreated.

This can be a source of some sadness and nostalgia for a bygone era. For example, the retirement of Concorde and the Space Shuttle can feel like backward steps. Or perhaps they were just temporary high points to which we will return. Or were they missteps.

Discussion

Let's discuss when was, is, or will be the greatest era of innovation during #innochat on Twitter on Thursday September 8, 2016, starting at our regular time of 12noon Eastern time.

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