This is the opening session of the Ideas Economy--Innovation 2012 conference, which will look at how innovation can be boosted to solve many of the world's major problems.
Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran
Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran is an award-winning journalist, author, and public speaker. The Financial Times recently proclaimed him to be “a writer to whom it is worth paying attention.” A 20-year veteran of The Economist, he is currently the magazine’s China business and finance editor. Kirkus Reviews has called Need, Speed, and Greed, Vaitheeswaran’s new book on global innovation, “the perfect primer for the postindustrial age.” He is a life member at the Council on Foreign Relations and advisor to the World Economic Forum. His commentaries have appeared on NPR and the BBC, and in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
In technology, an improvement to something already existing. Distinguishing an element of novelty in an invention remains a concern of patent law. The Renaissance was a period of unusual innovation: Leonardo da Vinci produced ingenious designs for submarines, airplanes, and helicopters and drawings of elaborate trains of gears and of the patterns of flow in liquids. Technology provided science with instruments that greatly enhanced its powers, such as Galileo's telescope. New sciences have also contributed to technology, as in the theoretical preparation for the invention of the steam engine. In the 20th century, innovations in semiconductor technology increased the performance and decreased the cost of electronic materials and devices by a factor of a million, an achievement unparalleled in the history of any technology.