Challenge – let’s build a sticky innovative platform for a transformational economy

An idea from Professor Caroline Wagner – Ohio State University

How to engage students, innovators to collaborate and grow

The Pain

  • The diffusion deficit – A weakness exists in the local links between the University and innovative actors in the region, exacerbated by a lack of incentives to create these links. 
  • The data deficit – Numerous events in the physical world leave “data traces” in isolated silos that could be useful to the knowledge economy–but, the data are at different granularities and they lack interoperability; paucity of knowledge access and flow inhibits the pace of research and innovation. 
  •   The insight deficit – difficulty in processing and analusing the data into meaningful information – Add to this problem that over 80% of data analytics time is spent in time-consuming pre-processing tasks and we have an insight deficit.
  • The attraction deficit – The Knowledge exodus –   Smart students leave the region to go to innovation-rich regions.  

How do we keep them ? In order to keep them in the region, we need to create local opportunities for them to be entrepreneurial – to solve problems and re-invent locally.  

A Potential Pain Killer

National service in an Altruistic Capacity  Right now, our pro-social students are overwhelmingly attracted to a year of service at Teach for America, City Year, Peace Corps, ViSTA –

  • how can we harvest these altruistic vitalities towards building the local and regional economy—to grow the society they want to live in right where they live? 
  • how can we link students with local enterprises that will simultaneously build the data we need, create the local links, give students a chance to create their own jobs/businesses/non-profit start-ups, all while making data-for-innovation available to larger groups and decision makers? Let’s call this: Catalyzing innovative energy.


    How can we find a way to get the funding needed to: 

    1. pay students; 
    2. seed pro-social enterprises; 
    3. create an open data platform for innovation; 
    4. link students to faculty (who are themselves linked to the global knowledge network) to diffuse knowledge to make it locally available???
     Let’s call this: building a sticky innovative platform for a transformational economy.
    That is my challenge to you – help me design this system from the ground up, tap dynamism, incentivize growth – include the poorest and excluded in the development. Ideas needed!

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