Report Results Event: The <i>Online</i> Forum on Global Leadership Women Entrepreneurs - Are they different? Rob Akinson Author: PJ Edington (29 Apr 2008) - 478355077439536BELB-7E6LJU Personal Information: Self Registration Area(s): Government; Academia Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: There is lots of press and research on women entrepreneurs and how they are either different or are the same as their male counterparts. In setting up policies to boost entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, do we need to consider differences -like gender, culture or diversity - in order to remove as many barriers as possible? Is there a different approach for academic institutions in order to be effective in training all entrepreneurs? Benefits: More women supported in their entrepreneurial endeavors Overall impact:: Low: Marginally positive impact across a large cross-section of the nation or have a significant positive impact, but only on a narrowly defined group Timing: Don't know Road Blocks: don't know Attachment(s): https://globalleadership.imaginatik.com/globalidc1.nsf/0/C7B8CE1FFEE671208525743A0056D72B/$FILE/Women+Entrepreneurs.doc Responses to 'Women Entrepreneurs - Are they different? Rob Akinson' Comment Author: Rob Atkinson (29 Apr 2008) P.J., this is an interesting point/question that I don't know the answer to. There do seem to be some successful entrepreneurial networks related to certain sub-populations, with the idea being that these networks might be more tightly linked and more useful than broader and more diffuse networks. For example, I seem to recall hearing about entrepreneurial networks in the Los Angeles region focused on Asian-Americans. Other groups, like the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, play a similar role of facilitating networking and entrepreneurial support. And there are some groups that play that role for women, both at the national and regional level. With specific regard to women's entrepreneurship there is some evidence that their contribution is larger than is usually thought. For example, see the report by the National Women's Business Council. /www.nwbc.gov/ResearchPublications/listReports.html Question for Rob - Role of Entrepreneurs in Innovation Author: Steve Stewart (29 Apr 2008) - 186602578774701BELB-7E6LWX Personal Information: 4: East 5: No 6: Other Area(s): Businesses Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Rob, in your research, have you seen anything that describes the relative contributions to innovation by entrepreneurs vs. established companies? Most interesting would be the generation or truly breakthrough ideas. Do these come more from entrepreneurs and small businesses, or do they come from large corporations with large R&D budgets, like IBM? Benefits: Creation of new products and services Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: Road Blocks: Lack of creative thinking an initiative Responses to 'Question for Rob - Role of Entrepreneurs in Innovation' Comment Author: Rob Atkinson (29 Apr 2008) Steve, this is critical question and one that is usually informed more by hearsay rather than analysis. For example, many people still repeat the claim that the lion's share of jobs come from small firms. In fact, its much more complicated than that. Actually most small firms don't create many jobs after a certain start-up phase. But a few 'gazzelles' or high growth companies create a lot of jobs. And most small business people are not 'entrepreneurs' if the term is used in the way noted economist Joseph Schumpeter defined it, to mean someone who brings forth something new: a new product, process, business model, etc. The same complexity is true for R&D and innovations. At least from the perspective of conducting R&D, the share of business R&D conducted by small firms has grown significantly in the last two decades. (see Hunt and Nakamura 2006, cited in http://www.itif.org/files/digital_prosperity.pdf). But large firms still innovate and still account for the majority of R&D. However, there appears to be a major shift in how innovation occurs and where it comes from. A forthcoming ITIF report written by Fred Bloch of UC Davis finds that the share of major innovations (defined as among the top 100 in a given year) coming from large firms acting alone has dramatically declined over the last 40 years. Now partnerships and collaborations -- including with federal labs, other firms big and small, and universities -- are much more important. This is a big reason why we proposed the collaborative R&D tax credit (and the National Innovation Foundation) to reflect and try to support this new more collaborative innovation environment. Comment Response Author: Steve Stewart (29 Apr 2008) Rob, thanks. I'll take a look at the Hunt and Nakamura report that you cited on the share of R&D by small businesses. The forthcoming ITIF report on collaborative innovation should be an important contribution. We talk a lot about the importance of collaborative innovation and R&D partnerships. It will be good to have hard data to support this. Idea for Rob Atkinson Author: Susan C Tuttle (29 Apr 2008) - 476401922636759CORB-7E6LZM Personal Information: Self Registration Area(s): Government Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Innovation in Services - What about the Public Sector? Businesses innovate in order to be able to successfully compete in a global economy. While governments don't compete in the same way, there are increasing competitive pressures and a strong competition for skills and investment.. This competition is both global and local. Innovation is the key to being able to compete, but innovation is not limited to just "product or technology" invention. In addition, a significant amount of innovation is occuring in the services area; in innovative business models or processes; and there is even societal innovation. The Public Sector is the largest service provider in the economy and yet it is perhaps the least innovative. Government should establish an innovation strategy that is specifically targeted at focusing on innovation in public service - examining all aspects of innovation - product, services, organizational and process models. And with any strategy, there must be a commitment and focus from the top, if the strategy is have an impact. Benefits: - Improves service delivery to citizens - Cost and resource reductions - Generates high-value, higher-paying jobs - Fuels wealth creation and profitability - Creates and attracts new industries and markets - Spurs productivity and economic growth - Raises standard of living Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: More than 18 months Road Blocks: Government bureaurocracy and siloed organizations. Funding challenges. Competitive mindset needed. Responses to 'Idea for Rob Atkinson' Comment Author: Rob Atkinson (29 Apr 2008) Susan, I couldn't agree more, and your idea goes to the heart of one of the limitations of much of the innovation discussion in the U.S., and frankly around the world: its focus on goods, as opposed to goods and services. With most advanced economies having upwards of 70 percent and more of employment in the non-goods, non-farm sector, driving needed and robust increases in standards of living and quality of life will not be possible with sustained services innovation. And your point about government innovation is critical for two reasons. If government doesn't innovate effectively then it doesn't raise its productivity and therefore is a drag on the economy. But just as important if it doesn't innovate effectively then it exerts a drag on everyone that interacts with government for particular services. But as you note, there are a large number of barriers, including stove-piped thinking and little reward and resources for risk-taking. In addition, in my view if we moved beyond the current debates with one side saying government's role is minimal, with the other saying it's important but it will be done by large, inflexible bureaucratic organizations. Perhaps both sides could agree that we need smart active governance, but this doesn't always mean more or bigger government bureaucracies. Just as companies who are succeeding in the global innovation economy are moving to network relations and open innovation, so to do governments. l over whether gov Leverage the success of community colleges Author: Deborah Kasdan (28 Apr 2008) - 571847104600595CORB-7E5QBH Personal Information: East Area(s): Government; Academia; Businesses Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Community colleges seem to be doing a great job of providing relatively low-cost education and training in line with regional employment opportunities. They've been the first career rung for many Americans and seem to be the natural partners for businesses looking to develop or re-skill employees. While other posts have mentioned the need for global exposure by students, it strikes me that community colleges already have a global scope in that many of their students are first-generation Americans and have spent considerable time in the countries of their extended families. Wal-mart has already provided $2.5 million for a program to develop best practices in aligning community colleges with development needs. I suggest that every business contribute resources -- ideas, money, and/or people-- to the program From the American Association of Community Colleges Web Site: The Center for Workforce and Economic Development, organized within the AACC Office of Economic Development, brings together community colleges, offices of economic development, workforce boards, labor market entities, and other community organizations to improve the economic prosperity of business, workers, and communities. The Center provides technical assistance on collaborative practices, labor market analysis, and performance analysis in order to promote more integrated and interactive practices. Mission Build community college capacity to better align priorities, strategies, and resources with those of workforce and economic development partners in response to regional labor market needs. Goals * Improved economic prosperity of workers, business, and communities * Increased use of best practices as common practices * Enhanced community college leadership role in building and sustaining high quality programs and services supportive of regional economic growth strategies Center Partners American Association of Community Colleges National Center on Education and the Economy’s Workforce Development Strategies Group Center Investors Charles Stewart Mott Foundation Lumina Foundation Grand Victoria Foundation The Joyce Foundation MetLife Foundation (new) Wal-Mart Foundation (new) Benefits: Regions can provide the skilled work forces needed to attract new businesses. Academia gains a low-cost alternative affordable to almost all populations Businesses can outsource re-training of workforce and gain skilled employees necessary for growth. Overall impact:: Medium: Significant positive impact, but somewhat more restricted in scope or geography Timing: 6 months to 18 months Road Blocks: Limited state budgets for funding community colleges Restricted perceptions of what community colleges can accomplish Responses to 'Leverage the success of community colleges' Comment Author: Melanie Holmes (28 Apr 2008) I wholeheartedly agree with Deborah and I would expand 'community' colleges to make sure we're including technical, vocational and occupational training. The skills learned in community and technical colleges are relevant and transferrable and are the best option for many high school graduates. Comment Author: David Stirling (29 Apr 2008) Yes, it is easy to misplace the value-add which the Community College system has provided, and continues to provide. Linking with the extended educational network as Mealnie pointed out would be valuable as well. I like the WalMart example, and we could probably find many others where GIE's have built these relationships at the lowest common denominator- in the communities they serve Learning from Best Practice Models Author: David Levey (24 Apr 2008) - 189211871519036BELB-7DZRP2 Personal Information: 1: Office of the Secretary 2: U.S. Department of Commerce 4: East 5: Yes 6: Monica C Debban/Washington/IBM 7: Yes Area(s): Government; Businesses; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: One of the subjects that will be covered in the 2nd Annual National Summit on American Competitiveness will be taking a look at how state, regional and local governments have successfully transformed themselves in our time of increasing global competition. I believe that one advantage of having such a diverse, large country is that we can see what local governments, schools, business groups and community organizations are doing well and replicate those ideas elsewhere within the country and where applicable at the national level. By the way, everyone is invited to the Summit on Competitiveness which is being put on by the U.S. Department of Commerce in Chicago May 22nd. Among the speakers will be Lou Gerstner, former Chairman and CEO of IBM! http://www.americancompetitiveness.com/index.jsp Benefits: Enhancing American competitiveness Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: Less than 6 months Road Blocks: Active participation by the community. Responses to 'Learning from Best Practice Models' Comment Author: Mick Fleming (25 Apr 2008) There are some good examples of effective government models at the state and local level . . . good examples, but not numerous examples. Gwinnet County, GA, has great public-private partnerships aimed at increasing overall incomes of the population. Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty has brought refreshing new approaches to everything from open space development to sensible immigration policy. At times, state governments that otherwise support domestic and international business advancement do stupid things, with dreadful consequences. Oklahoma's recent passage of a poorly crafted (impossible to enforce/comply with) immigration law might qualify as a worst-practice. Alabama's efforts to attract large-scale foreign investment through long-term nurturing of international relationships might qualify as a best-practice. In terms of policy changes that foster competitiveness, several states have taken action to reform civil justice systems that have crippled American businesses and deterred foreign investment. Many large states have NOT taken such action. Comment Response Author: Steve Stewart (25 Apr 2008) Mick, to help everyone learn from these best practices, can you elaborate on the public-private partnership in Gwinnet County and Alabama's efforts to attract foreign investment. What, specifically, are they doing? Can you provide links to where we can learn more? Comment Response Author: Mick Fleming (25 Apr 2008) To further understand what's going on in some of the 'best practice places mentioned above, here is a link to Alabama's economic development office with specific focus on international investment, as well as a link to the public- private partnership site in Gwinnett. To get a picture of what is going on in Scranton, watch 'The Office!' http://www.ado.state.al.us/ http://www.gwinnettchamber.org/partnership Comment Author: David Levey (28 Apr 2008) Thanks! By the way, the Department of Commerce has a new initative, Invest in America. This is a program designed to consolidate many of the efforts across the entire federal government concerning the attraction of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The group, run by Aaron Brickman, has released a white paper on investor visas, a report on federal efforts to attract FDI and a variety of other initatives to be found at: http://trade.gov/investamerica/ (did you know that next week is invest in America week)? Also one of the panels at the National Summit on American Competitiveness in Chicago May 22 will be on local/regional best practice examples. We'll have Mayor Daley of Chicago, Haley Barour, the Governor of Mississippi, Mark Sanford the Govenor of South Carolina discuss their experience in transforming their economies... Easing American's increasing unease with respect to Globalization Author: David Stirling (28 Apr 2008) - 716823071641108CORB-7E5K6M Personal Information: East Area(s): Government; Businesses; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Fred - A common belief is that the first strongly articulated opinion to fill a void , creates the perceptive "benchmark" of public opinion on that particular topic. In your opinion, what topics do you see the greatest need for business leaders to assume a stronger social role? Should they be louder in advocating certain policies? As an example, it seems as though the debate has increasingly tilted against openness (whether it be people, markets, or investment). Have our corporate leaders lost their voice on these issues? Is this not a role of leaders in a "Globally Integrated Enterprise"? Lastly, how does all this in the context of the role of a GIE relate to the competencies which leadership must have within those organizations which are defined as GIE's? Benefits: Creating partnerships and solutions with government Educating the public on siginficant issues which have broad socio-economic implications Defining the role and expectations of GIE's Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: 6 months to 18 months Road Blocks: Public perception of GIE's (e.g. hidden agenda's) Low political "capital" - reality that the environment buisness leaders operate in today is significantly more political than in the previous generation Misaligned leadership competencies within GIEs Responses to 'Easing American's increasing unease with respect to Globalization' Comment Author: C. Fred Bergsten (28 Apr 2008) It is essential for business to undertake at least two types of initiatives in responding to the criticisms of globalization, open trade and the GIE. Business leaders have not lost their voice on these issues but they have failed to work hard enough to convince government and politician to both understand and respond effectively to these criticisms. First, it is essential to greatly enhance understanding of the benefits of free trade and globalization. My Peterson Institute for International Economics has demonstrated that United States is $1 trillion per year richer as a result of the trade expansion of the past 60 years and that we could gain another $500 billion annually by moving to global free trade. These numbers translate into $10,000 and $5,000 per household, respectively. They equal 10% and 5% of our entire GDP, respectively. It is not enough to cite these macro economics statistics, however, important as they are and as necessary for GIEs to convey them to both their own stake holders and the public more broadly. They must also recognize that there is downside to the globalization process and that there are losers as well as winners. The extent of these losses is usually vastly overstated but our own studies show that they total perhaps $50 billion per year, leaving a highly favorable benefit/cost ratio of 20:1 but still amounting to significant costs in absolute terms that must be addressed. It is important to counter the anecdotes with which these losses are usually presented with anecdotes on the pro-globalization side. GIEs need to draw on their own experiences to convey information about job gains from exports and from their own foreign investments. Examples of the payoff, in terms of employees filling new and hopefully better jobs, as a result of their own training programs will be exceedingly useful as well. The second main response, however, must come through much better governemnt policies in two areas: social safety nets to help cushion the transition of dislocated workers and education/training so that workers can reap the benefits of the globalization rather than feeling victimize by it. On the former, we need vastly improved programs of unemployment insurance, trade adjustment assistance and wage insurance to deal directly with trade dislocation. More general reforms of health insurance and pension programs, including portability across jobs, could be of crucial importance as well. Business leaders have voiced suport for such efforts but have not put the necessary efforts into winning their enactments to carry the day. In the future, GIEs will have to push as hard for trade adjustment assitance reforms as for trade agreements themselves. The whole process of globalization may will run aground, and leave a huge policy vacuum for backsliding into protection, without constructive progress on these domestic adjustment dimensions of the issue. In addition to better government programs, we need much more active training and adjustment programs by companies themselves. This is the topic of a subsequent question that I will address later. Comment Response Author: Larry Phipps (29 Apr 2008) Your focus on policies to ease the 'hit' on local economies and workers caused by globalization addresses the elephant in the room. Without social awareness and a willingness to forgo some short-term economic gains in the interest of helping offset the job-and-tax base losses caused by globalization, we risk repeating one of history's enduring lessons: creation of an under class is perceived as oppressive and results in a backlash. True, long-term global dynamics rests on firm footings at home. For years, we were urged to think globally and act locally. We need to turn that around a bit: we need to act and think locally if we're to have the foundation of support it takes to succeed globally. Comment Author: Bob Nicholson (29 Apr 2008) Fred’s ideas for addressing unease with globalization are excellent. I’d like to offer one other observation. Among opponents of globalization is the belief that the approach the United States is taking in implementing free trade is placing American workers at a competitive disadvantage. If we are trying to compete on an even basis with nations that do not enforce laws which protect the environment or their workers we have handicapped ourselves in the marketplace. This perception must be addressed, and if substantive, we should respond appropriately in our trade agreements. If free trade is implemented properly, it will not be perceived as a race to the bottom for wages, worker safety or the environment. Comment Author: David Stirling (29 Apr 2008) Linking these two ideas https://globalleadership.imaginatik.com/globalidc1.nsf/1fb6d22b60bfe12885256d4e006e956c/9146cacda37713eb8525743900523421!OpenDocument Idea for Fred Bergsten Author: Steve Stewart (28 Apr 2008) - 318638895246815BELB-7E5HN8 Personal Information: 4: East 5: No 6: Other Area(s): Businesses Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Global companies or "globally integrated enterprises" have operations around the world so that they can compete effectively against international competitors. While this may mean locating some jobs in other countries, these same companies often invest heavily in the U.S. and support many jobs here. From your perspective, how does a globally integrated enterprise that is based in the U.S. but has operations around the world benefit the U.S.? Do you believe that it is possible for a company that wants to compete for customers in foreign markets, and that must compete against foreign competitors, can be successful if it only locates its employees and operations in the U.S.? Benefits: Enhanced global competitiveness Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: Less than 6 months Road Blocks: Trade and investment barriers abroad and domestically Responses to 'Idea for Fred Bergsten' Comment Author: C. Fred Bergsten (28 Apr 2008) Steve asks about the relationship between the foreign and domestic operations of GIEs and how that relationship may benefit the United States. Our many studies of this issue at the Peterson Institute for International Economics demonstrate clearly that there is a positive and powerful relationships between the two sets of operations. An American-based company creates exports and thus jobs in the US economy when it expands its activities and thus sales abroad. Likewise, it can increase its domestic investments and job creation with the earnings on its foreign investments. Both channels produce strong supportive benefits for the US home, and foreign host, economy. In today's globalized world, it is extremeley doubtful that an industry or individual company can prosper by avoiding foreign operations. The few US industries that have tried in recent decades, such as steel and apparel, have experienced draconian contraction and ultimate widespread failure. The compelling empirical evidence is that globalization is essential for business success in today's world. The current economics/financial crisis provides a dramatic example of the payoff of such corporate strategies. Companies that operate only in the United States experience the full force of the domestic downturn and probable recession. Companies that are internationally diversified, however, are seen where foreign expansion more than offset their domestic stagnation or even contraction. I call this 'reverse coupling' through which the rest of the world cushions the decline of the US economy as well as continuing to progress on its own in an example of 'decoupling' from our economic fortune here in the United States. Comment Response Author: Tom Kucharvy (28 Apr 2008) Fred, you speak of the benefit to the US from globalization as coming from increased exports and jobs. But Many companies, including IBM, are growing offshore investment and personnel extensively, without significantly growing (or in some cases reducing) domestic investment. While your analysis certainly holds in an era of export-led international growth, how relevant is it in an era of investment-based globalization? Promote international exposure for students Author: Lisa Neddam (24 Apr 2008) - 783459220263981CORB-7DZL2N Personal Information: East Area(s): Academia; Businesses; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Promoting/ Encouraging international exchanges during Undergrad/ Grad studies: By spending 6 to 12 months in a foreign university, students get a chance to get to know another culture (How does people live, work, teach...). When coming back to their home country they're able to use/ share that experience with their families/ friends/ co-workers... When it comes to finding innovative, globally integrated solutions, they bring to the table a broader/ more diverse perspective. To be capable of really understanding the globally integrated economy, we need to become more globally "world-integrated" people. These exchange programs could be sponsored and financially supported by companies that make a lot of business with foreign countries. American students would be offered to spend a semester or two in those specific countries. After graduation these students would constitute a strategic hiring pool for those companies. Benefits: Benefit for investing companies: Having a hiring pool that responds to their specific international needs. Benefit for students: International exposure and experience, networking, contact to the supporting companies... Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: 6 months to 18 months Road Blocks: Lack of financial support Responses to 'Promote international exposure for students' Comment Author: Lisa Neddam (24 Apr 2008) See also: Broadening Policy Makers' Global Perspective (Bruce Mehlman - 04/23/2008) Comment Author: Susan C Tuttle (24 Apr 2008) This is such a critical point and important not only for students. We compete in a global marketplace and there is so much to be gained, learned and leveraged by understanding a different perspective, ideas and culture. Comment Author: Andres Jordan (25 Apr 2008) As someone that grew up in four different countries and cultures and can attest to the fact that this idea does more than ANYTHING else to open eyes and minds and - most importantly - change perspectives. Great idea, but unfortunately, we are so focused on our 'pain' in the USA that we do not feel the need to experience it outside our borders. Of course pain is relative. To me the greatest tragedy of what has happened to us since september 11th, is our reaction to contract our discovery of the Workd, instead of expanding it. There is hope, Again I am impressed with what IBM is doing and there are some NGO's doing some good work in this area. Another emerging tools are social entreprenuers working on some good things in order to increase exposure accross nations. Comment Author: Linda Evans (25 Apr 2008) I totally agree and think this is a good idea -- having lived abroad as a child, abd attended college and grad school abroad , and also worked as a manager with IBM abroad, I too can attest to the benefit of early global exposure. I was raised in a family environment that was exposed to more tolerance than even my own country showed towards some of its citizens. It is clear that this experience has made me more adaptive and flexible. Comment Author: David Levey (25 Apr 2008) There may be two issues at work here- one is increasing the exposure of American students to foreign cultures. I think at the collegiate level these opportunities are happening more and more and I truly believe, having recently taught on a college campus that any student that wants to and can afford college can also find plenty of opportunities to study abroad. The question here is should students be compelled to have more exposure to global affairs, to travel abroad and to meet people from different countries? In spite of the many opportunities to experience different cultures, most students, particularly outside of many major metro areas don't, and that is a challenge. The other issue is, should we be doing more to expose students from other countries to ours? This certainly has proven to be a boon to our country. Each student visitor is a net American export (they are buying an American education) and the universities see these students as not only strengthening their academic credentials but also as sources of revenue. .And in a broader sense it exposes them to America, to our values and our people. We are seeing a rebound in the number of students studying here since 9/11, although there is more competition/more choices for international students to make who want a great post secondary education. Many colleges and universities in other parts of the world are proactively soliciting these global students rather than passively accepting some of them as they have in the past. If you are more interested in this topic consider checking out NAFSA, the national association of international educators website. They publish annual statistics on international student attendance at our post-secondary institutions, and host a great conference at the end of May in Washington DC. http://www.nafsa.org/annual_conference Comment Author: Meridith Singer (28 Apr 2008) I completely agree. My own experience with Model United Nations dating back to my high-school years, combined with a summer abroad in Finland when I was in high school, immensely shaped my own appreciation and understanding of how cooperation benefits us all. These events were the start of lifelong learning for me about other cultures, languages, political systems and ways of life. As a result, they sparked my educational interest in international affairs, as well as my desire to live abroad for a longer period of time - both of which I pursued. Comment Author: Maureen Shea (28 Apr 2008) I think international internships is a great idea. I have an outsourcing team in Kiev, Ukraine and have sponsored several internships at the high school and college level. It's been a great learning experience and very enriching for the students as well as the Ukranian developers. Small/Medium businesses as GIEs Author: Dana Gray (28 Apr 2008) - 532097352559701BELB-7E5MTU Personal Information: East Area(s): Businesses Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Fred, The notion of the "globally integrated enterprise" seems to apply mostly to very large corporations with a global presence. Do you see ways in which small and medium- sized businesses can become GIEs or benefit from this concept? Benefits: medium Overall impact:: Medium: Significant positive impact, but somewhat more restricted in scope or geography Timing: Don't know Road Blocks: Requires changing company structure and strategy Responses to 'Small/Medium businesses as GIEs' Comment Author: C. Fred Bergsten (28 Apr 2008) It is more difficult for SMEs than GIEs to operate globally. Hence it may be useful for those companies to utilize the services of the US government that can help them penetrate and then sustain markets abroad. The most useful partners are the export-import bank of the United States and the overseas private investment corporations, which supports foreign direct investment in developing countries of interest to the United States. Both agencies have experienced helpful personnel that can assist SMEs in breaking into the world economy and starting them down the road to becoming successful GIEs. Comment Response Author: David Fulton (29 Apr 2008) Exim and OPIC are useful, but small American companies are often better served by starting with the Commerce Department's U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS), which specializes in helping them enter the global marketplace. The percentage of U.S companies that actually export is lower than in most other developed economies, and USFCS programs are designed to improve that score. See www.buyusa.gov for more information on USFCS export assistance programs. Comment Author: Marc Lautenbach (28 Apr 2008) Interesting conversation. In some ways the internet is a great equalizer in terms of company size. On the internet, the size of the company doesn't matter- only their capabilities. The internet also compresses the notion of space and shrinks the world. I will ask some of my colleagues at IBM for some public references for small companies that have 'globally integrated' utilizing the internet and other technologies. Comment Response Author: louis lazarus (29 Apr 2008) One great example is Threadless T-Shirts (http://www.threadless.com), a startup based in Chicago that outsources its design work to a mass audience on the Internet. The company receives hundreds of T-shirt design submissions a day. Each one remains posted on their web site for a week and those winning the most votes from close to a million registered users are chosen for production. Winning designers get up to $12,500 in cash. That unique business model – enabled by the internet and a globally integrated economy -- has turned the company into one of the hottest T-shirt retailers in the U.S. It’s an example of how today’s companies can outsource segments of their business globally using the internet. Work once done in-house, from design and research to information-related services and customer support, can now be farmed out, tapping new expertise, cutting costs and freeing company employees to do what they do best. By tapping into the wisdom and expertise available via the Internet, small companies can act big by finding the right skills for the right price, anywhere in the world. Collaborate with Mick Fleming - Best Practices Author: Lauren Phelps (25 Apr 2008) - 551476310368505BELB-7E2NF2 Personal Information: East Area(s): Businesses; Individuals; Other Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Mick, from your experience with local chambers of commerce around the country, what are some good examples of communities whose previous success was built around industries that have declined but that have rebuilt themselves around new industries? I would be especially interested in examples in which communities leveraged opportunities created by the globally integrated economy, whether through exports, attracting foreign investment or linking with global business partners. Benefits: Ability to leverage new opportunites created by the globally integrated economy Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: Don't know Road Blocks: Difficulty in transitioning from one industry to another, and leveraging opportunities created by the GIE to do so Responses to 'Collaborate with Mick Fleming - Best Practices' Comment Author: Mick Fleming (25 Apr 2008) Lauren, this is the $200 billion dollar question. Recently, the American Assembly, with assistance from the Brookings Institute, undertook a major retreat, research and publishing initiative focused on exactly this issue -- ie. how do you bring back weak markets. We wrote a chapter which described specific recovering markets like Springfield, MO, Providence, RI and Baton Rouge, LA. You can get access to a summary and the actual book at the following link: http:// www.americanassembly.org In general, the conclusions of the study focus on a handful of principles/goals -- workforce development and retention (attraction viewed as unlikely), infrastructure investment, cooperative regional strategies and tech-based future industries to gradually replace inevitable decline of traditional industries. You might also look at the Brookings' Blueprint for American Prosperity at this link: http://www.brookings.edu/metro.aspx Comment Response Author: Steve Stewart (25 Apr 2008) Mick, obviously your position gives you exposure to a lot case studies around the country and a lot of research that is going on in this area. What worries you most about U.S. companies and communities being able to respond to increasing global competition? What gives you the most hope that we will respond to the challenge successfully? Comment Author: David Stirling (29 Apr 2008) I think the subsequent analysis of this Forum should look more closely into this idea and subsequent comments. Especially the examples cited. Draw on strengths of immigrants already in the United States Author: Robert Ponichtera (29 Apr 2008) - 408911268787671BELB-7E6J33 Personal Information: 2: Liberty's Promise 4: East 7: Yes Area(s): Government; NGOs; Academia; Businesses; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: I'm struck by the valuable suggestions that participants have had on increasing our ability to think and act globally, although some of these would require significant resources and investment. Might I suggest that we not overlook the profound wealth of knowledge and cultural competence of the immigrant community--our neighbors-- throughout the United States. The opportunities for interaction with this community are myriad and immigrants are right in our own backyard. (To be clear, I'm talking about documented, legal immigrants, who have been coming to America at the rate of more than one million annually for quite some time now.) At one point in time, these communities were concentrated in major cities (immigrant portals), but now they're everywhere, from Tuscaloosa, Alabama to Topeka, Kansas. Some of this is happening already. Folks out in Kalona, Iowa, are learning Arabic from an Iraqi schoolteacher (placed thanks to the Federal Foreign Language Acquisition Program). The Mount Vernon, NY, Police Department is recruiting Portuguese-speaking officers to interact with the community's growing Brazilian population. We can, however, do quite a bit more. One need go no further than the local school system, community college campus, or religious community (the Iraqi schoolteacher attends a mosque in Iowa City) to find scores of people who can contribute to our knowledge of other countries and cultures. My organization, Liberty's Promise, which supports immigrant youth throughout the Washington, DC Metro area, has worked with adolescents from 64 countries in less than three years. If you're thinking that immigrants are aloof and inaccessible, please reconsider. The vast majority of immigrants want to fit in in their new country and are eager to learn about American life and culture. Likewise, they would be honored to share their knowledge with the broader community, all we have to do is ask. One should remember that, as newcomers, they feel like outsiders and that their knowledge is superfluous to the American way. Accessing that knowledge is a matter of picking up the phone to arrange a visit or simply knocking on the door and asking. Benefits: Growing interactions with the immigrant community can help all social sectors learn about other cultures. Many of these immigrants have valuable work experience, which can directly impact American workforce development. Reaching out to the immigrant community, conversely, has the additional benefit of helping newcomers feel welcome in their new home, thus helping with immigrant acculturation. Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: 6 months to 18 months Road Blocks: Ill-informed opinions about immigrant communities. Responses to 'Draw on strengths of immigrants already in the United States' Comment Author: Steve Stewart (29 Apr 2008) Robert, your idea is intriguing. One of the great assets of the US is its immigrant population. While this has always been the case, this asset is probably more valuable than ever. With new opportunities created by the globally integrated economy, immigrants could contribute in new ways, bringing their cultural knowledge and understanding of their home countries as a resource to US businesses that are looking for growth opportunities abroad. Just as we have discussed providing foreign study opportunities and cross-cultural exchanges for American students, we should also look for ways to provide better education and development opportunities for immigrants and their children so that we create a workforce that is able to take advantage of global opportunities for economic growth. In addition to leveraging this current immigrant resource, the US should also provide more opportunities for highly skilled immigrants to bring their skills to work in the America. Does anyone have ideas about how US businesses and government could develop this important segment of the workforce? Comment Author: Richard Blank (29 Apr 2008) Someone I know is an electrician -- and their union is quite strong in NY. He worked as an apprentice for a few years before becoming licensed. He's not an immigrant, but many of his coworkers are -- and the union recognizes that fact. What they do is offer english classes and other education during and after the apprenticeship. The union recognizes the current technology trends that are core to the union's future survival and ensures apprentices have that knowledge and are qualified when licensed. It's a good positive example of what can happen -- and it was all managed quite well --- all to ensure future survival of the electricians union and the profession. Better public early-childhood education? Author: Ivy Tseng (25 Apr 2008) - 226718547341115CORB-7E2NRV Personal Information: East Area(s): Government; NGOs; Academia; Businesses; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: While all of the ideas presented in the forum below are good ones, they all seem to address the development of skills at a later age. I have a friend who is a New York City public school teacher, and he tells me that by high school many children are already "lost" - even if they not technically dropped out, they are disengaged and just passing time. If we are to build a skilled and competitive workforce, we need to impress upon individuals at an early age - while they are developing good habits - a love of learning and the ability to learn new skills. Benefits: - Benefit for the worker because they will develop good learning habits early - Benefit to the government because a pool of workers with the skills and aptitude to participate in life-long learning are developed. Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: Don't know Road Blocks: As per usual, budget constraints. Responses to 'Better public early-childhood education?' Comment Author: Claudia Sheridan (25 Apr 2008) Ivy, I think you bring up an excellent observation -- it does appear that kids now-a-days are lost. I wonder if it's not because they are bored. For example, I look at my nephews and their homework load. I see that their homework basically boils down to two different items -- it's either book reports or math. And with regards to both topics, children are given multiple choice questions or are encouraged to utilize calculators and/or computers to complete their assignments. Conversely, I remember my homework (and I'm in my mid-30s, so it wasn't all that long ago) where we were actually expected to prove how we came up with the math answers, and books where we weren't given multiple choice questions from which to choose from for our reports. I think that kids now are taught to be lazy - to turn to technology first. I think that the emphasis in the past was more focused on using our own logical abilities to decipher equations, and our own creativity to determine outcomes. You know, in software development there is a saying, that goes something like -- the more idiot proof you create the software, the more idiots you are creating. I believe that this can translate to our educational system. We try and incorporate technology at an early age in schools -- my question is why? Why not make them use their own brains, develop their own problem-solving skills and then compliment their skills with technology? After all, technology was supposed to make our lives easier, not make us lazier. Comment Response Author: Ivy Tseng (26 Apr 2008) Claudia, thanks for your thoughts. I, too, am in my 30's and definitely remember sweating it out over my homework! I absolutely agree with your software development saying. I just wonder what it will take to get the focus and attention that we need on early education. It's certainly not a 'new' issue - parents, teachers, government officials, etc - everyone seems to know that we're having an educational crisis in the US, for too many reasons to cite here (including underpaying teachers, insufficient capital investments, etc.). So - what is it going to take to get the private-sector and political will aligned to take real action on this issue? Will framing it in the context of completing in a global economy finally coalesce the ongoing concern into real action and investment? And if so, what are real metrics for progress and success? Comment Response Author: Deborah Kasdan (27 Apr 2008) Everyone I know who teaches or has a child in school says that teaching to tests in early years is ruining the learning experience for youngsters, and they attribute many this to the 'No Child Left Behind' legislation. A documentary I saw about education in Denmark attributed their educational success to well-paid teachers who compete heavily for available jobs and who take timeto devise instructional methods specific to each child. Itt seemed however the teachers were dealing with fairly homogenous classrooms, more so than in most US settings. I'm aware that Teach America, a private program, was a strong force for attracting smart, dedicated teachers to the profession, and wonder whether public-private partnerships of such programs -- accountability for teachers *along with* prestige and heightened professionalism -- might give our youngsters the foundation they need for productive careers in a globalized economy. Comment Author: Richard Blank (28 Apr 2008) I have a relative whose been teaching 25 years in NY school systems and would concur with the comments. she's also quite active in the teachers union and I generally get an earful at holidays.... part of this is socio-economic related = single parents and households where 2 parents both work. not enough focus on education or raising kids. part of this is the school system and too much focus on testing. the other part of it -- what is being taught and how relevant is school to real life. okay, school teaches you to think....but it doesn't teach street smarts to survive as an adult. what kids see is what goes on their neighborhoods or tv --- and they know they need money (or have to do similiar illegal) to buy ipods, etc... and what they do know is that some history class is not going to help them get an ipod or cell phone today. personally, I think you need to have more formal 'apprenticeships' that start much younger in high school at around 16. some universities have a work- study or 'co-op' which are great -- but not everyone does this. I've seen this in some high schools but it's an exception for a student to do this. You just need to see that more in high schools - but mandatory. These could be technical in nature or even service oriented.....but something that gives students some structure, some hope, some future vision about what to expect, and real world experience combined with classroom experience. of course businesses can benefit with cheaper labor and better skilled workers in the future. of course it takes businesses to partner with local governments to make this happen. Lastly,, it might make sense to have an online event like this to 'ask the teachers' what they think about the schools system and what needs to change.... Comment Author: David Stirling (29 Apr 2008) Connecting these two ideas might help shape the discussion and analysis https://globalleadership.imaginatik.com/globalidc1.nsf/1fb6d22b60bfe12885256d4e006e956c/1c2f2feb995e29d6852574360066082c!OpenDocument Integration Through Cooperation Author: Alan Shao (24 Apr 2008) - 316563668268864BELB-7DZPTP Personal Information: 2: University of North Carolina at Charlotte 4: East 7: Yes Area(s): Government; Academia; Businesses Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: I don't believe there is enough cooperation among business, academics and government. While there are some opportunities via grants, internships, cooperatives, and practical classroom projects, it seems like there needs to be more interactions among these groups. More and more colleges and universities are expanding their educational programs into foreign markets, which creates opportunities for U.S. businesses to learn from. They can challenge universities with real-world problems for graduate classes to solve while they are holding classes abroad. What's in it for the university? The opportunity to have their students work on real world and timely projects. The institution may also get a financial contribution from the client company. What's in it for the business? Obviously the "low cost" (but not low quality) information generated by these young and energetic minds that are operating in the foreign market. What's in it for government? A closer marriage between business and academics which will ultimately benefit the U.S. economy as U.S. businesses do well. Benefits: Increased cooperation between industry and academics. U.S. businesses can improve by improved information from foreign markets. Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: Less than 6 months Road Blocks: Government needs to support this cooperation between U.S. businesses and U.S. universities and colleges operating in foreign markets. Responses to 'Integration Through Cooperation' Comment Author: David Levey (24 Apr 2008) Government can be the 'glue' for many of these concepts. That glue-- the benefit to the country in the form of outcomes, the benefit to the government in terms of measurable returns, and the ability to prioritize projects against other demands for government resources in a way understandable and accepted by the public and their representatives needs to be more clearly defined than this. Comment Author: C. Fred Bergsten (28 Apr 2008) One of the major problems underlying the lack of US competitiveness in the world economy, and thus public and policy doubt of globalization, is our failure to produce enough high skilled Americans to fill the high-wage jobs that are in fact plentifully available in our economy. A recent study at our Peterson Institute for International Economics reveals the shocking fact that the share of Americans with post graduate training or its equivalent has not risen for over 30 years. At the same time, that ratio for virtually every other country has risen steadily and substantially. Instead of leading the world on this key indicator, as we did 30 years ago, we are now somewhere in the middle of the pack and losing ground steadily. (http://bookstore.petersoninstitute.org/book-store/4136.html) One implication is that we must export many of our best jobs to the rest of the world. We can do this in several ways: by importing high-skilled products, by outsourcing high-skilled jobs to other countries or by importing high-skilled workers from abroad. None of those options commend themselves to the American labor force nor to American politicians. The problem, however, lies with our educational system and training programs rather than with international trade or investment, which in fact provide an essential valve to meet the demands of the American economy in the absence of the preferred alternatives. Rectifying this situation would be a huge win-win proposition for American business, especially GIEs, and the academic community. Our colleges and universities would get more and better students, helping resolve their own financial problems. Yet they can only train people who have been prepared for such training by our K-12 system, requiring its reform as well. Thus the problem is integral to the entire American educational system and will require years if not decades of dedicated reforms in both. Comment Author: Robert Ponichtera (28 Apr 2008) I would respectfully add to this mix the role of nonprofit organizations in connecting these other social actors. My organization, Liberty's Promise, works in the Washington DC Metro area to: 1) provide immigrant youth with a professional work experience through internships, and 2) expose young immigrants to broad career fields (i.e., banking, retail, airline industry, science & technology) by holding job skills workshops in the public schools in cooperation with the business community. We have been in business three years, and have just drawn the attention of the academic community, local government (for funding), and large, established businesses. Getting these social actors on the same page is not an easy task, but we're proof that it can be done. Comment Author: David Stirling (29 Apr 2008) To further on Fred's comment, the running statistic I've seen is that 70% of the American workforce does not even have a college degree, let alone an advanced degree. That is a shocking statistic. Competing at a skill level without a foundation college education is a losing proposition and indicative of why jobs defined by low skill competencies are going elsewhere. Shifting away from the public K-12 environment, what can the Charter Schools do help? What successful bridges do they have into higher education that can possibly be leveraged? GIE's are prime candidates to provide the support at the Community level with programs to help bridge skill building and motivate students to continue their academic pursuits beyond high school. Any good examples out there? Incentives Still Matter -- Sometimes Author: Mick Fleming (24 Apr 2008) - 299336232547494BELB-7DZSNX Personal Information: 1: President 2: American Chamber of Commerce Executives 4: East 7: Yes Area(s): Government; Businesses Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Increasingly, incentives for economic development projects and deals are coming under fire. Since most development agencies and community development organizations still point to job count as the primary quantitative evidence of success, tax abatements, grants and other enticements are bound to stay a part of almost every major development deal. Site location experts, however, indicate that the number one factor cited in their client polling as determining whether a community is considered for a facility relocation or expansion is access to a viable transportation network. Some regions, however, have great infrastructure connectivity and still don’t get the deals. Other perception or competitiveness challenges still work against them. In those cases and those places, the attractiveness of the business environment is still affected by well-crafted state/local incentives and favorable tax treatment for job-creating investment. Benefits: Incentive packages for new investment must be included in the mix of strategies for attracting and growing business, especially because some regional markets are trying to oversome competitive disadvantages. Overall impact:: Medium: Significant positive impact, but somewhat more restricted in scope or geography Timing: 6 months to 18 months Road Blocks: Public perception of incentives and tax "breaks" for business is extremely negative. Responses to 'Incentives Still Matter -- Sometimes' Comment Author: Steve Stewart (24 Apr 2008) Mick, is a viable transportation network the number one factor for all types of businesses, or just manufacturers and distribution companies? I understand the importance of transportation networks to move physical goods, and access to airports is important for many types of businesses. But for many services businesses (financial services, IT services, software development, architects), communications networks would seem to be very important, as well. With services making up 80% of US GDP and many information-based services able to be delivered via networks, both domestically and in international trade, how does communications infrastructure rank in importance? For what types of businesses might this be more important than transportation? I am wondering how much the most important location considerations vary based on the type of business a community is trying to attract and how this should affect local development strategies. Comment Author: Mick Fleming (25 Apr 2008) Steve -- Thanks for the question and input -- Certainly, manufacturing and logistics companies rely most on transportation networks, but air and highway access are important for facility location decisions in almost every business. Even the most techy and virtual of companies want customers, suppliers, management, employees and rented talent to be able to get in and out with ease. Likewise, communication networks are critical for most firms, whether they are server farms or dairy farms. The thing about communications infrastructure is that it is almost taken for granted. Lack of access to high-speed broadband and strong cell coverage would be a fatal flaw for a community trying to lure and information services company, or just about any other firm. But while every decent sized community has, or is in the process of getting, communication connections adequate for most employers, transportation infrastructures are hurting in many regions. Capacity and quality varies widely . . . and it is extremely expensive and time consuming to add or upgrade roads, airports, train links and port facilities. Should we take our communication infrastructure for granted? The folks in Katrina’s path may have an opinion on that. Comment Response Author: Steve Stewart (25 Apr 2008) Mick, your point about taking communications infrastructure for granted, in light of Katrina, is well taken. While I agree that lack of access to high-speed broadband and strong cell coverage would be a fatal flaw for a community trying to attact investment, I wonder if your members have experienced any lost investment opportunities to other countries where broadband availability is even better. US communities are no longer competing among themselves, but must also compete on a global playing field. For example, one study ranks the US 15th out of 30 OECD countries in broadband availability. Have you seen any practical consequences of this yet? Comment Author: Dana Gray (25 Apr 2008) Mick, We have been talking a lot about state and local best practices. What ideas would you suggest for the federal government in terms of actions they could take to help local businesses take advantage of global opportunities? Comment Response Author: Mick Fleming (25 Apr 2008) Well, the category is 'State and Regional', but since you asked . . . The Federal government is not addressing the biggest issues that they absolutely must address -- i.e. health care, immigration, environmental quality, energy, etc. By leaving the solution to these problems in the hands of state (and increasingly local) government hands, American employers are stuck with a patchwork of rules and fees that confuse and stifle everybody involved. If you are employer moving within one mile of your current location in Kansas City, you could hit a handful of different local, county and state jurisdictions on everything from VOC air emissions to minimum wage to job training. Sometimes, the Federal government must actually govern -- even though we may not trust it to be too good at it. Comment Author: Ray Damijonaitis (26 Apr 2008) There are two problems with many of the business incentives that are proposed these days. One is the pitting of one government against another in order to attract a business project. When two political entities get into a bidding war, the associated costs to the winner have to be spread out among the non-benefiting taxpayers as well as business that have to compete with the subsidized entity. The second is that governmental entities rarely have the skills to understand whether a project is worthy for support. In Illinois the Governor unilaterally created a fund to support stem cell research. Who at the state level has the expertise to select the right research team to do the work? No one, so the money will be wasted. Business has to stop asking for the public sector to shoulder costs, which should be legitimately borne by private enterprise. This is what has engendered so much public antpathy Comment Response Author: Deborah Kasdan (28 Apr 2008) Ray, further to your point -- tax abatements can ultimately work against business' own interest, as with education. Tax ollars that would go into local schools are withheld, and the business finds it doesn't have the educated workforce it needs. The company may end up encouraging employees to volunteer in the school system but how much better it would be if quality were built in at the begining. 3 Critical areas for Entrepreneurship growth Author: Paul Malherbe (29 Apr 2008) - 057770656900893BELB-7E6CTJ Personal Information: 1: COO: Technical Assistance & Mentorship 2: Business Partners Ltd SA 4: Other 7: Yes Area(s): Government; Businesses Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Building entrepreneurs as part of the future requires three fundamental components - ideas/opportunity; knowledge/skills and funding. The first hereof goes hand in hand with a business enabling environment (BEE). Having the right BEE goes hand in hand with fewer requirements to start a business, lower administrative burden and the like. However, preceding this is to create opportunity. There are a few main drivers of development, that specifically affect entrepreneurship growth - seats of government, seats of learning, nodes of transport, industrial development and a few more. Therefore, with the initiation of any of these, the opportunity should be created for entrepreneurs to become involved in the development of these drivers - not only after they have been developed, but during the start-up of these drivers entrepreneurs should be "legislated" into this phase. Immediately you create a role for the entrepreneur to play. Intertwined with this is the skills transfer that entrepreneurs should be exposed to in order to capitalise on these opportunities. It serves no purpose if you have a new driver of economic growth and you don't give enetrepreneurs the key to access the door that opens these opportunities. This key is the skills and knowledge to successfully get involved in such economic drivers, at their level. This skills transfer can be achieved through small business incubators, training, mentorship and a host of other means - one way can also be to develop entrepreneurs around the core needs of the economic driver. Let's say you have a large industrial development - identify which business services / product offerings can be provided by entrepreneurs / SME's and build an incubation framework around this. Provide them with training, the mentorship, network amongst themselves, capacity development, etc. to grow their businesses in the supply chain of such growth driver. Lastly funding. If the first two components are in place, this will follow suit due to the fact that the business environment is conducive to the entrepreneurs and thereby mitigating the risk of anyone that is interested in providing funding. Benefits: Government and large business should include entrepreneurship development in their macro economic development plans. Businesses, large and small, will yield positive flow to their activities due to increasd exposure to opportunities. Overall impact:: Low: Marginally positive impact across a large cross-section of the nation or have a significant positive impact, but only on a narrowly defined group Timing: More than 18 months Road Blocks: Bureaucracy & admin to start a business. Excluding entrepreneurs in integrated economic growth Responses to '3 Critical areas for Entrepreneurship growth' Comment Author: Lauren Phelps (29 Apr 2008) Paul - taking steps to create or strenghten a Business Enabling Environment sounds critically important for entrepreneurship growth. Also, the drivers that you highlighted, Skills/knowledge, ideas/opportunity, and funding sound on point. Can you identify the specific actions that businesses and/or governments could take to accelerate these drivers and allow entreprenuers to be engaged in their development in a more effective manner? Idea for Fred Bergsten Author: Meridith Singer (28 Apr 2008) - 202334630350195BELB-7E5NXZ Personal Information: East Area(s): Government; Businesses Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Companies are expected to be "good corporate citizens." Do you have some thoughts on what this means for a global company that is essentially a citizen of many countries? What should companies do to earn the trust of customers and governments wherever they do business? Does being a good corporate citizen in another country somehow make a company less of a good corporate citizen in the U.S.? Benefits: Will expand peoples' perceptions about business and their motives; foster cooperation in the community; create a pipeline for future hires Overall impact:: Medium: Significant positive impact, but somewhat more restricted in scope or geography Timing: 6 months to 18 months Road Blocks: Potentially expensive, time consuming to set up, not always easy for SMEs to establish programs for this Responses to 'Idea for Fred Bergsten' Comment Author: C. Fred Bergsten (28 Apr 2008) A company can only be a 'good corporate citizen' by persuasively demonstrating that it is good for each economy in which it operates. Fortunately, the global business model of most GIEs enables them to do so in good conscience and with full credibility. The reason is that the different national components of GIE operations are mutually reenforcing and indeed essential for the success of the overall enterprise. This in term brings positive gains to each country in the production and marketing chain. The best evidence for this outcome lies not in economc studies, though they strong support it, but rather in the revealed preferences of countries around the world. Virtually every country, rich or poor or in between, not only welcomes GIEs but competes actively to attract them. Many of these countries, to be sure, seek to tilt the activities of the firms into their directions but it is apparent that they all believe that they benefit substantially from the presence of the firms and thus court them assiduously. Being a 'good corporate citizen' of another country thus in no way reduces a GIE's benefits to the United States. Indeed, the opposite is more generally the case in light of the positive synnergism between the foreign and domestic activities of most GIEs. This win-win situation in fact explains the remarkable acceptance of GIEs as both outward and inward investors throughout the world. How do we get the American public to think of globalization in a positive light? Author: Meridith Singer (28 Apr 2008) - 44290836957351BELB-7E5MY8 Personal Information: East Area(s): Government; Academia; Businesses; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: In your experience, Fred, what are the most effective ways to relate globalization in a positive way to policymakers who may be of the opposite mindset? While the economic arguments of globalization are compelling, how should the benefits of globalization be sold to policymakers (eg, Members of Congress) who just don't buy it or who think their constituents don't agree? How do you suggest globalization be related to the everyday issues that Americans face, such as their jobs, healthcare and education? Benefits: This could advance policy dialogue toward constructive solutions. Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: More than 18 months Road Blocks: Public opinion Responses to 'How do we get the American public to think of globalization in a positive light?' Comment Author: Tom Kucharvy (28 Apr 2008) Fred, Given that we are now in an election year and a slowdown/recession at the same time, is it realistic to expect politicians (presidential and legislative) to defend free trade? If not, is it even wise to try to expose these issues, or is it better to wait until after the elections, when there may be a somewhat better hope of prompting elected officials to assess the issue in terms of facts, rather than votes? Comment Author: C. Fred Bergsten (28 Apr 2008) It is not difficult to present globalization in a positive way to policy makers though it is much more difficult to do so to the public. The economic arguments for globalization are compelling as I have indicated in previous answers. They must be presented relentlessly but also colorfully, by means of anecdotes as well as macroeconomics. It is also crucial, however, to relate globalization to overall US foreign policy and national security concerns. In fact, Congress has traditionally agreed to trade expansion proposals primarily for these reasons rather than their economic effects. This was certainly the case for NAFTA, where General Colin Powell, then chairman of joint chief of staff testified persuastively that one of his successors might have to station numerous divisoins on the Southern border if NAFTA were defeated. The current proposed FTA with Colombia, which would contribute so much to that country's anti drug and anti terrorist efforts, is the latest case in point. It will still be necessary, however, to relate globalization to the daily concerns of Americans that are cited. Trade policy itself cannot do so, however. The requirement is for broader reforms of US healthcare policy, education policy and job training/education. All these steps will take years if not decades, however, so the only effective response in the meanwhile will be substantial liberalization of trade adjustment assistance and other programs that will directly cushion the adverse impact of trade related dislocation on individual American workers and perhaps firms. Comment Author: David Stirling (29 Apr 2008) Linking these two common ideas together to assist with the analysis https://globalleadership.imaginatik.com/globalidc1.nsf/1fb6d22b60bfe12885256d4e006e956c/1c27ba98cae3a2038525743900505cbf!OpenDocument Idea for Michael Fleming Author: David Stirling (25 Apr 2008) - 779476615548943CORB-7E2DUA Personal Information: East Area(s): Government; Businesses; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Mick - In many ways NAFTA has become shorthand for globalization, and for those who don't understand it, it becomes a whipping post for all that is perceived damaging with respect to free trade agreements like NAFTA, and globalization in general. For those who do understand it, there exists a constant debate around the issue. The facts, benefits from it over the past fifteen years, and what might happen to it after the election. It would be interesting to understand what you are hearing from your constituent members about NAFTA. Is there a balanced argument out there? How do you see it playing into the State and Regional strategies of your members? Will the debate fade after the election? How do you think other trading partners would view the US in any other free trade discussion if we take action to "cancel" or otherwise attempt to re-write NAFTA? Benefits: Better understanding of NAFTA and the facts/statistics about the agreement Understanding how free trade and international trade agreements help US companies and workers Overall impact:: Don't know Timing: Don't know Road Blocks: Public opinion Political agendas Skewed statistics and information Responses to 'Idea for Michael Fleming' Comment Author: Mick Fleming (25 Apr 2008) David, the vast majority of chambers and business advocates understand the benefits of NAFTA and are almost all free traders in a larger sense. Virtually all of the chambers representing large metro regions have been organizing region-specific trade missions and fostering relationships around the world. The problem, of course is that their political influence on trade pacts and open markets is counterbalanced by aggressive lobbying by others in their regions. i.e. organized labor, environmental groups, etc. To your point, few people fighting to re-shape NAFTA bother with the facts about the actual economic impact of the agreement. Policy makers at the state and local level feel the pressure from both sides, but they often join (at least in their public stances) with the anti-trade alliances. Interestingly, state senators, mayors and county leaders usually accompany chambers on the trips they take abroad. Comment Response Author: Steve Stewart (25 Apr 2008) It seems that local chambers around the country could be helpful in spreading the word about the benefits of trade by being more vocal and providing positive examples. Engaging local politicians who are already traveling on trade missions could be a good way to build broader political support for free trade. Comment Response Author: David Stirling (28 Apr 2008) One has to ask however, is there any harm if the same political path is taken along with shortcuts in reasoning, thereby holidng NAFTA responsible for the pain of displaced workers? It could be argued that this offers false hope to citizens who think a U.S. withdrawal from NAFTA would make their lives better, when it could make them worse off. Comment Author: C. Fred Bergsten (28 Apr 2008) NAFTA has indeed become a proxy for globalization, as globalization itself has become a proxy for many of the shortcomings of the US economy: stagnant real incomes for a large proportion of the population, worsening income distribution at least at the top of the wealth pyramid, and job insecurity due to the frequent employment changes that are required in our modern economy. NAFTA presumably fills this role because it was the first major US trade agreement with a low-income country, Mexico, and thus attracted the wrath of organized labor with its fears of job exports. Ross Perot captured the idea most dramatically by referring to the 'great sucking sound' of jobs disappearing to Mexico as US firms invested there under the prospective NAFTA pact. As we look back, NAFTA is far too small to have any discernable impact on the US economy and its employment situation. We turn over about 15 million jobs annually in this country and the outside estimate of job losses due to NAFTA over its first 10 years is around 500,000. In short, NAFTA's job impact in United States is at most a rounding error. Neverthless, NAFTA is a good example of how anecdotes trump aggregate data. Graphic examples of plant movement from Ohio to Mexico diguise the fact that many more plants move from Ohio to other states through the normal process of technological change and other dynamic forces affecting the American economy. No one can oppose computerization and other technology factors, however, while it is easy to attack the 'foreigners' and thus globalization despite the fact that technology and globalization are inextricably linked and that the games of the former are enormously enhanced by the exitence of the latter. The NAFTA debate is likely to continue, however, because of the proxy nature for broader concerns. The two Democratic candidates have of course responded to these pressures by plegding to seek renegotiation of NAFTA and to then withdraw from the agreement, which is legal upon 6-month notice, if they failed to win improvements in its labor standards. In truth, there are good reasons to negotiate NAFTA to expand its coverage of energy, border security and broader environmental issues such as global warming. Any new administration will hopefully adopt such a positive agenda, that might will appeal to candidates of Mexico as well as carrying out their political commitment from the campaign. Ideas for better communicating the benefits of global engagagement to average citizens -- what messages are effective? Author: Linda Evans (24 Apr 2008) - 562829022659648BELB-7E24Z7 Personal Information: East Area(s): Government; NGOs; Academia; Businesses; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Against the backdrop of current world economic malaise, escalating costs of fuel and housing and basic foodstuffs, many citizens all over the world may react negatively to notions of "global integration": and globally-integrated companies, etc etc. In the US, the 2008 election campaign has featured candidates exploiting the sense of unease . Simple words such as "trade" have become lightning rods for a sense of imbalance. Rising income inequality in the US and elswhere as well as perceptions and the reality of lack of government solutions adds to the problem. We need to reframe the debate and work collaboratively with government, private sector, NGOs ,academia tand thoughtleaders from various areas to defuse the negative views and perceptions . It could be as simple as saying international engagement versus "global" -- globalization seems to conjure fear of being consumed/overtaken... perceptions and optics matter. Benefits: Defuse the animosity towards firms or persons who operate on an international basis Outline benefits from international engagement to the local economy -- point out linkage between global strength and local growth opportunities Reduce "xenophobia" that may characterize reaction of some people to global engagement Overall impact:: Don't know Timing: More than 18 months Road Blocks: Entrenched vnegative iews from reaction to WTO-globalization meetings Lack of trust and confidence in institutions and government Experience with "offshored" or "outsourced" job either personal or someone known Job loss or house foreclosure that breeds distrust of large companies, financial institutions and government Responses to 'Ideas for better communicating the benefits of global engagagement to average citizens -- what messages are effective?' Reverse the "brain drain"...virtually Author: Tim Docking (24 Apr 2008) - 528831921873808CORB-7DZPX7 Personal Information: East Area(s): Government; NGOs; Academia; Businesses; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Be they pilots, taxi drivers or doctors, expatriates in the US and around the world usually fit into three categories: they intend to return home; they'd like to return home but for various reasons can't; or they have no plans to return. What these folks all have in common though is the desire to contribute to the development of their countries. How, through the use of technology, can we facilitate the virtual return of talented expatriates - e.g. the Maryland house painting/Honduran pilot, the DC taxi driving/Ethiopian lawyer, the Verizon technician/Cameroonian doctor (to mention a few of those I've recently met) - to enhance the process of globalization? Benefits: As the most heterogeneous country on earth the US occupies a unique social space in the globalizing world. All sectors of our economy should leverage the cultural richness in the US in pursuit of smart globalization/the win-win/enlightened self-interest, whatever you want to call it... Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: Don't know Road Blocks: I can think of several issues that could undermine "virtual repatriation", including technical and political factors. However, I'd like to hear what others have to say. Responses to 'Reverse the "brain drain"...virtually' Comment Author: Linda Evans (25 Apr 2008) I think this is a good idea -- we already have 'internet cafes' around the globe for more casual websurfing and emailing. Why not leverage such an approach to create cross-border collaboration between citizens and their governments and other institutions. The individuals may be based on one country but provide virtual assistance to their home countries in such a manner. IT and communications companies could team up to provide technology for these centers and governments can help provide financing through grants or tax incentives. Question for Fred: threats to operating globally Author: louis lazarus (28 Apr 2008) - 05316243228809CORB-7E5QQK Personal Information: 4: Other 5: No 6: Other Area(s): Businesses Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: What do you see as the greatest threats to a company's ability to operate using global business models with the freedom to locate operations internationally and draw on resources from around the world? Benefits: this is a question for Fred Bergsten Overall impact:: Don't know Timing: Don't know Road Blocks: unknown Responses to 'Question for Fred: threats to operating globally' Comment Author: C. Fred Bergsten (28 Apr 2008) There is a large group of questions that relate to the ability of globally integrated enterprises to continue operating effectively around the world. I will answer five or six of those questions separately but note at the outset that they relate to a common theme and I hope that each of the question-ers will consider my answers together. On this particular question, the greatest threat to a company's ability to continue using global business models is government policy in both home and host countries that might block their doing so. The criticism of GIEs throughout the world is ample testimony to this risk. It is therefore urgent for GIEs to understand and respond effectively to these policy thrusts if they are to continue operating as at present. Unfortunately, I believe that the most significant of these threats now come from United States. Our current political campagins, but even more so recent actions by the Congress, are stark reminders of anti-globalization sentiment in the United States and thus (at least potential) hostility toward GIEs. All of us who support and believe in a globally integrated economy must redouble our efforts to respond to the criticisms, some of which are legitimate but most of which are spurious, if we are to carry the bay. Subsidize or Enable? Author: James A Lewis (29 Apr 2008) - 518486305027848BELB-7E6MPJ Personal Information: 1: Director and Senior Fellow, Technology and Public Policy Program 2: Center for Strategic and International Studies 4: East 5: Yes 6: Monica C Debban/Washington/IBM 7: Yes Area(s): Government; Businesses; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: to help us think about policies that innovation, we can divide them into two sets: those that subsidize innovation (or something we think is related to it), and those that enable innovation, by lowering transactions costs for innovators and entrepreneurs. Another way to say this would be to use Paul Malherbe's Business Enabling Environment (BEE). New subsidies are hard to justify. Earmarking and inefficient implementation have damaged the case for subsidies. The critical test for these is to ask whether the private sector would pay for the activity if the government did not. Basic research is the best example of an activity that would not flourish without government funds. Another test is to ask if no one paid for an activity, would we miss it (such as the new tax break for thoroughbred horse farms Congress has thoughtfully provided). Ned MuCulloch's idea for making it easier to open a new business is a good example of an enabling action, and one that would actually benefit entrepreneurship in the US. Coming up with a list of impediments to entrepreneurship and how difficult it would be to remove them would be a useful exercise (and could be based in part on the material on this site). Policies that expand competition and increase openness also seem to accelerate innovation. We can demonstrate the countries that are oepn to global trade and that enourage competitiveness have higher GDPs. Beyond deregulation, actions that reduce the cost of acquiring information could also help. The central issue is the role of government. Should it be like China or the European Union and play a more directive role, coming up with strategies, plans and money? Or should it create the conditions for innovation and leave direction and plans up to individuals and markets? Benefits: Divides promtion of entrepreneurship and innovation into two broad categoires. Asks what the role of government n should be Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: Less than 6 months Road Blocks: The strange attraction of industrial policy and the general desire never to pass up an entitlement. Responses to 'Subsidize or Enable?' Comment Author: Rob Atkinson (29 Apr 2008) Jim, I dont believe that the central issue is 'Should it be like China or the European Union and play a more directive role, coming up with strategies, plans and money? Or should it create the conditions for innovation and leave direction and plans up to individuals and markets?' This to me is a false choice that doesn't reflect what's going on either in the marketplace or government. I think we would find wide agreement on some things government shouldn't do (for example, provide subsidies to farmers to grow more crops). But saying that government shouldnt do this is a lot different than saying that government shouldn't support industry-led, university research partnerships. I would not call this a subsidy. A subsidy is giving someone something for nothing. An investment or incentive is providing something so that someone will do something different and in the national interest. The research is pretty clear on this point: because of significant spillovers, the 'market' will under-invest in this kind of 'strategic' research. So I think we need to have a more nuanced and sophisticated discussion of what the right national innovation policy is that drills down a level and really looks at each proposed activity on its merits. Question for Rob -- Research Topics Author: Steve Stewart (29 Apr 2008) - 122133211261158BELB-7E6MHM Personal Information: 4: East 5: No 6: Other Area(s): Government; Academia; Businesses Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Rob, you have cited some interesting reports in your earlier posts. What do you think are the most important topics for additional research regarding innovation and entrepreneurship? Other than collaborative innovation, which you already mentioned, what other topics is your Information Technology and Innovation Foundation working on? What is some good research on these topics going on at other institutions? Benefits: Greater innovation and job creation Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: More than 18 months Road Blocks: Funding Coming up with the right topics for research Responses to 'Question for Rob -- Research Topics' Comment Author: Rob Atkinson (29 Apr 2008) Steve, there are certainly scholars working on some of these questions, publishing in Journals like 'Research Policy' and 'Technological Forecasting and Social Change.' In addition, there is an entire network of scholars working with the Sloan Foundation around their Industries Studies program that focuses on innovation. But one challenge is to not only link this work to policy, but to also get more of it focused on questions and issues that policy makers are struggling with. For example, one question that is increasingly critical, but at least to my knowledge, not much work has been done on it, is what is the spatial linkage today between innovation and production. One critique that is voiced by some who question the useful of innovation policies is along the lines of 'well R&D is fine, but companies will just commercialize it off shore and create the jobs there.' I don't think this is as stark as some of the critics do, but it would be nice to have real data and research here. And another part of the challenge is to get good research results in front of policy makers. For example, ITIF recently reviewed a large amount of scholarly literature from around the world on the effectiveness of R&D tax incentives, and found that the literature was pretty uniformly favorable toward them. Yet many policy makers still see them as handouts to companies who would do R&D anyway. Finally, we need better metrics of innovation. As you know IBM CEO Sam Palmisano, participated on a Department of Commerce Commission on Innovation Metrics. But unfortunately I don't believe that the Commission's recommendations were fully funded, even though they were modest in budget impact. Other nations/regions, especially Europe, invest more in innovation metrics. For example, they measure how many new products firms develop a year. If we are to not only better understand the role of innovation in the economy but also craft the right policies (and avoid the wrong ones), better information is a key. The federal government stepped up the plate after WWII to create the best economic statistical system on the planet. Today we are risk of falling behind other nations in our measurement system, but also falling behind in our understanding of the 21st century global innovation economy. A major shift in ATTITUDE towards the cost of doing business Author: Tom Agoston (24 Apr 2008) - 79288929579614BELB-7DZP77 Personal Information: Self Registration Area(s): Government; Academia; Businesses; Individuals; Other Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Many jurisdictions do not seem to be business-friendly. It seems quite politically popular to bash business (greedy oil companies, heartless pharma, dishonest Wall Street, etc.), with the mass media piling on as well painting all businesses with the same brush. Academe also seems suspicious of business. All stakeholders must realize that it will take a major change in ATTITUDE and COSTS to encourage and support business, which is required to compete successfully. There are plenty of checks in the check and balance -- what's needed is more balance. The cost of labor seems to price out many businesses, but salaries are not the problem. The combined effects of: taxes (payroll, social security, medicare, unemployment, sales, etc.), regulatory compliance (environmental, labor, safety, financial, etc.), litigation risk (defensive practices, defending class actions, nuisance lawsuits...) insurance (health care, liability...) and other operational costs (e.g. decaying public infrastructure) produce an environment where the costs of doing business severely hamper our ability to compete globally. Benefits: More jobs, better economic growth, innovation, better allocation of resources (away from lawyers and bureaucrats). Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: 6 months to 18 months Road Blocks: Ignorance about the realities of business on the part of many stakeholders. Short-term perspective on the part of many businesses. Lawyers and politicians would hate it, because it would deprive them of a prime source of income (extortion) Responses to 'A major shift in ATTITUDE towards the cost of doing business' Comment Author: Steve Stewart (24 Apr 2008) This is a good partial list of cost challenges faced by businesses today. Health care is often cited as one of the biggest cost challenges, and the auto industry certainly points to this, along with legacy pension costs, as two major handicaps in compeition with foreign auto makers. As an IT company, IBM is trying to be part of the solution to the health care challenge through the innovative application of IT to reduce costs and medial errors. IBM has worked with other IT companies on this issue through the Technology CEO Council. See the group's report, 'A Healthy System,' to learn more. Available at: http://www.techceocouncil.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=242&Itemid=160 Comment Author: Mick Fleming (25 Apr 2008) The populist sentiment and swing to the left in American politics over the last four years does not bode well for creating more pro-employer, business- friendly environments. Labor unions, especially public-sector unions, are spending tens of millions in the current election cycle -- and not just on presidential candidates. Throw in the dollars flowing from the environmental lobby and it's hard to imagine ANY legislature in the country leaning toward the needs of business after November. I'll say it again -- 'Everybody loves employment, it's employers they can't stand.' Comment Response Author: Steve Stewart (25 Apr 2008) Mick, thank you very much for being our featured guest today. You covered a lot of ground and gave us all a lot to think about. Reduce the number of procedures, days, and cost for opening a new business Author: Ned McCulloch (23 Apr 2008) - 677393759060044BELB-7DYMY5 Personal Information: East Area(s): Government; NGOs; Academia; Businesses Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Opening a new business requires that the person with the idea work through government bureaucracy in addition to the business challenges. Complying with government regulations can involve multiple processes, variable delays, and significant fees. In the worst case, entrepreneurs go underground and become part of the informal economy. In the best case, the government achieves its missions without creating a significant obstacle to business startups. To create an attractive business environment, states and regions should: 1) Create metrics and benchmark themselves related to the procedures, days, and cost for opening a new busines 2) Identify the various missions and needs that are driving the procedures, days, and cost. 3) Develop and implement strategies for minimizing the procedures, days, and cost while achieving their missions. Benefits: Government achieves goals while not impeding business growth. Business reduces regulatory obstacles. NGOs and Academia develop and validate metrics. Overall impact:: Timing: 6 months to 18 months Road Blocks: Current participants may support barriers to entry. Resistance to process transformation is common place in governments and societies. Attachment(s): https://globalleadership.imaginatik.com/globalidc1.nsf/0/0FACD5E04D3F544485257434005D78A5/$FILE/DoingBusiness2007_Overview.pdf Responses to 'Reduce the number of procedures, days, and cost for opening a new business' Comment Author: Ron Tunning (24 Apr 2008) A significant bureaucratic barrier arises from a lack of clarity and consistency in governmental policies. For example, zoning regulations meant to constrain development, ostensibly to preserve existing property values, often conflict with economic development aims and policies. This is especially prevalent in larger cities where competing regulatory agencies are focused on protecting their specific interests and turf. There is a real benefit to be achieved by streamlining the bureaucracy, eliminating multiple layers and crafting a clear agenda that supports and authenticates governmental and/or political objectives. Comment Author: Mick Fleming (24 Apr 2008) Paul Tsongas once noted: 'Everyone loves employment; it's employers they can't stand.' The obstacles you describe are just a few of the barriers to entry and continued business operation. Sometime scan the sign-in log in the lobby of a small business. You'll see the names of building inspectors, health inspectors, elevator inspectors, labor department investigators, auditors, etc. etc. Small employers trying to bring on employeees realize these kinds burdens begin the day they start. In terms of competitiveness, however, the bureaucratic hurdles in the US are actually NOT more cumbersome than those in other countries. In Italy and other European countries, licenses and permits are extortionary. In China and India, the regulatory authorities are both big and harsh. We COULD have a real competitive advantage if we could make our systems truly painless and nurturing for current and would- be business owners. Comment Author: Susan C Tuttle (24 Apr 2008) Ned, a similar issue about reducing bureaurocracy was raised in the enterpreneurship section - as an impediment to establishing a business. Would it make sense to designate a lead agency and an interagency council (minus the bureaurocracy, of course) that would focus on coordinating the economic and business development programs in the state/local government to focus on removing these impediments? Comment Response Author: Mick Fleming (25 Apr 2008) Unfortunately, every new agency established at the state level to reduce bureaucratic friction and 'cut through the red tape' has led to yet another level of approval processes ('Has the Director of Administrative Responsibility signed off on this new regulation?'). Likewise, red-tape watchdogs within specific agencies become pariahs whom noone will deal with if they can help it. The muscle to bust bureaucratic barriers and grease wheels for entrepreneurial activity must be flexed at the individual commissioner/secretary level. Instead of seeking a legacy for their term built on new regulations and new kinds of enforcement, they must focus on efficiency, customer service and outcome-based compliance. Comment Response Author: Ned McCulloch (25 Apr 2008) Yes, it is important for governments to develop metrics, benchmark themselves, and then attack their weak areas. In the case of the federal government, these activities can start at OMB and then cascade outward. Grass roots effort- Northwestern Ohio Author: Marc Lautenbach (24 Apr 2008) - 253376058594644CORB-7DZLUE Personal Information: Other Area(s): NGOs Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: I recently attended a meeting in Toledo sponsored by the Northwestern Ohio Regional Growth Partnership (RGP). RGP is working with local businesses, local government leaders, and local universities (University of Toledo and Medical College of Ohio) to build programs that drive new jobs to Northwestern Ohio. RGP has done an excellent job of inventorying Northwestern Ohio's key assets and then translating those assets into potential economic opportunities. In the case of Northwestern Ohio, the communities assets include strong technology skills in glass manufacturing, strong engineering skills, and two fine universities in the University of Toledo and the Medical College. The net result is that Northwestern Ohio is beginning to build businesses around solar technology and biotech. It is still early, but I think this is a very interesting model. Northwestern Ohio at one point was considered the "old economy", but is doing some great work reinventing itself in a twenty first century context. Benefits: New jobs in areas of high demand. Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: 6 months to 18 months Road Blocks: It takes local effort to organize. Responses to 'Grass roots effort- Northwestern Ohio' Comment Author: Ari Reubin (24 Apr 2008) Hello Mark, Have you or your staff explored the: 1) The 'Edison Technology Centers' (refer to http://www.odod.state.oh.us/tech/edison/tiedc.htm), or the 2) The 'North Texas Regional Center for Innovation and Commercialization' (refer to http://www.ntxrcic.org/)? These and other such models may be accelerate the development and launch of your grass roots effort in Northwestern Ohio. Best regards, Ari Reubin CBRE Comment Response Author: Marc Lautenbach (24 Apr 2008) I am familiar with the North Texas Regional Center, but not the Edison Center. We should think about how we as a group could add energy to these types of efforts. Some of the people, institutions and networks represented in this forum could develop a playbook for regional chambers of commerce. The chambers could then form similar partnerships to assess and pursue regional growth opportunities based on locally available skills and emerging industries. Comment Author: Bill Marcussen (25 Apr 2008) This kind of collaborative effort is a great step toward building on the potential strengths of an area to attract / create development. However, as a manufacturer who recently left Ohio, I can attest that Ohio's greatest obstacle to competitiveness is the oppressive tax structure and unfriendly business climate. Comment Response Author: Steve Stewart (25 Apr 2008) Bill, was the tax structure your biggest reason for leaving Ohio? Can you list the other factors that create an unfriendly business environment in that state? What would it have taken for you to stay there? Where did you move and what makes that a better location? Capturing your real-world experience and recommendations is exactly what we hope to do in this forum. Comment Author: Linda Evans (25 Apr 2008) I am also interested in your comment on the tax structure -- as states come under more pressure to pay their own costs for aging citizens, there will be even greater pressure to look for 'other revenue' sources -- unfortunately some states look at IT and IT services - the very sector that has been providing growth and prosperity. In our experience, states that have enacted sales or other excise taxes on IT, have either rolled them back or not gone forward when they recognize the negative multiplier effects on their future growth and job creation. Neighboring states are only too eager to pirate IT companies that face increased costs. See what recently happened in MD -- the so-called tech tax, a bad last minute desperate idea, was defeated soundly not after neighboring VA and PA had publicly tried to lure disaffected tech companies from MD. Comment Response Author: Mick Fleming (25 Apr 2008) Attempting to change the state corporate tax code to be more reflective of the contemporary economy has caused angst and splits among business lobbyists in states like Michigan. Any steps to make the code more fair will produce winners and losers. The argument that the tech companies and business service firms deserve some special tax treatment because they're growing and successful doesn't ring too true for manufacturers, insurers, transportation companies and retailers who are currentlyy paying too much of the freight and are hindered in their own desire to grow by tougher tax burdens. The best source anywhere for information about how tax systems and rates are being handled -- and their impact on business -- is the Council of State Taxation. Check 'em out at: www.statetax.org Leveraging CBRE "ideaLOG" Author: Ari Reubin (24 Apr 2008) - 727504386968795BELB-7DZLWP Personal Information: 2: CB Richard Ellis 4: Central 7: Yes Area(s): Government; Businesses Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: TO: Marc B. Lautenbach; General Manager, Americas, IBM Corporation FR: Ari Reubin; VP, Quality & Innovation Assurance, CB Richard Ellis CBRE "ideaLOG" was launched at CBRE via a pilot to a ~5000 employee segment in Jan 2008. It is an online environment to filter and accelerate commercialization of ideas each month; only ideas that can create tangible Client value accepted. A cross-functional team reviews and scores each new idea once per month. Submissions are rewarded with cash if they pass the filters, and also rewarded with people and other resources to mature the idea to the point of go/no-go. If it is a "go" and if a new revenue stream develops, then the person/people making the submission at some point may share a percentage of step-wise revenue. This is real; employees seem to love it is beyond a PowerPoint doc. It is run by people who have launched companies, managed a growing P&L, worked with funding sources, ... . It seems to great for the culture at CBRE. Can this be extended to other companies in the US in partnership with the US Dept of Commerce to promote macro and/or micro regional and/or some vertical econometric development ? If so, CBRE would love to work with IBM and other interested companies (that do not compete directly with CBRE, of course) on this along with DoC. Benefits: 1) Online environment to filter and accelerate commercialization of ideas each month; only ideas that can create tangible Client value accepted. 2) Submissions are rewarded with cash if they pass the filters, and 3) Also rewarded with people and other resources to mature the idea to the point of go/no-go. 4) If it is a "go" and if a new revenue stream develops, then the person/people making the submission at some point may share a percentage of step-wise revenue. 5) It seems to great for the employee culture ( employees seem to love it is beyond a PowerPoint doc) Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: Less than 6 months Road Blocks: There has been none experienced at CBRE; do not know if any will exist with other entities. Responses to 'Leveraging CBRE "ideaLOG"' Improving Public-Private Partnerships on Training Author: Linda Menghetti (23 Apr 2008) - 128480964370184BELB-7DYLLA Personal Information: 1: Vice President 2: Emergency Committee for American Trade 4: East 7: Yes Area(s): Government; Businesses; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: A lot of focus in Washington, DC, now is on the renewal and extension of a relatively narrow public program funded by the Federal Government -- Trade Adjustment Assistance -- that provides extended income support and retraining opportunities for workers who have lost their job for certain trade-related reasons. There are efforts to revamp the program, with an emphasis on including more workers (services workers, entire industries that are impacted), and more funding for training. What seems to be missing from this debate is the focus that Louis Lazarus has suggested to ensure lifelong learning and fostering public-private partnerships to better focus training efforts. There is also some great work at universities on preparing students for actual problem-solving situations in work environments that would be extremely useful to make available to working adults who are not in that type of envrionments. It seems to me there should be much deeper discussions between government and the private sector on training approaches more broadly. Discussion and movement on developing a collaborative model in the context of TAA reform might be valuable as something of a pilot. To have any major impact, however, it is something that would need to be considered on a much broader basis. Benefits: Promote more effectively useful training in the limited area of trade adjustment assistance, but may also extend to other areas more broadly with the ultimate benefit of a more competitive workforce. Overall impact:: Don't know Timing: 6 months to 18 months Road Blocks: cost, other more narrow priorities Responses to 'Improving Public-Private Partnerships on Training' Comment Author: louis lazarus (23 Apr 2008) Picking up on Linda's point about universities preparing students for actual problem-solving situations… Most of our universities are still very much ivory-tower, theoretical. Perhaps we need to do more to move them from the theoretical to the practical. For example, 2-year community colleges do this quite well. Once universities are more focused on actual problem-solving situations in work environments, then access to those studies should expanded to include working adults and others who are not typical students. Perhaps this could happen by offering these courses as part of an expanded federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program. See this article for an example of business working with academia to create more practical courses: Collaborative Courses at UCLA and NC State Tap Into Web 2.0 and Open Standards Trends http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/23516.wss Comment Author: Steve Stewart (23 Apr 2008) Linda, I like your proposal of a pilot of a more collaborative-style training program. You are right to focus on life-long learning and the need for problem- solving skills. You mentioned university research in this area. Can you provide any links? Comment Author: Catherine Swift (24 Apr 2008) In referemce to higher educational institutions and '... universities preparing students for actual problem-solving situations… Most of our universities are still very much ivory-tower, theoretical. Perhaps we need to do more to move them from the theoretical to the practical. For example, 2-year community colleges do this quite well. Once universities are more focused on actual problem-solving situations in work environments, then access to those studies should expanded to include working adults and others who are not typical students. ' Most Community colleges have a charter to work at the community level with those who are directly impacted by a changing economy. Most universities (ivory-tower, theoretical) are the research-based institutions that look indepth at what works and what doesn't work, and prepare programs that educate the educators in best practices (those who can directly impact the economy). If conducted properly, this balance tends to produce the desired results (see my comment on 'TIES to Mexico' on another thread). Providing Global Education at an Early Age Author: Lauren Phelps (25 Apr 2008) - 605065995269703BELB-7E2PSK Personal Information: East Area(s): Government; Academia; Businesses; Individuals; Other Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: It is arguable that in order to excel in any environment, one needs to have knowledge, differentiating skills, and confidence. With this in mind, how can we best prepare our youth to succeed in a globally integrated economy, while simultaneously accelerating US competitiveness? I would argue that it comes back to the fundamental attributes of providing them with knowledge of a global environment, skills to provide individual value, and confidence to utilize both in a proactive manner. While a globally integrated economy is a reality, our educational systems are lagging behind. Schools starting with elementary schools, need to partner with business and government to promote global education. This would provide the next working generations with the confidence and understanding of a globally integrated economy that is needed to excel. Schools are still functioning in a multinational fashion. Besides opportunities to study abroad, there is little opportunity for global communication between schools and students. Dedicating time and resources to extending our curriculum beyond the classroom walls and across the globe would provide students with an invaluable understanding of other cultures, that would enable an understanding of how to best collaborate internationally. From the beginning, there should be opportunities for interactive and real-time discussions between classrooms in different countries. Enabling online classes with video interaction, internet discussions, and online forums such this one, would provide students with the opportunity to experience another culture and country without actually having to travel there. Of course this would not be an easy task, as language barriers could be an issue, and international collaboration would be imperative from the start. After studying abroad, I developed a better understanding of the world, in addition to true excitement by it. Students should not have to wait until there is an opportunity to study abroad to be able to experience another culture. In addition, it is unfortunate that studying abroad is most likely an opportunity only available for those students that have the means to take advantage of it. This should not be the case. While educating our youth about different cultures and simultaneously providing them with the skills to become innovators and entrepreneurs from the beginning, we will provide the confidence and skills needed to succeed in a globally integrated economy in a very proactive way. Benefits: Global education and collaboration at a very early age would provide a better understanding of how to best succeed in a globally integrated economy Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: More than 18 months Road Blocks: Language barriers, international collaboration, logistics Responses to 'Providing Global Education at an Early Age' Comment Author: David Stirling (29 Apr 2008) Just linking two good -and similar ideas! https://globalleadership.imaginatik.com/globalidc1.nsf/1fb6d22b60bfe12885256d4e006e956c/49597188bd85aa20852574340063e824!OpenDocument The Role of the Globally Integrated Enterprise Author: C. Fred Bergsten (28 Apr 2008) - 377401388570993CORB-7E5KK7 Personal Information: 1: Director 2: Peterson Institute for International Economics 4: East 7: Yes Area(s): Government; NGOs; Academia; Businesses; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: The globally integrated enterprise plays an increasingly central role in the world economy. It accounts for a major share of both international trade and international investment. It brings important benefits to both home and host countries. It is a key driver of global growth and the globalization process more broadly. The globally integrated enterprise is not without controversy, however. It is sometimes accused of hurting, rather than helping, the economies in which it operates. Yet study after study demonstrates the win-win impact of virtually all activities of the firms. The preferences of both host and home countries, as revealed through their policies, is to support and indeed encourage these enterprises. The issue, as with all aspects of globalization, is to ensure both a policy environment and firm behavior that bring clear benefits to all participants and stakeholders in the process. Benefits: Better world economy Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: More than 18 months Road Blocks: Anti-globalization misunderstandings and populist politics in numerous countries. Responses to 'The Role of the Globally Integrated Enterprise' Growth in Technical Workforce Bridging to Executive Leadership Author: Lou Guadagno (24 Apr 2008) - 147234302281224CORB-7DZJW2 Personal Information: 4: East 5: Yes 6: Kevin Clark/Raleigh/IBM 7: Yes Area(s): Government; Academia; Businesses; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Without a doubt, one of the principle impediments to the advancement of this complex technology oriented world is the influx of new talent than can actively address the solutions to complex problems evolving into products that have significant impacts to our way of life. From that, the ability to develop new leaders gets compounded even further. I am very worried that without some major change in the efforts on the part of the both Government and the Business world, that the rate of technical advancement will slow to the point of concern for the evolution of our way of life. The question is how we get the desire on the part of the young people throughout the world more interested in technical careers that eventually lead to either renowned distinguished engineers/programmers/scientist or executive leaders who will be true leaders who motivate people to take it – as my pilot friends say – “to the edge of the envelope”. Some how I feel like this will take a huge effort that will start with changing the fundamental interest of young folks from the products that they enjoy to the asking the questions of what, how, and why does the product do what it does. How would we go about this? I would suggest this in three steps. • For the very young, a need to develop advertisements, “marketing messages”, and some underlying motivational messages to the “how/why/what” of the products that excite them. This kind of message would line up with TV programs that they watch, web sites they go to, etc. • For the older children, say teenagers in High School that some resources from the business communities actually work with local school officials to develop a form of extra curriculum that will foster the interest of students to desire a career in the technical world. For some of the older students, say juniors and seniors in High School, maybe some actual summer work assignments at local businesses. • For the college level, the level of involvement on the part of the business becomes more extensive in terms of business leaders teaching a course, having technical forums, contracting the college to help work on technical issues for a product under development, co-op programs, etc, Now I am sure, many businesses do some form of items 2 & 3, but do they really?? It seems to me that this must be a more serious corporate level recognition and commitment to implement it as a strategic objective of the company. In addition to this, I would suggest that the Government motivate this effort on the part of businesses via tax incentives or the like. In other words we need to treat this effort as a crisis of our civilization that needs the attention of the highest leaders in this world. Benefits: Allowing the technical advancements that we have enjoyed for the past 30 or so years to contiue at the same or even better rate and pace Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: More than 18 months Road Blocks: True recognition by the today's leadership of the importance of this issue and providing the funding to execute Responses to 'Growth in Technical Workforce Bridging to Executive Leadership' Comment Author: Julia Cheng (24 Apr 2008) Lou, this is very exciting, and appreciate the creative thinking here. In particular, the dynamic collaboration amongst different audiences is very key and working together is a great starting point amongst businesses, government, non-profits within the community and society. You address a key point about providing a more structured framework, programs and tools to help drive this behavior to provide new skill sets. Comment Author: Marc Lautenbach (24 Apr 2008) I think this is a very interesting idea. I recently attended a meeting in Chicago that included representatives from some prominent universtities (notre dame, northwestern, etc), leaders from the city of chicago, and business leaders. It would be interesting to see if we could potentially develop some kind of pilot in Chicago, or any other interested community, on how it is we build a cirriculum and then a campaign to drive students of all ages to build those skills. I would also think that we might open it up so that people of ages could participate. Comment Author: Jeff Peterson (24 Apr 2008) I think you're right on, Lou. In fact, we're actually doing this in West Michigan where I live. A group of CIOs of area companies spent some time working thru what we could do to enhance the capabilities of the entry-level hires we were seeing. We then developed some conceptual proposals, and sat down with the leadership from a university (Grand Valley State University) from which we were all making some entry level hires. We met with the Provost, Dean of the Bus. School, and all the department heads. Focus was on seamlessly integrating technology into the business school curriculum across all functional courses/areas (i.e. accounting/finance, marketing, sales, operations, etc) as well as integrating outside experience for both students & faculty into our businesses -- including international assignments where possible. Also includes involvement from our execs in terms of lecturing, case sutdies, projects, and so forth. the same group of CIOs was already meeting with the Dean and department heads of the University's School of Eng and Comp Sci on the same topics. The good news is that the conceptual proposal we made were all very well received by the university and we've now formed three specific task forces to develop actionable plans for specific dimensions of the concept. By the way, the HR VPs from our same companies were also meeting on related topics and we're all now working together with local economic development agencies and Chambers of Commerce around trhe topics of talent recruitment to West Michigan. Comment Response Author: Steve Stewart (24 Apr 2008) Jeff, this is a great example of a partnership between business and local educational institutions. This is a good model for other regions. Choose a Partner Country/Region And Focus Author: Marc Williams (25 Apr 2008) - 320668345159075BELB-7E2RW2 Personal Information: East Area(s): Government; Businesses; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: I heard a radio story about how business leaders in Greenville-Spartanburg, SC, anticipating the drop in the textile/apparel economy, decided to go to Germany 20 years ago and begin courting businesses to invest in their region. It paid off with investments by BMW and other German companies, creating many jobs and bringing new innovations to the US. This strategy sounds like a smart one -- to focus on a country or region, build cultural and business ties and reap the rewards of investment and the trade generated. Benefits: Increased jobs Bringing nonUS innovation to the US Build tax base Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: More than 18 months Road Blocks: Tax structure Lack of incentives Unskilled workforce Lack of Comparable Benefits like universal health care Responses to 'Choose a Partner Country/Region And Focus' Comment Author: Marc Lautenbach (28 Apr 2008) I think this is an excellent idea. It requires that communities have some insight into where industries might evolve to and have a level of awareness about core capabilities. I have spent some time in Toledo, Ohio where local community leaders have pulled together around bio tech and solar energy has future sources of economic development. There is similar work going on in other parts of the country, eg. Texas, North Carolina, Alabama, etc. The common theme in all of these efforts is a group of like minded community and business leaders pulling together. Sometimes this is through groups like the Chambers of Commerce, sometimes it is through economic development councils, but it does take a level of leadership on the ground in the communities. Comment Author: Kristopher Lichter (28 Apr 2008) Perhaps one idea to build on this thought is to make more meaningful the sister city programs that exist. These programs are typically based on cultural exchange, which is, in itself, valuable. But if two cities or regions could in fact pull their stakeholders together and collaborate on economic competitiveness and development based on their respective core competencies, then both ships might substantially rise with the tide (so to speak). For example, a city that holds a competitive edge in cotton and wool could partner with a city that is strong in textiles. Even two 'competitive' cities in a field (Cambridge, UK and San Diego around biotech, for example) might find substantial growth opportunities by cooperating on large-scale projects where one city's capabilities simply aren't sufficient to address the commercial, academic or even philanthropic need. Comment Author: Catherine Morris (29 Apr 2008) Good idea. Best practices exist. Next steps? Any recommendations on what government, business and/or NGO should do first? Any low hanging fruit? Roadblocks to avoid? Don't make it so difficult... Author: Claudia Sheridan (24 Apr 2008) - 60337224383917BELB-7DZMMJ Personal Information: 4: West 7: No Area(s): Government; Businesses Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: One of the obstacles I encountered when I started my own business with the various levels of bureaucracy. With the costs of doing business in California, I can't even fathom the costs of global business. First there is the initial filing fees, the business licenses, the corporation fees, inspection fees (which we had), insurance premiums, rising costs of raw materials, rising transportation costs, workman comp claims, renewal fees, audits, audit fees, etc. Then there's always talk providing mandatory health care to your employees. You paying all of this, and there could possibly still be no tangible product. At what point in time does the average American trying to live the dream actually able to "live" the dream? I know countless entrepreneurs with wonderful products and services to offer, but don't because of the increased costs of doing business --- before you are even in business. Additionally I know a lot of entrepreneurs who have been in business for years and they are laden with new regulations that must be followed because some inspector/auditor is in need of keeping their own jobs. This is the land where dreams come true right? Then we need to stop squashing them. We need to work with our entrepreneurs instead of fighting them every step of the way. We need to encourage people to pursue their dreams and the flexibility to actually succeed. Benefits: The idea renews the hope of aspiring entrepreneurs. It gives them the ability to actually provide those innovative products and services their communities. Overall impact:: Medium: Significant positive impact, but somewhat more restricted in scope or geography Timing: Don't know Road Blocks: - Bureaucracy Responses to 'Don't make it so difficult...' Comment Author: Susan C Tuttle (24 Apr 2008) Claudia, I have heard many concerns about the number of bureaurocratic entrepreneurs face. You mentioned a number of these impediments, which would be handled by various individual government agencies or departments. Do you have ideas about how to best approach this? What about designating a lead agency within the government and interagency council to coordinate programs - with the mission to foster innovation and entrepreneurship by removing the impediments you outlined. Comment Response Author: Claudia Sheridan (25 Apr 2008) Hi Susan, Whereas that is a wonderful idea, I believe that these types of agencies already exist to an extent. There are agencies like SCORE and Small Business Development Centers that attempt to provide the guidance necessary to 'start' a business. What they do is provide you with the steps, what they don't do is attempt to negotiate reduced costs to enable entrepreneurs to actually follow-through with those steps. Sure, you can get a small business loan, but with the increased risks (ie, due to the economy and rising costs), entrepreneurs are weary of incurring additional debt at the risk of losing everything they have already worked so hard for. The company I started was a dairy manufacturing plant - and we were constantly hit with fees for just about everything. My mother has a day care - and she is constantly hit up with state inspectors who are more focused on the location of a cactus rather than the actual quality of care provided to the children. I think that government (whether local, state, or federal) is so often regimented in the process that sometimes they forget to actually look at the product and/or service offered. Additionally, when challenged, governing agencies tend to look at the bottom dollar regardless of the quality of the service (or lack thereof) that they, themselves, are providing. So the question then is, how do we hold those governing agencies accountable? What are their standards? Who creates them? Who monitors them? And do they hire people that have the ability to rationalize and think for themselves, or are they specifically looking to hire prosecutors, interested in only that which is found in their manuals? So what is the solution? An agency to fast track would be great, but how about a system of checks and balances that ensures that the 'governing' bodies are actually providing quality rather than quantity? Comment Author: Andres Jordan (25 Apr 2008) I agree, one solution is to create a 'fast track' center where all the gov agencies can have a reprentative that can fast track innovative companies, at least for a pilot. I do this in innovation management wher we fast track ideas until we get a commercial pilot and proof of concept up and running and then we go back and commercialize. The problem here -of course - is that you have the state and federal requirements. Here is where the separation of federal and state can add undue burdens on business creation. So, going back to the fastrack idea. If we as a country deem that technlogy and business creation are priorities( not sure this is the case as we are wasting resouces in wars), then creating fast track authorities is doable. We do it for trade agreements, so the precedent is there. Comment Response Author: Steve Stewart (25 Apr 2008) Andres, I have no experience in starting a business, so I don't have anything concrete to base this on, but my perception is that barriers to entrepreneurs would exist primarily at the state and local government level. What are the barriers created at the federal level that could be mitigated by a 'fast track' approach? Is fast track needed mostly at the state and local level? Comment Response Author: Claudia Sheridan (25 Apr 2008) Hi Steve, I would agree with you that this is probably most needed at the state and local level. Other than filing the required corporation forms and taxes, there is no need to involve federal governement -- unless of course, international business is in the horizon for that business. Comment Author: Ned McCulloch (25 Apr 2008) Their are better and worse countries/states in cost, complexity and delays created by the government. For example, opening a business in Australia involves to processes and takes 2 days. In Brazil, opening that same business takes 18 processes and 116 days. http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreTopics/StartingBusiness/ Governments need to benchmark themselves and then look for process transformations that attack their weak areas. Broadening Policy Makers' Global Perspective Author: Bruce Mehlman (23 Apr 2008) - 992553597314412BELB-7DYRKS Personal Information: 1: Executive Director 2: Technology CEO Council 4: East 5: Yes 6: Monica C Debban/Washington/IBM 7: Yes Area(s): Government; Businesses Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Too few Members of Congress travel abroad and see what is happening around the world. It is easy to vilify or mistrust others if one has not walked around in their country, let alone their shoes. New gift rules further limit Members' ability to go abroad, though for good reason (since previous trips were too often boondoggles sponsored by industries seeking special treatment). Congress should set aside resources for foreign travel, and mandate some number of trips per year. Leaders with a global perspective need stamps on their passport, and if it's a federally-financed requirement, it avoids impropriety and does not create electoral vulnerability. Benefits: Policy makers would have better insights into what makes other countries, and global business, tick. Overall impact:: Medium: Significant positive impact, but somewhat more restricted in scope or geography Timing: Less than 6 months Road Blocks: A relatively minor cost. Lawmakers' desire not to travel. Responses to 'Broadening Policy Makers' Global Perspective' Comment Author: Chris Paterson (23 Apr 2008) This idea makes perfect sense to me... It is similar to the idea expressed in this link: https://globalleadership.imaginatik.com/globalidc1.nsf/1cb8f8baf7eb811a85256d4e006e9569/7dff8b84da02079c852574340066227e!OpenDocument Comment Author: Linda Evans (25 Apr 2008) I agree this makes sense --- its too bad Congress tends to react to real and percevied abuses by prohibiting useful travel and exposure. Having lived abroad as a child, attended schools as an adult and worked abroad with IBM, I can attest to the value of experiencing other cultures on a day to day basis. My tolerance and appreciation for other views and broadened sense of approaches serves me well on a daily basis. Too many Americans have a xenophobic attitude to global issues and this mentality stifles creativity and options for addressing problems. No longer does the US have a monopoly on brain power and game changing ideas.. We ought to start with our leaders in Congress and the Administrative agencies and I would go a step further to have private sector embrace such programs as IBM has adopted that will allow their employees to go abroad for a time to live in another country and assist emerging countries in various ventures. This global citizenship view should be replicated and it will go a long way to dispell the fearful, isolationist strains in society. Comment Author: Tim Docking (28 Apr 2008) This is a great idea that deserves some fleshing out. My first reaction is the idea would be shot down on the Hill - demogauged as a tax-payer financed congressional travel service. My second reaction is that it could become just that...I've seen unproductive CODELs in the field. However, I've also witnessed the ah-ha moments by Representatives that can only occur with first hand experience/learning, and which lead to enlightened policy making. Congress owes it to America to travel more. Overcoming Parochial Interests Author: Michael A Osredker (28 Apr 2008) - 745372701609827BELB-7E5PQV Personal Information: Self Registration Area(s): Businesses; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: The snippets of news received by the American public generally paint a negative picture of globalization. Job loss leads much of this discussion and in difficult economic conditions touches a raw nerve among the public. Opportunistic individuals, politicos, community leaders, etc. seize upon the negative aspects of globalization to secure their personal standing among their constituents. Overcoming these parochial interests driven by self-promotion and a desire to portray only the negative aspects of globalization takes tremendous perserverance. Globalization has many positive impacts such as technology transfer, can provide access to new capital for some countries, and helps in the development of the economic sector for emerging markets. There is also, arguably, a peace dividend for globalization as regional economies become linked or integrated and the cost of disruption for all in the region rises. Success and stability in locations offshore from the US benefits US-based GIE's through exports which in turn preserves US jobs and promotes growth in the business. Business leaders in the US and those in foreign locations with ties to GIE's must be tireless in telling the positive side of the globalization story to balance the negative sound bites employed by those selling advertising on their news shows. Benefits: Improved, balanced perspective on the benefits of globalization and the role of GIE's. Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: Less than 6 months Road Blocks: The negatives of globalization are as real as the positives and can drive an emotional response. Balanced analysis is frequently difficult to promote. Responses to 'Overcoming Parochial Interests' Comment Author: Deborah Kasdan (28 Apr 2008) Michael, I couldn't agree with you more. It's hard to be tireless in your efforts though when you don't see results. Is there any group that could collect the positive newsclips and share them across the business community. It might be a way to encourage their use elsewhere and inspire other business leaders to keep speaking out about the benefits of globalization. Comment Author: C. Fred Bergsten (28 Apr 2008) Much of the publicity concerning globalization is indeed negative. It can be overcome only by tenacious presentation of the facts, especially by business leaders and other authoritative voices. The story is fully available but needs to be presented much more effectively as well as much more widely. As I noted in response to another question, our careful studies at the Peterson Institute for International Economics demonstrate that the United States is about $1 trillion richer each year as a result of the trade expansion of the past 60 years. These gains derive from both the US policy of open market and the technological improvements, mainly concerning communications and transportation, that are so central to trade flows. We derive these numbers through 5 separate methodologies that have not been seriously challenged since we published them since 3 years ago. They have in fact been used by several secretaries of the Treasury, including Hank Paulson and several United States Trade Representatives since that time. It will also be necessary, however, to present specific stories and anecdotes to illustrate these macroeconomic benefits. The anti-globalization attack relies totally on anecdotes, sinec they obviously lose badly on the aggregate statistical comparisons, and one must thus 'fight fire with fire.' More substantively, the media and public at large more easily comprehend individual examples than abstract figures, however large. It is imperative that GIEs develop a portfolio of stories of their own success in creating jobs through exports and investments that can be persuasively conveyed to the public, both directly and via the media. It is also essential to use such an approach in presenting issues in this area to the Congress and other decision making bodies. The challenge is daunting at present. The political campaigns have filled the media with anti-globalization rhetoric that has not been effectively refuriated. The Administration has tried but has lost some measure of credibility at its advanced age and lame-duck status. The business community must press hard but must also recognize that it too is widely viewed as an interested party. Objective non-partisan voices are thus despeartely needed to enhance the credibility of the pro-globalization side of the argument. Comment Response Author: Steve Stewart (28 Apr 2008) Fred, the business community does recognize the need to do a better job of telling the positive side of the story of global integration, and several major trade associations are at work on this. We realize that this must include anecdotes about jobs that are created or supported by trade and global business models. We know that simply sticking with the macro economic arguments is no longer good enough, and we need to back up the data with positive stories about individual jobs. This is a good are for action by all of us who are participating in this online forum. Comment Author: Marc Lautenbach (28 Apr 2008) Completely agree that there is a positive case to be made for the benefits of global integration and there is a tremendous need to make that case. I have made this message a priority in all of my external communications. One of the key characterisitics of innovation is that it is global, open, and collaborative- all of which are more difficult if there is not a free flow of goods and services across borders. Comment Author: David Stirling (29 Apr 2008) I found the dialogue surrounding these two ideas to be quite similar. How GIE's can fill the void and make their voice heard on the matter of globalization will increase the public's awareness and create a balanced debated https://globalleadership.imaginatik.com/globalidc1.nsf/PortalIdeas/1C27BA98CAE3A2038525743900505CBF?opendocument Hardest Jobs to Fill Author: Melanie Holmes (28 Apr 2008) - 909788662546731CORB-7E5TR2 Personal Information: 2: Manpower 4: Central 7: Yes Area(s): Businesses; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Manpower just completed its 2008 research on the Hardest Jobs to Fill. You may be interest in this year's list that comes from U.S. employers: 1. Engineers 2. Machinists 3. Skilled trades 4. Technicians 5. Sales reps 6. Accounting and finance 7. Mechanics 8. Laborers 9. IT staff 10. Production operators Why are these jobs difficult to fill? There are lots of reasons we can think of -- and I'd be interested in any more you might have... From a demographic perspective, many (millions?) of people in these fields are either at or are approaching retirement age. Pair that with relatively low fertility rates and we're running out of workers. But it's not just a demographic issues -- we still have unemployment in the U.S., but employers are struggling to find talent. There may be 'warm bodies' looking for work, but they don't have the skills, abilities and competencies required in today's contemporary workplace. And then there's churn. According to the BLS, over 120,000 American workers leave their jobs every day -- 365 days a year. So there is a lot of turnover that is creating many looking for work and many open positions. There are short- and long-term solutions to the problem. Long term, we need to partner our education/training system with businesses to make sure what we're teaching our young people is relevant. Open up your place of work for internships, job-shadowing and, if appropriate, apprenticeships to provide meaningful work-placement activities to give students a true taste of real work skills. In the short term, give everyone who is willing and able to work the opportlunity to work. That means disaffected jobless youth, single mothers, people with disabilities, people of color, people of different nationalities -- this diverse list of potential employees is a valuable resource. If we can't find qualified employees to get our work done, we'll never be able to compete! Benefits: Businesses could have access to additional qualified employees. Individuals would have the skills and experience necessary to continue to develop their careers. Overall impact:: Medium: Significant positive impact, but somewhat more restricted in scope or geography Timing: 6 months to 18 months Road Blocks: Apathy Lack of understanding Responses to 'Hardest Jobs to Fill' Comment Author: David Stirling (29 Apr 2008) You make some very interesting points. It makes me wonder what Manpower business strategists are considering given the data they found? I sort of think their point of view and others in that area, such as Ranstaad and possibly Monster would also be interesting to pull into the mix College Readiness Indicator and Support System Author: Marina Walne (29 Apr 2008) - 797421225299458CORB-7E6FRA Personal Information: 4: Central 7: No Area(s): Government; Academia Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: To improve college and workforce readiness, I propose creating a college/workforce readiness indicator and support system. This web-based system would be for students in grades 6-12 ( we have to start in middle school) and would: -- provide multiple diagnostic assessments that are aligned not only with the state standards and tests but with tests such as ACT, Work Keys, NAEP, TIMMS and PISA; -- provide on-line, interactive, challenging and exciting learning modules that students would be automatically directed to based on the assessment results; -- provide a strand for teachers that would direct them to the on-line learning modules for "content refresher" and provide examples of college level work . We need better early indicator systems so that students who are not on the college/workforce readiness ramp can be identified early and provided appropriate interventions. Middle school and high school teachers would benefit from having easy access to examples of rigorous college level work. Benefits: Improved college and work force readiness Overall impact:: Medium: Significant positive impact, but somewhat more restricted in scope or geography Timing: 6 months to 18 months Road Blocks: Would require multiple state agencies to work together. Responses to 'College Readiness Indicator and Support System' Comment Author: Deborah Kasdan (29 Apr 2008) This sounds promising. Which education and civic groups, at bare minimum, would need to get together to create a pilot? Comment Author: David Stirling (29 Apr 2008) Great seed idea and follow on questions in the comment are spot-on to move this forward in the dialogue. Given the workforce statistic out there that 70% of the US workforce does not have a college education, and hence they are the skill group subject to displacement from off-shoring and outsourcing work, not to mention the subsequent contribution this group has to the widening income gap and disappearing middle class. Is there a link to the immigration strategy here? A growing, and disconnected immigrant community establishing the US as a home, and finding the low end wages disappearing? Creating a National Innovation Foundation Author: Rob Atkinson (23 Apr 2008) - 473990997177081BELB-7DYLDU Personal Information: 1: President 2: Information Technology and Innovation Foundation 4: East 7: Yes Area(s): Government; Academia; Businesses Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Most policy proposals to address the innovation challenge have focused on the supply of innovation factors (e.g., basic research, skilled workers). But to meet the challenge, policy must also focus on the demand side: encouraging organizations to be more innovative. To do that, Congress should establish a new National Innovation Foundation (NIF) whose core mission would be to boost innovation in non-farm businesses. NIF’s goal would not be to direct innovation or seek its own patents. Rather it would work with businesses, state governments, universities, and other partners to help spur innovation. Its activities would include funding national grants for sectoral innovation research; grants for expanding state-level technology-based economic development programs; national technology diffusion activities to help companies and industries adopt the best existing technologies, and regional grants to promote the development of industry clusters. It would also advocate for innovation, promote the measurement of innovation, and carry out policy-oriented research on innovation. Proposed funding would be $1 billion annually initially (with around $350 million coming from several programs that would be consolidated into NIF), with an eventual budget of at least $2 billion per year. For more information see the report "Boosting Productivity, Innovation, and Growth Through a National Innovation Foundation" at http://www.itif.org/index.php?id=140 Benefits: For businesses it would support collaborative research to develop new technologies and provide technical assistance to adopt best-practice technologies. For academia NIF would provide more resources to support collaborative research with industry. For state and local governments NIF would provide matching funds to spur technology-led economic development efforts. Overall impact:: Timing: 6 months to 18 months Road Blocks: Congress would need to appropriate the resources to fund NIF. Responses to 'Creating a National Innovation Foundation' Comment Author: Steve Stewart (23 Apr 2008) Rob's proposal is an interesting one. It's clear that it is difficult for U.S. companies to compete based on price. Innovation is the key for U.S. companies to be competitive in the global economy. There is a lot of great technology available, but it doesn't help if it sits on the shelf. So progams to support technology diffusion could show short-term benefits. Whilte companies must implement the technology to reap its benefits, that often means more than opening a box and plugging in a new device. Gaining the full benefits of new technology may require making dramatic change in business processes. This highlights the need for sectoral research, as Rob recommended. With services making up the bulk of the U.S. economy, innovation in specific service sectors holds a lot of promise. Most talk about innovation focuses on technology, rather than services or business processes. Comment Author: Chris Caine (24 Apr 2008) At what point does the management system of a National Innovation Foundation become an impediment or a contradiction, to innovation and how will we know when that is about to ocurr? Please response from both angles of : within the Fondation, and from how the Foundation relates to society as well as society relating to the Foundation. Comment Author: Ari Reubin (24 Apr 2008) Hello Rob, I do love the intent of your idea. However, a centralized, government run entity will require funding that is best managed and coordinated via the private sector. I would highly encourage you to consider a private sector run alliance, but not a NIST/ SEMATECH type entity. I was assigned to SEMATECH by Texas Instruments, and discovered that overall it was a good thing but that too many layers of rules precluded accelerated commercialization and tech-transfer of collabaorated R&D. EPRI is another example of having the best of intentions. Your innovative idea to coordiante innovation needs a more innovative model. I do not have the answer, but would love to ideate with you to discover an improved path forward. Would be ironic if past models precludes future innovation. Best regards, Ari Reubin CBRE Comment Author: Susan C Tuttle (24 Apr 2008) Rob, the America COMPETES Act calls for the establishment of a Presidential Council on Innovation and Competitiveness, in order to ensure innovation remains a top leadership priority for the country. Although the Council hasn't yet formally been established - What is your view on how the NIF would engage with and relate to the work of the Council? Also, with congressional funding always being a challenge, e.g., America COMPETES Act is still unfunded, what would be your recommendations as to how to ensure the NIF remains a priority so that it gets the critical funding that would be needed. Comment Author: Rob Atkinson (25 Apr 2008) I wanted to comment on the very useful comments on the NIF proposal idea. With regard to the whether NIF could be an impediment to innovation and how we would know, I think as currently envisioned it would be hard for that to happen, in part because it would fund industry research efforts that industry comes forward with and is willing to foot part of the bill, or fund states that are doing similar efforts. It would not have regulatory powers, and as envisioned, would NOT be picking technologies, etc. A key to its performance in my view, is the oversight of a good board from industry, academia, states, etc. With regard to how NIF would work with the proposed Council, my understanding of that is that it is not an implementation agency. While coordination is good, what is needed more are dedicated funds to support the kinds of activities NIF would engage in. How to get support, given that sadly, Americas Competes is underfunded. At the end of the day, Congress and the next Administration are going to have to decide how serious they are about addressing this major national challenge. I do think that it might be easier for elected officials to see tangible benefits from an NIF like function, which may help garner funding support. With regard to Ari's comments about the institutional model, I absolutely agree that institutional form is critical. That is key reason we proposed NIF because we believe that the current governmental system is not up the task. However, here i worry that we let the perfect be the enemy of the good. There are some 'centralized' government programs that work pretty well (NSF support of science comes to mind; perhaps Ex-Im Bank). So I don't preclude that a lean smart federal entity or federally-chartered entity couldn't be equally as effective in this space. To address Steve's point: absolutely! One of the critiques the report makes of the current innovation system is that it largely ignores services innovation and I would argue thoughtful sector-based 'digital transformation' issues (for example, we are only now getting involved in IT transformation of health care). So a key role of NIF is to help move us along in these spaces, in part by funding research, in part by helping to identify key policy changes needes. Thanks Comment Author: Richard Blank (29 Apr 2008) This is an interesting idea. In addition to funding just research, it might make sense to also focus on entrepreneurship. Maybe call it a National Innovation & Entrpreneurship Foundation. Innovation does come from big companies R&D engines -- but many times it comes from the small entrepreneur in some 'garage' with a big idea and alot of passion. I'd love to see a foundation like this focus alot more on helping the small entrepreneur by providing funding or advice/referrals to VCs or angel investors, knowledge on starting businesses, social networking online and sharing of success stories with other entrepeneurs, motivational messages, etc... I'm sure this foundation could tap some of the top MBA entrepreneur programs like Babson, Stanford, MIT.....and partner with them to develop something truly amazing here. Comment Response Author: Rob Atkinson (29 Apr 2008) Richard, thanks for your thoughts on NIF. Maybe it should be called NIEF (National Innovation and Entrepreneurial Foundation). The full report goes into a lot more detail on how NIF would actually work. But one of the arguments in the report to justify a federal role, especially in partnership with states, is that as currently structured it is hard for the federal government to meaningfully engage with entrepreneurs. There are some finance programs that SBA runs, especially the SBIC program, that provides funding for entrepreneurs, through banks or VC firms. But beyond that there's not much. In our view state (and local governments) and the organizations they engage with (universities and colleges, local economic development groups, Chambers, etc), are better positioned to engage more directly with small firms and entrepreneurs. This is why a key component of the NIF idea (and funding) is to co-fund with states, technology based economic development activities, which would include a whole host of activities related to entrepreneurship, including supporting seed and angel funding, incubators and university research parks, etc. Look to existing organizations for partnering opportunities Author: Claudia Sheridan (25 Apr 2008) - 429312581063554CORB-7E2RD6 Personal Information: 4: West 7: No Area(s): Academia; Businesses; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: "From a global perspective, what are some untapped opportunities for collaborative innovation among businesses, institutions and governments?" I think that one of those untapped opportunities are those existing non-profit organizations that promote jus that -- innovation, leadership, philanthropy. For example, have you heard of Junior Chamber International (JCI)? In the states the organization is commonly referred to as the Jaycees. If not, look around, chances are that there is a chapter nearby. JCI is an international organization with representation in over 100 countries. With regards to external relations, "JCI places emphasis on the development of a range of partnerships, alliances and other cooperative mechanisms so as to foster visibility and impact of its programs activities at local, national and international level. Hence JCI collaborates with organizations representative of civil society, intergovernmental organizations and business corporations." Locally, chapters work to build tomorrows leaders, giving them hands-on experience in the areas of project management, event planning, marketing, fundraising, local government, and civic duty. Looking to organizations like JCI/Jaycees is a great way to not only recruit talented individuals, but to get your own young professionals involved is a great way to have your employees learn those vital skills - hands-on. Disclaimer -- every chapter is not the same, especially in the United States. But, in our community, members of our chapter are often recruited, very involved, and represent what the future of our community can be. They are often called upon to represent the young professionals at various functions, organizationsl boards of directors and as trainers to aspiring youth. Benefits: - Low cost - Sponsorship Opportunities - Marketing Opportunities - Training Opportunities - Recruitement base of talented young professionals Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: Less than 6 months Road Blocks: - depending on the local chapter, the emphasis may not be on business and individual development, but rather philanthropy.. Focusing on what JCI refers to as "Metro" chapters would be a great way to ensure that the focus of the chapter is more business-minded. Responses to 'Look to existing organizations for partnering opportunities' Comment Author: Elizabeth Schaefer (28 Apr 2008) Claudia, I'm intrigued by this idea. Do you have any specific examples of best practices that would exemplify this kind of partnership potential? It would be interesting to see what's working well locally that could be expanded - or how how the JCI programs could evolve to have closer linkages to projects that influence the future of work in their communities. Creating Portable Benefits? Author: Ivy Tseng (25 Apr 2008) - 1025406271458CORB-7E2LA4 Personal Information: East Area(s): Government; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Part of the reason that workers stay at the same companies (and therefore don't necessarily have the opportunity to develop a broad range of skills) is that they are tied to their employers for health benefits. Can state and regional entities create some sort of "safety net" for employees so that they are comfortable moving from one job to another and one industry to another (and thus increase their flexibility and skills through exposure to various experiences) - without worrying about their benefits? Does anyone know of any examples of these? I know the State of Massachusetts has some sort of state-wide healthcare but I am not certain how that works. Benefits: - For individuals, allow them to access new work experiences and develop their skills - For governments, allows their citizens to be more flexible and skilled Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: Don't know Road Blocks: The whole compliated and difficult healthcare system in the US. Responses to 'Creating Portable Benefits?' Comment Author: Mick Fleming (25 Apr 2008) Ivy -- this is a very insightful question and comment. At least 30 governors have plans under discussion or actual legislation related to some kind of universal coverage, or at least expansion of covered folks. Check Governor Rendell's in PA and the Governator's in CA. Governor Chris also exploring in FL. If coverage were not linked to employers in the first place, benefits would all be portable! The fifty-year era of employer-based health insurance may be coming to an end over the next five years. Will this mean socialized medicine, or a wide- open playing field for individual responsibilty (like car insurance)? We'll see. The fact is, our competitiveness is both hampered and helped by our current health care system -- but mostly hurt. Comment Response Author: Marc Williams (25 Apr 2008) Very interesting idea. I am glad states are starting to address this issue.I have two questions: 1. Once one state successfully makes benefits portable, won't other states start doing it to compete to make themselves more attractive to prospective employers? and 2. What role do portable benefits play in promoting local innovation and entrepreneurship? Comment Author: Mick Fleming (25 Apr 2008) P.S. to Ivy Massachussetts plan is in trouble because of gross underestimation of the costs and insurance carriers running for cover in the state. Comment Author: Ivy Tseng (26 Apr 2008) Mick - thanks for your insight into this question. One other interesting model (although not government) is something that I've noticed in the New York area - a non-profit called the Freelancers Union (their motto 'Platform for an Independent Workforce'). They offer health, dental, life, and disability insurance for their membership, by buying from insurers at a group rate (membership is free to the union and participating in insurance plans includes a $50 annual administrative fee). I understand that getting governors/states to come to some action on this issue might require some patience, but perhaps in the meantime states can provide some sort incentives to encourage organizations like the Freelancers Union to set up in their states? It's not the final solution but I think of it as a short-term 'bridging' option. PS -- too bad about Massachusetts. At least they serve as a cautionary tale to other states to budget more carefully. Collaborative R&D Tax Credit Author: Rob Atkinson (23 Apr 2008) - 322514686808576BELB-7DYLL2 Personal Information: 1: President 2: Information Technology and Innovation Foundation 4: East 7: Yes Area(s): Government; Academia; Businesses Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: In the last decade, many other nations have significantly expanded their R&D tax incentives and as a result the U.S. ranks 17th among 30 OECD nations in tax treatment of R&D. As a result, if the U.S. is to continue to grow R&D, we need to adopt a more generous R&D credit. One way do this would be to create a 40 percent flat credit for collaborative R&D done by firms with universities, federal labs or industry consortia. Increasingly, firms are collaborating with other firms or institutions in order to lower the costs of research and increase its effectiveness by maximizing idea flow and creativity. Indeed, a growing share of research is now conducted not only on the basis of strategic alliances and partnerships but also through ongoing networks of learning and innovation. Moreover, participation in research consortia has a positive impact on firms’ own R&D expenditures and research productivity. Notwithstanding this, firms are less able to capture the benefits of collaborative research, leading them to under-invest in such research relative to socially optimal levels. This risk of underinvestment is particularly true as the economy has become more competitive, and a reflection of this is the fact that for the first time since the data were collected in 1953 the percentage of U.S. academic R&D supported by industry has declined in each of the last five years. Other countries, including Denmark, Japan, Norway, Spain and the UK, provide firms more generous tax incentives for collaborative R&D. It's time for the U.S. to do the same. Congress should modify the existing R&D credit to allow firms to take a flat credit of 40 percent (as opposed to the current incremental credit of 20 percent) for collaborative research conducted at universities, federal laboratories, and research consortia. For more information on this proposal see "Expanding the R&E Tax Credit to Drive Innovation, Competitiveness and Prosperity" (http://www.itif.org/index.php?id=101) Benefits: Business would benefit from receiving a tax incentive for collaborative R&D and from performing more collaborative R&D as a result. Government would benefit by federal laboratories receiving more research support from industry. Academia would benefit by receiving more support for research from industry. Overall impact:: Medium: Significant positive impact, but somewhat more restricted in scope or geography Timing: Less than 6 months Road Blocks: Since Congress would have to score any tax bill, concerns over the budget impact would have to be addressed. Responses to 'Collaborative R&D Tax Credit' Comment Author: Linda Evans (25 Apr 2008) While I agree the US R&D tax credit is woefully inadequate as compared with other nations, where I would disagree is on the approach -- I would not work on the exisiting traditional that is based on a 20+ year old base period to measure R&D against sales in the 1980s ... the formula is complex and it rewards companies over more innovative companies that did not exist in the base period. The new Alternative Simplified Credit takes a more modern approach but even that is complex. Unlike the older law, it does not rely on a base period and allows companies that may have changed business models, to benefit -- that is truly more modern. Ironically the traditional credit penalized successful companies as measured by increased gross receipts, but STILL performing significant R&D, and yet unable to benefit from the credit - this is surely perverse. Since the credit is part of the General Business Credit, GBCs, it is futher limited. Regrettably, the US deficit does not allow us to be trully innovative in fashioning an R&D incentive -- what would be a better approach and one that other countries embrace is to have a single flat credit based on the total R&D expenditure based on valid criteria, and no complicated formula involving gross receipts from X period. No companies benefitting from prior base periods would have an advantage and a company's true R&D as defined by agreed criteria, would benefit . Comment Response Author: Rob Atkinson (25 Apr 2008) I wanted to comment on Linda's post. I agree that its important to also develop a stronger alternative simplifed credit (ASC), which we proposed in our report 'Expanding the R&E Tax Credit to Drive Innovation, Competitiveness and Prosperity' http://www.itif.org/index.php?id=101 But I dont see it as an either or. Expanding and making the regular company credit better is important, but so to is establishing a collaborative credit. But to Linda's point, under the proposal for the Collaborative R&D credit, companies taking the ASC or the regular credit would both qualify for the CRDC, as it is a flat credit, taken on top of the regular credit. Comment Author: Linda Evans (28 Apr 2008) Thanks Rob, I do recall that but I also think that given current and future revenue constraints, the better approach is a single credit formula, however that may evolve and not a flat credit on top of two choices. I would therefore prefer in the near and medium term a more robust ASC at 20% as the only credit, with the traditional or regular credit phased out as bills in both the House and Senate propose. According to industry surveys the vast majority of companies will elect the ASC so it is consistent with the industry view. For the longer term, I'd like to see a full review of the formula for the credit to include other criteria that more properly reflects economic realities. Global Collaboration for Entrepreneurs for Rob Atkinsson Author: PJ Edington (29 Apr 2008) - 260364690623331BELB-7E6K2S Personal Information: Self Registration Area(s): Government; Businesses Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: In reading through the challenges, not only conquering all the bureaucracy but also all the information seems daunting. And when expanded to a global scale, almost prohibitive. Creating a global network where entrepreneurs can collaborate and exchange information and best practices seems like a step possibly the government may take to spur innovation. Or would this be better built by private enterprise? Was this one of the ideas you considered when looking at the types of support entrepreneurs would need? Would you consider this an essential undertaking in order to promote a global reach? Benefits: Extend the reach of local entrepreneurs to the global market Shorten the learning curve for establishing global operations Build new entrepreneur relationships Create new innovative ideas/initiatives Overall impact:: Don't know Timing: More than 18 months Road Blocks: Building and funding the platform Creating the buzz so that the network is discovered and used Hesitancy of entrepreneurs to share ideas Responses to 'Global Collaboration for Entrepreneurs for Rob Atkinsson' Comment Author: Rob Atkinson (29 Apr 2008) P.J., I think this is a really interesting idea. Interestingly one of the activities that many other nations do as part of their own 'National Innovation Foundations' is exactly this. For example, Tekes in Finland realizes that Finish entrepreneurs cannot be fully successful unless they build partnerships and arrangements with companies/entrepreneurs in other nations. Of course, they are a small nation and these partnerships are more critical there. But still I think this would be important. One key caveat is that any federal government initiative in the U.S. is, or at least should be, focused on adding value in the U.S. If entrepreneurial networks do that, then it would be an activity that would make sense for an NIF-like entity to pursue. A private sector group could do this, but its not clear what the business model would be. Comment Author: David Stirling (29 Apr 2008) Connecting these similar ideashttps://globalleadership.imaginatik.com/globalidc1.nsf/1fb6d22b60bfe12885256d4e006e956c/81699b23a9c97108852574350078fac7!OpenDocument Worker Assistance Program Author: Cal Cohen (23 Apr 2008) - 144701304646372BELB-7DYMGK Personal Information: 1: President 2: Emergency Committee for American Trade 4: East 7: Yes Area(s): Government; Businesses; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Currently, the Federal Government funds a program (Trade Adjustment Assistance) to provide for training and retraining of American workers who have lost their jobs because of the impact of international trade on their workplaces. There is no comparable program in place for training and retraining of workers whose job loss is tied to the many other factors that account for the lion share of displacements. Given the relatively small percentage of job displacement in the United States stemming from international trade, however, the public-policy challenge is to rethink the existing program and, through increased public- and private-sector cooperation, to provide virtually all American workers who have lost their jobs -- whether due to trade expansion, technological advances, or other factors -- with the training and/or retraining they need for productive employment. Benefits: First, it would help to improve employment opportunities for all Americans. Second, it would help to allay the fears that many Americans have of U.S. policies to expand international trade and investment that are critical for the continued health and growth of the U.S. (and global) economy and, most significantly, the creation of new and good-paying employment opportunities. Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: More than 18 months Road Blocks: The funding of the program envisaged would be a major challenge. Responses to 'Worker Assistance Program' Comment Author: Susan Traiman (23 Apr 2008) Business Roundtable recently issued a policy statement that articulates a new vision for lifelong learning. The statement, Prospering Together: America's Citizens, Communities and Companies, discusses the need for the private sector and government to address the need for students and employees to have access to education and training that provides lifelong learning opportunities to keep their skillsup-to-date for a dynamic economy. The Roundtable believes we should not differentiate between pople who lose their jobs because of trade and those who lose their jobs because of new technologies or increasing productivity. More importantly, retraining and skills development should be ongoing for employees while they are working, not just when they lose jobs. CEOs call for--AMERICA 21: A 21st Century Approach for Workers--that would provide access to new system that would incorporate the following principles: --portability of benefits --flexible access to benefits depending on need --simplicity --quality --public-private partnership More information is available at http://www.businessroundtable.org/pdf/BR_Prospering_Together_01312008.pdf Comment Author: Elizabeth Schaefer (23 Apr 2008) Here's an example of how workers in Indiana are being trained in high demand skills (like nursing and telecommunications) as a result of the existing Trade Adjustment Assistance program: http://www.courierpress.com/news/2008/apr/21/job-skills-not-lost-retraining-gives-former-a/ Today, the bulk of funding allocations for the TAA goes toward participant cash assistance instead of training, and many workers don't qualify for TAA assistance. If the TAA were expanded beyond jobs affected by globalization, what other options (i.e. low or no interest loans) could expand access to the program without creating insurmountable funding issues? Comment Author: Bruce Mehlman (23 Apr 2008) Clearly this has become essential, though we also need to avoid a Western Europe-style burdening of employers. If it's hard and expensive and fire, employers are less likely to fire. Similarly, retraining programs need to also contemplate (1) wage insurance, (2) health care portability and (3) pension portability, all of which cost plenty. We might start by recognizing that multiple federal agencies administer more then 44 economic development and worker assistance programs to the tune of tens of billions of dollars, but they are generally unlinked and uncoordinated. Comment Author: Ned McCulloch (24 Apr 2008) The hiring process may be worth a look as well. As anyone who has hire employees will tell you, finding and selecting candidates is hard. Its easy for anyone with a computer and a credit card to go to Amazon and buy records, and books. But try to hire a new employee for a services job and the low efficiency of the labor marketplace becomes appalling obvious. Places like Silcon Valley have advantages because of a highly skilled workforce. They also have a variety of advantages -- both formal and informal -- that make the labor marketplace work better. Personal networks ease job transitions. Physical proximaty makes interviews easier. Skill sets are in a narrower band and on-line tools are more effectively utilized for job hunting by employers and employees. Comment Author: Linda Evans (25 Apr 2008) IBM announced a smart learning program -- again the emphasis is on recalibrating skills for the evolving economy, preparing our employees to go wherever their talents may lead .. there can be win win for employer and employee. It is not hard to picture a software engineer who decides to try something vastly different ,and not related to his job? The idea is to help those mid-career folks who take a different direction. IBM is the first company to announce such a smart learning program .. again leading the way .. Members of Congress have also picked up on the idea of lifelong learning -- and hopefully there will be legislation to help companies do similar programs ... It is good to see companies and the US government help out seasoned employees who can stil contribute a great deal -- having the flexibility to pivot and do something else is great for society ... How to attract people to an IT career Author: Tom Kucharvy (28 Apr 2008) - 485648889906157BELB-7E5QF6 Personal Information: Self Registration Area(s): Businesses Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: The economy is already short of IT professionals and the situation is getting worse. First, demographic trends will result in more people leaving the workforce than are entering it. Second, fewer of the new entrants are interested in, or being trained for a career in IT. As I see it, there are a couple big reasons for the declining interest in IT. 1. It is no longer "cool" in the US. While it may still desirable to work for Google or Facebook, fewer young people are interested in other IT vendors. IT organizations fare particularly poorly on the coolness scale. 2. Even though companies are going begging for new employees, students here about the trend toward the outsourcing of IT jobs and are skeptical of pursuing the field. (This same perception could well hit other fields, as more professsional services jobs go offshore in areas ranging from financial analysis to legal research, statistical analysis and even research and development. How can we address these very valid concerns? While I certainly don't know the answers, I do have a couple thoughts: The IT industry (driven by vendors, with cooperation from some large, high-profile end user organizations) can help to address outsourcing and job availability concerns by creating a national database of the type, likely numbers and probable locations of jobs that will be available over the next five to ten years. But, rather than just speaking generally of "needs in IT", specify the types of jobs, the type of training that will be required (and where such training can be obtained), and explain why these jobs will be protected from offshoring. Such a "job bank" would ideally include online career counseling, where employees of sponsoring companies could help guide students/recruits and help assuage their concerns. Counter the "Dilbert Image" by emphasizing and publicizing the cool jobs, such as business analysts who use IT to address compelling business needs (such as new market analysis, enabling/managing social networks, managing global networks of offshore workers, etc.). Then suggest the types of career paths to which these jobs can lead. While a government-sponsored, national job bank would be ideal, I am skeptical of relying on the government for funding or coordinating any such undertaking, especially in the current environment. That's where leading IT vendors (IBM, HOP, Microsoft, Oracle, Accenture, etc.) fit in. They know their own needs and are in regular contact with thousands of end user organizations. With a little coordination, a relative handful of large vendors could create a framework for and help populate an initial database that would grow through voluntary contributions. Why would the large vendors be incented to contribute to such an endeavor? Because their market growth will depend on it. Benefits: Demonstrate the long-term viability of a career in IT. Create a means of guiding students to the training that will prepare them for these careers. Show that there are a lot of cool jobs available in IT. Overall impact:: Medium: Significant positive impact, but somewhat more restricted in scope or geography Timing: 6 months to 18 months Road Blocks: Although I am sure I am naive, I don't see any significant roadblocks to such as a vendor-led initiative. Responses to 'How to attract people to an IT career' Comment Author: Deborah Kasdan (28 Apr 2008) Tom, I really like the idea of a database created by a business consortium to show where future jobs will be. Maybe, though, instead of 'jobs in IT' it should describe 'jobs that will change the world' to convey the idea that technology is enabling really big changes that young people care about -- everything from stopping climate change to fighting cancer, creating virtual renditions of the Hermitage or Forbidden City. Another big attraction for young people is companies with demonstrable commitment to social and environmental responsibility. Describing IT in those terms would up the cool factor! Comment Author: Kristin Allstadt (28 Apr 2008) Tom I also really like this idea. To add on how to 'up' the cool factor, this job bank could provide the forecasted (potential) compensation for these IT jobs. For example, a computer chip designer would typically earn $X in year 1 ,and provide future earning potential (or an average). Comment Author: Marc Lautenbach (28 Apr 2008) I think there are some intriguing aspects to this idea. I need to give some thought to how different competitors in the same industry might pull this together. To some very real extent, hiring and competing for talent are key differentiators. What about as an alternative, if you would have local ngo's inventory the skills in their respective communities. This would give businesses better visibility into various pools of skills, where to find them, and what needs to be built. At the same time, businesses might be able to do something in a syndicated and 'blind' way through third parties that would give some headlights of what jobs they might need going forward. Comment Author: Richard Blank (28 Apr 2008) There are job boards like dice.com --- which focuses solely on IT related jobs. I'm not sure greating something like this will make an IT career any more attractive... Keep in mind that IT changes pretty quick. 10 years ago it was peoplesoft and sap that was hot. Then the web and now web 2.0. In 2010 it might web 3.0 -- who knows! And if you've ever worked inside the IT Operations side of most major corporations --- there are many many fire drills just trying to make all the technology work together --- and many people look to get out of that environment in favor of say a Google... and you also have people from India, Russa, and Brazil now running managing servers in data centers, running networks, etc... AND on top of that you also see a trend in contracting more IT staff. The fact is that google and vmware and facebook are hot stuff now....why? Most smart techies don't want to work on maintenance or operations projects -- they want to work on bleeding edge and want to work for cool companies with healthy supportive corporate cultures with cool cutting edge products. With that said, they don't quite understand the ins and outs of managing software development or ensuring some quality to what they do. And you have contractors, language barriers, time zone barriers, and such.....and individuals of all cultures working on IT projects -- whether in the US or abroad -- And that all speaks for even a bigger need for people who can actually manage a diverse group of people and projects .... so by far the biggest issue in IT is the lack of quality project managers who understand both the business and IT side enough to be able to not only sell or implement the software but also manage the systems and resources. Comment Response Author: Kristopher Lichter (28 Apr 2008) I think you hit on a very big issue that is common across sectors. What type of cross-training programs or incentives could organizations put into place to build a broader base of solid project managers and/or technical leaders who have operational management capability? Comment Response Author: Richard Blank (28 Apr 2008) IT vendors (IBM, HP, Microsoft, Oracle, Accenture,etc...) --- all do one thing pretty well. They manage complex IT projects. And there's alot of different 'methodologies' out there on how do this well. My first job out of undergrad was a project manager at HP -- and I had no idea what that really meant nor had I ever heard of that job title (and I consider myself well educated from a top university undergrad business school). I went on to a Big 5 consulting firm and continued my project management education there. I'm glad I learned these skills early on in my career, but sure wish I learned them as a kid. There was no project management training in high school and none in college. In fact, not even in my MBA program!!!! YET, everyday of my life IN EVERY ASPECT of my life I apply these project management skills in everything I do - both professionally at work and personally ---- buying a house is a project, raising kids is a project, making dinner is a project -- life is a continual series of projects! And of course as you move up in the world -- managing risk/schedule/scope/resources/budgets/etc. become even more important. Ideally -- I'd love to see big IT companies partner with the Project Management instititue (www.pmi.org) to make the project management profession and certification a real career option for young high school students --- so they think about the PM profession as they would say a CPA or lawyer. And work with local governments to promote the profession and educate young kids about it and start the education as early as possible -- making it mandatory across the U.S. Why aren't we teaching our children project management skills from birth? Comment Response Author: Deborah Kasdan (29 Apr 2008) There must be a way to teach it throuh a multiplayer video games.. , I've heard that World of Warfare re-inforces team-building skills. The Soft Stuff Is No Longer the Soft Stuff Author: Mick Fleming (24 Apr 2008) - 235812924391546CORB-7DZMM7 Personal Information: 1: President 2: American Chamber of Commerce Executives 4: East 7: Yes Area(s): Government; NGOs; Businesses; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: In the past, business lobbyists and chambers of commerce could address the attractiveness of the business environment in very direct ways. If they were successful advocating in the statehouse on “hard” issues like tax rates, regulations and infrastructure, they could take a bow at the end of the session and retire to the golf course having documented proof of an improved business environment. Likewise, a county executive or governor who reduced the cost of tipping fees at landfills could wave a pro-business flag that many employers would salute. Today, with talent attraction and other concerns as critical to employers as property tax rates, the entire definition of “business environment” has changed. Anybody can look at regional job creation rankings and see that high cost does not necessarily relate to low growth – and vice versa. Crafting state and regional strategies to improve the likelihood of growth and prosperity has gotten much trickier. Addressing issues like “coolness,” technology transfer, access to child care, bureaucratic friction reduction, language barriers and creation of a “entrepreneurial culture is now critical for those trying to improve a business environment. Working on the “soft” issues is more complex and arguably more difficult than handling the “hard” ones. And, here’s the kicker . . . the hard, competitiveness challenges must still be handled on top of the new “soft” agenda. Benefits: Addressing the broader business climate benefits more consituencies than traditional issue lobbying by the business community. Overall impact:: Medium: Significant positive impact, but somewhat more restricted in scope or geography Timing: More than 18 months Road Blocks: Tight state and local budgets will be stretched too thin in the short term to spend significant dollars on issues considered "soft." Responses to 'The Soft Stuff Is No Longer the Soft Stuff' Comment Author: Kristopher Lichter (24 Apr 2008) Mick, you raise a very valid point, one that the more progressive regions and municipalities already well understand (and even they arguably have a lot of room to go in getting it right). I'd add to your list of 'soft' factors one additional point, one that's related to the Globally Integrated Enterprise (GIE) - the need for supporting local and regional governments to be able to understand and support the demands and opportunities of globalization. Although a company physically bases itself in a given region, it also likely does business all over the place, and its needs are commensurately global. That used to translate to primarily to airport access, but in recent years it's become far more than that. Such a business might now value internationally-oriented education at local universities for its employees, infrastructure that enhances 24x7 collaboration with other geographies, etc. Those governments that understand the GIE and the needs of institutions working globally may therefore have a significant competitive advantage in attracting organizations to base in their region, with the result being stronger local economic bases, enhanced domestic and int'l trade, and even increased federal funding. So the real question might be - how can governments work with these other stakeholders to better understand these needs and what commensurate offerings they may be able to provide? Comprehensive or "holistic" approach to public policies Author: Linda Evans (25 Apr 2008) - 381536583504997CORB-7E2JQ6 Personal Information: East Area(s): Government; Academia; Businesses; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Too often governments adopt policies in a vacuum -- taking a "silo" approach to public policy creation. Given the global integration that is fast accelerating thanks to technological adaptations, governments need to adopt holistic approaches that capture all relevant areas, including health care, labor, investment and trade and taxation policy, etc. etc. Some of us are seeking to convince the US government Congress and Administration of this approach -- for example, not just the preserve of "geeks" or accountants, tax policy needs to be a part of any competitive strategy. US rules regarding overseas earnings date back 40+ years when US MNCs were dominant and the US percentage of global GDP was high. Todays' global US firms are far less dominant and the emerging market countries of India, China and Russia are spawning agressive, highly competitive and highly efficient global companies. We are working through various groups to educate the USG on the need to revamp policy approaches and not "go backwards" as some Presidential candidates have expounded, appealing to voter fears surrounding globalization, but to fast forward to ensure the US can continue to compete, if not lead. Benefits: Catapult US global business to where they should be in the market and not hamstring their operatons Counteract negative view of global corporations Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: More than 18 months Road Blocks: Entrenched views about global companies from average citizens Vested government officials Revenue constraints/deficit that limits ability to use tax cuts and incentives Responses to 'Comprehensive or "holistic" approach to public policies' Comment Author: Deborah Kasdan (28 Apr 2008) What is the structure behind this approach for uniting policies as diverse as taxation, health, investment, etc under a holistic globalization viewpoint? Each area is being addressed individually? Of is there a working group that spans them all? Comment Response Author: Linda Evans (29 Apr 2008) It can be varied approaches ... in my own experience there are trade associations both broad-based and industry sector specific that have taken on a comprehensive approach. Also ad hoc coalitions comprised of either specific industry or diverse companies. Admittedly it is a challenge to find common ground amongst diverse companies but given the common factor of intense global competition, companies find ways to find common ground. Create a Model "Next Generation City" That Can Be Replicated Throughout the Country Author: Brian Wright (29 Apr 2008) - 761470969710842CORB-7E6794 Personal Information: 1: Vice President 2: Melamed Communications 4: East 5: Yes 6: Monica C Debban/Washington/IBM 7: Yes Area(s): Government; Academia; Businesses; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Business incubators have been around for sometime, but what about an entire community or region that links all aspects of business development together to create a real, nationally recognized entrepreneurial culture? Through a unique partnership between a global business leader and community leadership (state and local government, business, academia & non-profit leadership), you could create an unprecedented world-class business incubator that brings educational institutions, community and entrepreneurs together to drive the development of new technologies and spur a "culture of innovation." Marc Lautenbach's work in Toledo demonstrates how regions that once thrived on yesterday's economies are adopting new strategies to strengthen their local economies and communities. These Rockefeller-age communities hold the greatest promise. Toledo's neighbor, and my home, Cleveland is one of these communities. Cleveland is a city with a rich history and tremendous assets… - World-class heath care and a developing biotechnology industry - Leading universities and research intuitions - Robust next-generation internet connectivity - Affordable real estate - Nationally recognized arts and cultural organizations - A beautiful waterfront and entertainment districts for people of every age Cleveland holds incredible potential to become a hub for creative, innovative, business leadership -- but regrettably struggles because is has yet to convert fully from an industrial to a 21st century economy. The environment is right for Cleveland to take the next step. The state is aggressively promoting economic development. Elected officials, community and business leaders are looking for solutions that will move the area's economy forward. A serious, coordinated effort (with clearly defined leadership and a highly developed plan) could create an exciting shift in the entire region's economic environment. Implemented properly, I believe the initiative could redefine the area, create a thriving location for entrepreneurs and create a replicable model for similar development across the country. Benefits: Replicable model to sustain U.S. competitiveness Revitalizes aging cities Creates jobs and boosts struggling local economies Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: More than 18 months Road Blocks: Leadership Will Funding Responses to 'Create a Model "Next Generation City" That Can Be Replicated Throughout the Country' Comment Author: Ari Reubin (29 Apr 2008) Dear Brian, I believe you are 99.99996% on-target with this macro approach; it has the potential to be a game-changer. It is the actualization of Sim-City (that software game from years ago). I would be pleased to help you mature this to actualization. Many public and private sector people and entities could make valuable contributions to such maturation. The question is can such collaboration happen with a potential diminishment to many other existing initiatives that are inspired and/or designed and/or intended to achived such an outcome? The skeptic in me coaches me to wonder the best way to handle this potential push-back. The idealist in me coaches me to withstand such potential push-back and carefully move forward showing ample respect and appreciation for all competing efforts. Best regards, Ari Ari Reubin | Vice President CB Richard Ellis | Quality & Innovation Assurance 2001 Ross Avenue, Suite 3400 | Dallas, Texas 75201 T 214 863 4421 | firstname.lastname@example.org This email may contain information that is confidential or attorney-client privileged and may constitute inside information. The contents of this email are intended only for the recipient(s) listed above. If you are not the intended recipient, you are directed not to read, disclose, distribute or otherwise use this transmission. If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete the transmission. Delivery of this message is not intended to waive any applicable privileges. Comment Response Author: Brian Wright (29 Apr 2008) Thanks Ari. You make a good point about handling potential push-back and I think that that’s all part of the planning and implementation process. I look forward to talking to you soon. Comment Author: David Stirling (29 Apr 2008) In some ways this idea reminds me of the 'project' General Motors took under Roger Smith's helm in the 80's when they created the Saturn. Totally stripped of the bureaucratic and political in-fighting ove resources and ideas, the infrastructure and organization was built around the notion that for GM to compete with Japanese cars head-on, a truly new business model was necessary. This idea build on that -I think- with the implied underpinnings of edu-business-governement partnerships bonded together around a common set of goals. The cases involving Cleveland and Toledo are wonderful. But is there a developing blueprint for a 'Saturn City' out there? Comment Response Author: Brian Wright (29 Apr 2008) ...let's create one. Open Standards - The infrastructure to support Global Integration? Author: Chris Paterson (23 Apr 2008) - 16064698252842BELB-7DYSR3 Area(s): Government; NGOs; Businesses; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Keeping with the idea that Global Integration is contingent upon collaboration and that collaboration is contingent upon open, I think we need to encourage governments and industry to adopt policy explicitly in support of open and interoperable technology standards. I would propose that we would not be contributing to a discussion on global integration without the presence and primordial impact of the Internet. The Internet, web browsers are all based on entirely open and accessible communications and programing standards - TCP/IP, HTML, etc. No one company or organization owns these standards. Instead, companies compete to offer the best products, services, etc. on the Internet as a platform. The results in terms of impact on day-to-day lives, innovation, business productivity, etc. are obvious. The principles of the Internet as a communications platform need to be applied to other areas of technology and commerce - specifically information. Digital information is not open and accessible. The overwhelming Majority of information distributed among governments, citizens, individuals and businesses is contained in proprietary document formats. The record of government is in effect embedded in proprietary document format standards. At once, this is unacceptable and incongruous with global integration. Information needs to free flowly in and among globally integrated economies. The proposal is for governments in the United States to unequivocally adopt policy in support of open and interoperable standards - for technology architecture, for communications and for content and information. Benefits: Choice, reduced cost, competition and innovation in the acquisition and use of software to store and manage information. For government's - information sovereignty and market sovereignty. Overall impact:: Medium: Significant positive impact, but somewhat more restricted in scope or geography Timing: 6 months to 18 months Road Blocks: Resistance by software companies currently benefiting from the status quo Ignorance in the literal sense of the word - the majority of individuals, governments and businesses purchase and uses the leading document and productivity software without really thinking about the implications. Something is required to pierce the bubble, so to speak. Responses to 'Open Standards - The infrastructure to support Global Integration?' Creating x-industry Innovation Best Practices knowledge Base Author: Andres Jordan (24 Apr 2008) - 290455481803616CORB-7DZTTW Personal Information: 1: Innovation 2: Deutsche Telekom North America 4: East 5: Yes 6: Monica C Debban/Washington/IBM 7: Yes Area(s): Government; NGOs; Academia; Businesses; Individuals; Other Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: As I am in Innovation management, I see a need to aggregate "practical" innovation management practices and develop technology and research technics to quickly mind the data and create "best practices" that all industries can adopt or at least study. The process of idea creation, venture funding, building a company, growing, etc... Is not very fluid. I would want to research and find best practices to accelerate this process. To create less friction for entreprenuers. In terms of existing businesses, I think there is a huge opportunity to make them more innovative with very basic and practical tools, such as creating mandatory book clubs inside companies whereby every employee has to read "a book" that addresses threats to their business. As I am in technology, which is constantly under threat by the next emerging one, I find this to help with my people. Once everyone has the same "actualized" base of knowledge, they seem to adapt faster and better. Another idea for large corps is to teach people how VC's think by having VC's and entreprenuers in residence inside companies. I would love to take these simple and practical ideas and test them via research and turn them into best practices for all to use. Best if done in a public-academic-private partnership Benefits: Accelerate new business creation Learn from new learnings Create a public exchange of ideas where they all benefit Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: More than 18 months Road Blocks: Making this a public-private partnership may step into some of the research and consulting companies businesses. Responses to 'Creating x-industry Innovation Best Practices knowledge Base' Comment Author: Kristopher Lichter (24 Apr 2008) Good suggestion. What about taking your VC-in-residence idea further and create business to business (or business to government) exchange programs? While the risk of losing people to a partner company exists, the potential to gain would likely outweigh the downside - fresh thinking, closer partnerships, additional innovation opportunities...How would organizations get started on such a program? Would it be general cross-industry, or focus in one emerging business line or growth market? Comment Author: Andres Jordan (25 Apr 2008) We would need two tracks. In order to make the idea more 'appealable' to the power at be, I think we would have to focus on emerging industries first, such as biotech, to capture the promise of growth. The second track would focus on capturing more general knowledge from established industries to help them be more innovative. Then you create this feedback mechanism between lessons learned with the - lets call it the 'startup' track - and the 'established' track. There are many lessons that startups need to learn and adopt from estabished businesses. While startups have a disdain for process and operations, I find that startups need these best practices a lot sooner than they would admit. In parallel, the established track would benefit from the best practices research captured from the startup tracks. Does this make sense? Public Servants and Politicians need a broader range of skills and professions. Author: Tom Agoston (24 Apr 2008) - 050431067368582BELB-7DZPFU Personal Information: Self Registration Area(s): Government; Businesses Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: The only unifying professional characteristic of our political class and public servants is legal training. To the extent that our politicians have any professional training, the vast majority are lawyers. It is vital for our governments to have a broader cross-section of skills and professions represented. We need: engineers, business managers (sales, finance, operations,etc.) entrepreneurs experts from various industries medical professionals, SCIENTISTS, journalists, and educators to participate in government in order to ensure economic growth by providing needed expertise. Currently, many governments can operate out of ignorance, and place political expediency over economics . Business must be recognizes as the proverbial Golden Goose to be protected. Perhaps a program whereby some professionals take a multi-year sabbatical to work in government might help start the process. Benefits: Greater economic growth. Better decisions based on realistic information. Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: More than 18 months Road Blocks: The political class and public sector would probably not welcome competition. Responses to 'Public Servants and Politicians need a broader range of skills and professions.' Comment Author: Bruce Mehlman (25 Apr 2008) This is a very true observation. Policy leaders reflect their life experiences, and we're a nation of the lawyers, by the lawyers and for the lawyers. (I am a lawyer as well). That said, we're also a democracy. The biggest challenge to this Idea is that there are no legal, formal or other barriers to running for office. Engineers and scientists have mostly chosen not to run, or else they have not appealed to the voters when they have tried. Perhaps we need to create a Pocket Protector Party to compete with the Democrats and Republicans. Otherwise the challenge to making this happen is to convince the broader array of professionals to surrender their privacy, financial pursuits and time with family in exchange for withering scrutiny, guaranteed vilification in the public eye, much lower income, public appreciation at the level of car salesmen and frustration at the difficulties of driving change in a system built to stymie it. Comment Author: Linda Evans (25 Apr 2008) I seem to recall someone observed a decline in the representation of lawyers in Congress, -- we actually have a freshman member who is a scientist/engineer from California who was convinced to run by his son. That said, as Bruce says, and I am also a lawyer, we are a nation of laws and also unfortunately a litigious country. (To wit, more of we lawyers ought to provide pro bono for the less -privileged in that I don't see the litigious nature of the US diminishing) To your point , I agree we should encourage more other professions to engage in public service -- one Democrat freshman member in fact lamented the brain drain of good staffers or lack thereof, who leave low pay to earn more in the private sector.,and in some cases 'cash in' on connections, earning outrageous salaries. Regrettably, prior scandals and political gridlock and bickering has tended to paint Congress an 'unattractive' option for many -- we see the defection of many talented and balanced policy makers from that fact .. I don't have easy answers and as you correctly observe there are tough obstacles, but creative collaborative thinking by private and public actors could change things ... Comment Author: Mick Fleming (25 Apr 2008) To be an elected official, it is more important to be a smart generalist than to have a range of skills. Appointed leaders in government are where the rubber meets the road. One cynical health care advocate in Albany once said that the number of lines in the text of a bill will equal the number of inches thick the regulation manual will be. Allowing the top and mid-level appointed positions in government to fall to political appointees and folks who failed in prior employment is a recipe for disaster of Katrina-esque proportions: 'Great job, Brownie!' We need professionals in the professional tasks and well-rounded citizens in legislatures. Lawyers have been known to be well-rounded on occasion. Comment Author: Ray Damijonaitis (26 Apr 2008) We have to understand the relationship between the elected, policy maker and the people who actually do the work. This, at some level includes the office holder’s staffers, but in large part involves career bureaucrats who will be in their positions for years. A policy maker can talk for years, but will achieve nothing without buy-in from the career bureaucrats. The specific expertise of the policy maker is not as important as their ability to be able to think clearly and cut through to the meat of the matter at hand. Speaking as someone who comes from an engineering perspective, I did not use my professional skills to determine the strength of structures while evaluating roadway improvement projects, but I was able to understand what the consultants were proposing. (I was a local elected official) The main expertise we need to bring into our governing processes is actually getting things done. The amount of time wasted in talking and planning is outrageous. In politics, is seems that talking and recognizing a problem is an end point. I believe that the professionals like doctors, engineers etc. have a better handle on the project management process where the end state of a project is a solution or product. Comment Author: Tom Agoston (29 Apr 2008) Thanks for everyone's comments and thoughts. I'm kind of surprised at the number of people who thought this proposal would have LOW impact. Not being defensive, but I'd be very interested to hear why those folks don't see a nexus between broadening the skills of our politicians and public sector workers and greater social good. Seems very obvious to me. Comment Author: Catherine Morris (29 Apr 2008) Is there an opportunity for distance and online learning here? Pursuit of Open as a strategy for competitiveness Author: Chris Paterson (23 Apr 2008) - 309941252765698BELB-7DYS26 Personal Information: Self Registration Area(s): Government; Academia; Businesses Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Global integration may and will most likely require a reorientation of theory, policy and definition of advantage. Traditional trade theory is organized in pursuit of comparative advantage, the notion that one nation/region can do something more productive than others. In the days and age of rapid innovation, governments pursue strategies to increase the stock of knowledge, capital, labour and other factors of production - moreso than elsewhere... Some time ago, Robert Reich proposed in "The Wealth of Nations" an agenda of Postive Economic Nationalism. PEN seemed to hold that governments should invest in the skills and capabilities of its citizens, the theory being that it is skills that will define the nation's comparative advantage, while enabling individuals to become active, participating members of civil society and to make a positive impact wherever there skills may take them. Reich's theory is sound - skills are the primary factor of production in the global innovation and services intensive economy. The region with a higher supply of cutting- edge skills will be more productive and therefore will gain a comparative advantage in any given economic activity. However, I think Reich's theory is flawed in the context of the discussion on global integration. From my perspective, policy in the United States and in several other G8/OECD economies is crafted seemingly in pursuit of endogenous or internal development and supply - openness to collaboration, sharing, co-development of resources - skills or otherwise - is viewed as a threat to competitiveness. Policy orientations need to change in this regard. Global integration requires collaboration. Collaboration requires openness - to people, ideas, creativity, skills, capital, other resources and so on. The rubber meets this esoteric discussion on the subject of immigration. America's immigration policy appears to tolerate rather than embrace highly skilled newcomers. There does not appear to be any strategy in pursuit of capturing, settling and integrating the world's brightest and the best. Other countries pursue different approaches. Canada, for example, does not cap the number of individuals that can enter the country. Instead, it assigns "points" to the positive attributes that an individual can bring to the country. Points are weighted in favour of competent, entrepreneurial and highly skilled individuals. America's loss is Canada's gain and that of other countries (e.g. Australia). Interestingly, some of these people that enter Canada on points are from Tehran and similar regions. Open Immigration in pursuit comparative advantage may require some tricky political trade-offs. Benefits: for government, comparative advantage for academia, an opportunity to train the brightest and the best for businesses - an opportunity to recruit the brightest and the best, increase the supply of skilled labour and leverage in pursuit of new markets. Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: Don't know Road Blocks: Political environment does not appear conducive to a discussion on "open immigration" - quite the opposite. Attachment(s): https://globalleadership.imaginatik.com/globalidc1.nsf/0/37255FDB29EC3AD38525743400708524/$FILE/economist_helpnotwanted.pdf Responses to 'Pursuit of Open as a strategy for competitiveness' Comment Author: Linda Evans (25 Apr 2008) I think this is a valid observation -- that said many countries assigning points for immigrants do that on the basis of the skill level and 'wealth factor' of the immigrants, viz Hong Kong Chinese fleeing the 1997 handover. What tends to be left are the lowerskilled and sometimes politically disadvantaged people. There does need to be greater collaboration and cooperation amongst G8 countries to absorb not only the best and brightest but the less privileged. That said, governments of these countries also need to do a better job of taking care of their citizens and there is the rub. Comment Author: Richard Blank (25 Apr 2008) There's are some interesting reads by a business school professor Richard Florida -- http://creativeclass.com/ Rise of the Creative Class Fall of the Creative Class and more recently -- Who's Your City haven't read all of these yet....but the theme here in this topic is quite related. Minimalist Approach Author: James A Lewis (28 Apr 2008) - 898558022430762BELB-7E65FL Personal Information: 1: Director and Senior Fellow, Technology and Public Policy Program 2: Center for Strategic and International Studies 4: East 5: Yes 6: Monica C Debban/Washington/IBM 7: Yes Area(s): Government; Academia; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: What would happen if government didn't do anything to promote innovation? We expect that the rate of innovation would decline. It's not clear if this would happen, but the kind of innovations we'd see would certainly change. More realistically, what if government only provided a few basic services to support innovation that it does not now adequately provide: (1) a decent secondary education (not math and science education - our problem is the number of high school dropouts); (2) adequate funding for basic research - this is probably an additional $4-5 billion; and (3) an improved mechanism for transferring federally funded research from universities to the private sector (Bayh-Dole needs an upgrade). These three steps might deliver most of the ROI we can expect to extract from government policy. It also gets us out of having to come with strategies, institutions and similar high risk activities (the risk is lots of effort for only minimal return). Benefits: Funding basic research expands demand for scientists (many current proposal would expand the supply without also expanding demand - this is a recipe for failure) and provides what the private sector well not do - fundamental research. Amending Bayh-Dole increases research available for commercialization. Giving the estimated 15- 20% of Americans who do not currently finish high school an education provides a trainable workforce. Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: 6 months to 18 months Road Blocks: US education is hopelessly snarled, and the emphasis on STEM has only made matters worse. Congress seems incapable of increasing the funding for basic research. An improved Bayh-Dole would be opposed by the current beneficiaries. Responses to 'Minimalist Approach' Comment Author: Susan C Tuttle (29 Apr 2008) Jim, with regard to education, it's important to look at the entire educational food chain. We do need more students with STEM skills and we do need better educated individuals - which means finding ways to keep kids in school. We need people to have the right set of skills for the services-based jobs of the 21st century. Life-long learning is also extremely important. Most students graduate with the expectation that they will have approx 15 jobs over the course of their career. Technology and business needs will change and people will need to adapt in order to take advantage of ner opportunities. Addressing the drop-out rate is just one important aspect of ensuring we have an educated and skilled work force - that can effectively compete in a global economy. Incubators Author: Marc Williams (25 Apr 2008) - 916945143816281BELB-7E2QYH Personal Information: East Area(s): Government; NGOs; Academia; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: I have been fascinated by the notion of incubators to support entrepreneurs as a way to spur entrepreneurship and economic development. How effective are entrepreneur incubators now and what can be done to make them more effective? If there was more collaboration among government, universities and business, incubators could be a greater source of new businesses and innovations. Benefits: Stronger, more effective incubators could help more innovations and new businesses get off the ground Overall impact:: Medium: Significant positive impact, but somewhat more restricted in scope or geography Timing: More than 18 months Road Blocks: Lack of willingness to commit public funds especially in a down economy. Inadequately trained workforce to push the new businesses to success Responses to 'Incubators' Comment Author: David Stirling (29 Apr 2008) In the mid-90's I had occasion to work with the technology incubator housed at Georgia Tech University. There was a very structured - yet manageable - process to submit business plans for consideration. The incubator did in fact provide the seed infrastructure to launch a handful of subsequently successful tech businesses. What current models of 'venture incubators' are out there today? Comment Author: David Stirling (29 Apr 2008) Linking these ideas might help us build on them a bit.... https://globalleadership.imaginatik.com/globalidc1.nsf/1cb8f8baf7eb811a85256d4e006e9569/6ec7c53c0ac5a6a38525743a00187826!OpenDocument Engaging Disenfranchized Workers Author: Lucy Baney (25 Apr 2008) - 674280918593118CORB-7E2H37 Personal Information: East Area(s): Government; NGOs; Businesses; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: As baby boomers retire and the US faces labor shortages, we often overlook people who have to be educated, need skills training, and put back into the workforce as productive, tax paying citizens - those are the disabled (both physically and cognitively), as well as former inmates. The numbers are staggering and the obstacles they face are daunting. Both populations have very low employment rates, for different reasons, but both have people that have the intellect, capability, willingness to learn, and yearn for the simple right to work and support themselves and their families. The real cost to all of us, individually as taxpayers, and to state, local and federal governments, is spiraling out of control. Despite a heightened awareness through research from respected foundations such as the Pew Charitable Trusts (One in 100: Behind Bars in America 2008); the passage of the Second Chance Act; increased focus on access for people with disabilities; the rising numbers of soldiers returning from Iraq with traumatic brain injuries. Their employment statistics are actually decreasing. Businesses and governments need to tackle this issue to resolve labor shortages, education gaps, and to build a more solid workforce utilizing as much of our human capital as possible. Benefits: Increased labor force Increased productivity by workers eager to work Redirection of tax dollars Reduces the education gap Reduces crime Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: Don't know Road Blocks: Public perception Money Business' reluctance to hire the disenfranchised Legal barriers Responses to 'Engaging Disenfranchized Workers' Comment Author: David Stirling (28 Apr 2008) To your point, President Bush announced the New Freedom Initiative on February 1, 2001, as part of a nationwide effort to remove barriers to community living for people with disabilities. From the website...'Today, there are more than 54 million Americans living with a disability, representing a full 20 percent of the U.S. population. Almost half of these individuals have a severe disability affecting their ability to see, hear, walk or perform other basic functions of life. In addition, there are more than 25 million family caregivers and millions more who provide aid and assistance to people with disabilities. The New Freedom Initiative is a comprehensive plan that represents an important step in working to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to learn and develop skills, engage in productive work, make choices about their daily lives and participate fully in community life.' The Initiative's goals are to: Increase access to assistive and universally designed technologies; Expand educational opportunities; Promote homeownership; Integrate Americans with disabilities into the workforce; Expand transportation options; and Promote full access to community life. This is one example which focuses on a constituent group you mentioned. What others are out there which can be leveraged? http://www.hhs.gov/newfreedom/init.html Propering Together Author: Larry Burton (23 Apr 2008) - 01039139391165BELB-7DYLJ3 Personal Information: 1: Executive Director 2: Business Roundtable 4: East 5: Yes 6: Monica C Debban/Washington/IBM 7: Yes Area(s): Government; NGOs; Academia; Businesses; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Comapnies and government must work together to address the concerns and anxieties faced by American workers who feel unprepared for today's international economy. The CEO's of the Business Roundtable view this as a strategic imperative. The product of their work is best seen in a document called Prospering Together -- America's Citizens, Communities and Companies. A new approach is needed with respect to lifelong learning as well as assistance for job dislocation. One approach is to streamline and modernize the existing system of initiatives that leverages and builds on today's best practices and experiences from both the private and public sectors. For a more full description of the Business Roundtable's policy proposal -- which involves the Global Enterprise as well as government, please see http://www.businessroundtable.org/pdf/BR_Prospering_Together_01312008.pdf Benefits: Modernizes current government skills programs and taps more effectively into best practices. Individuals will have more control of their future employment options. Companies can be tapped more fully for their own experiences and learning. Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: 6 months to 18 months Road Blocks: Commitment to lifelong learning can start now. Designing a more connected broader program that addresses a wider range of worker anxieties will take some time and require the political willingness to let go of legacy programs in place of a modernized approach geared toward individuals. Resources are also an issue. Responses to 'Propering Together' Comment Author: David Stirling (28 Apr 2008) To expand on this a bit, businesses are among the many largely independent agents in the 'globalization' context. Operating at velocities and volumes which governments can't keep pace with - in terms of information and control. No doubt, there is a developing gap between globalization and global arrangements. THis is a huge mixing bowl of issues. Which ones seem to be the 'lowest hanging fruit' to fruit for public and private sector leaders to focus on? Is it climate change? Is it about Sovereign Wealth Funds? What of the recent credit market collapse - would greater governmental intervention help or hurt Globally Integrated Enterprises? Comment Author: C. Fred Bergsten (28 Apr 2008) I have already largely answered this question in my previous comment. I agree strongly with the main themes of the new business roundtable report but believe that the US corporate leadership, particularly from GIEs, must put much more muscle into implementation of its proposals on the education/learning as well as dislocation assistance issues. I totally agree that part of the response lies in improving the existing practices in both the private and public sectors. Our government's education reform programs sitll have a very long way to go to equip American workers with the capacity to compete effectively in a globalized economy where the United States can retain its high-income status only via much wider acquisition of high skills across the labor force. This will require a series of reforms at the K-12, college and graduate levels. It will equally require more aggressive and effective initiative from the public and private sectors. A similar breadth and indepth of initiatives will be needed with respect to social safety nets to counter worker dislocation. At present, unemployment insurance covers fewer than 1/3 of our dislocated workers and compensates them at less than 1/3 of their average prior wage. Trade adjustment assistance still does not include the services sector despite understandable anxieties over the out-sourcing of services jobs for at least 5 years. Government always lags the real world but these acronynisms have become substantively embarrassing and politiclally toxic in terms of maintaining support for an open foreign economic policy for the United States. Promote Specific Cultural training for our "Leaders" Author: Andres Jordan (23 Apr 2008) - 851773861295491BELB-7DYPT9 Personal Information: 1: Innovation 2: Deutsche Telekom North America 4: East 5: Yes 6: Monica C Debban/Washington/IBM 7: Yes Area(s): Government; NGOs Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Having lived in several countries and cultures, I can attest to the fact that there are massive misunderstandings of the World by our high level "leaders" be them CEO's or President of nations. These individuals need to understand the intricacies of other cultures first before they are put in positions of authority. A good example of this: you can't give new water extraction mechanisms to poor Africans until the are taugh how to handle water. The basic misunderstanding here is that most American's would never know the fact that poor africans down know how to handle water, unless they have been immersed in understanding the african culture/s. We are too provincial and colloquial to understand the subtleties of other cultures.Period. This has to change immediately. Benefits: alleviate misunderstandings that can lead to wrong decisions Impreove communication channels. liberate creative thinking build bridges between cultures/people Overall impact:: Medium: Significant positive impact, but somewhat more restricted in scope or geography Timing: 6 months to 18 months Road Blocks: unwillingness to learn and change Responses to 'Promote Specific Cultural training for our "Leaders"' Comment Author: Steve Stewart (23 Apr 2008) This is a very important point. Very simple in concept, but huge in impact. This is one reason why IBM has created the Corporate Service Corps to give our company's rising leaders cross-cultural experience on a very personal level in new emerging markets. See http://www- 03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/23743.wss Comment Author: Elyssa Rosenberg (23 Apr 2008) Andres, this is a good statement of the problem. Do you have any recommendations as to how people should address these issues? Comment Author: Bruce Mehlman (23 Apr 2008) Great point. What percentage of US students study and are proficient in foreign languages? Being bilingual is not enough -- one needs to be bicultural to really succeed -- but we should demand all our students graduate high school able to read and write a second language (presupposing, of course, they can read and write English). Comment Author: Tom Agoston (24 Apr 2008) Andre raises a very good point. Perhaps it makes sense also to look for cross-cultural perspectives and international experiences as qualifications for 'leaders' in the first place. Some of these are difficult to retrofit. Comment Author: Andres Jordan (24 Apr 2008) In response to the comments. There are a lot of resources to accomplish. What IBM is doing is absolutely on the right track. I am not an educator and I can only speak from experience. I workd in Innovation management where I encounter 'analog' mindsets all day long and find that most minds hace stopped learning and accepting change. So, one thing we need to do is reteach our minds by 1) changing perspectives constantly; be it walking to work intead of driving, going to eat at a ethnic restaurent instead of Rubby Tuesday,etcc....a more academic solution is to make improv workshops part of teaching curriculum. Improvisational workshops are great at teaching how to shift mindsets..2) Teaching creativitiy. I believe that crativity is an inherent skill. Lots of academic research on this topic including the seminal work by Richard Florida in the 'Rise of the Creative Class' 3) Have immertion (sp ?) workshops for 1 or 2 days with people from other cultures telling their stories and deep Q&A's in a creative environment outside of work. 4) Develop the intuitive side of the mind. Many tricks here as well along the lines of brainstorming theories Comment Author: Marc Williams (25 Apr 2008) This is an outstanding idea but I would not limit it to leaders. The Internet has shrunk time and distance so that these are no longer the barriers they once were to collaboration across the globe. But cultural misunderstanding still remains a barrier. The US has always been open to change and to new cultures and raising our cultural IQ would increase the US competitive advantage. Perhaps introducing this as a course of study in schools and in the local business community would be the right place to start. Fast Tracking Business Creation Author: Andres Jordan (25 Apr 2008) - 115403982604715BELB-7E2G8S Personal Information: 1: Innovation 2: Deutsche Telekom North America 4: East 5: Yes 6: Monica C Debban/Washington/IBM 7: Yes Area(s): Government; NGOs; Academia; Businesses; Individuals; Other Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Michael, there is a thread of an idea from a business woman frustrated with all the hurdles involved in creating and running a business. My proposed solution was to create "fast track" authorities in congress to accelerate business creation. The general idea is that all the agencies could have delegates in this fast track authority that would accelerate things inside agencies. I am in Innovation management and when we have ideas, we fast track them and try to "fail them fast" in order to move to the next one. We usually take the idea - if it survives the market test - to a proof of concept pilot and then we go back and complete the "paper work" This is the general idea? Your point of view is appreciated. Benefits: Faster business creation Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: Don't know Road Blocks: Government Responses to 'Fast Tracking Business Creation' Comment Author: Jeremy Dies (25 Apr 2008) This is a great theme. Do you think that in the US the biggest hurdles to new businesses are from regulation or accumulating the required capital? Is it a policy problem (paperwork) or an financial problem (loans)? Comment Response Author: Mick Fleming (25 Apr 2008) Money and bureaucracy -- most would-be businesses have too little of the former and too much of the latter. Chambers and Small Business Development Centers can help entrepreneurs with both, but the work of fighting through paperwork and finding investors/lenders will remain with the business owner. Is there a way to fast-track? Cities like Alexandria, VA recognized the need to address the perception and reality of both permiting and inspections. The city of Scranton provides first-line funding to some start-up businesses that neither banks, nor tradtional economic development entities would touch. For most businesses, the challenges are local, not state/federal, so the relief and assistance must be local. Dr. David Soule at Northeastern University has an outstanding self- evaluation tool for local governments to assess their permit/regulatory process for start-up and move-in business. More info is available at: www.curp.neu.edu Comment Author: Andres Jordan (25 Apr 2008) Unfortunately is a litte bit of both. But, it you look at business creation, most start by boot strapping own resources and savings, so to begin with I would reduce the paperwork load in other to launch entrepreneurs to the next level which would be capital acquisition. So, yes, it would be a policy change in order to do this well. Our government needs to adopt ideas from venture capitalists (VC). VC's usually have a series of investments, let us sy 10 to 15. Maybe one or two will succed the other die, but those two will make up for the rest. So, the idea is to accelerate creation of ideas and business. The more we promote, the more jewels will rise to the top. Facilitating acquisition of capital is also something that needs to happen. One idea would be to have government provide Venture insurance to VS's- for example- such as we do for other programs (EXIM bank ) for exports, for example. This will lessen the risk profile for VC's that may not fund a startup for one reason or another. I know, you are thinking, why subsidize VCs. The idea here is propel best practices and if you look at it with this filter, you will see the VC's are sort of a 'best practice' as is insuring exports, mortages, etc..... Comment Author: Linda Evans (25 Apr 2008) The notion of fast track in Congress is interesting -- there is so-called fast track for legislation regarding trade, but perhaps applying the concept to such committees as the small business committee that looks to entrepreneurship in the US, could be a start. Revamping the Small Business Administration that can be a bloated bureaucracy can also be an option. I wonder how other countries treat entrepreneurs and small businesses? Thinking Regionally Is Still A Challenge Author: Mick Fleming (25 Apr 2008) - 591134508278019BELB-7E2PT9 Personal Information: 1: President 2: American Chamber of Commerce Executives 4: East 7: Yes Area(s): Government; Academia; Businesses Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: The new economic principalities of the world are not states or nations, but rather metropolitan regions -- sometimes mega regions. Employers, workers, customers and vendors don't look at their economic lives as being tied to any political jurisdiction, but rules, regulations, taxes, enforcement, school systems, transit, higher ed and other regional assets/challenges are still being handled in small political plots, or using state borders that are more-or-less irrelevant. One region -- like Pittsburgh-- could have hundreds of taxing/legal jurisdictions in three states. Unless the governments at least cooperate fully (if not formally merge), our regional economic engines will be at a competitive disadvantage vs. more centrally managed and logically-run regions around the globe. The North American regions that are figuring this out (Charlotte, Louisville, Seattle) will have a better chance for success in the future than those who remain mired in provisional thinking. Benefits: Regional strategies reduce costs, friction, duplication, confusion within the marketplace, economies of scale for regional "place" marketing and create more equity between economic strata. Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: More than 18 months Road Blocks: Politicians are almost never elected by regional voters. Responses to 'Thinking Regionally Is Still A Challenge' Comment Author: Marc Williams (25 Apr 2008) I suggest that solving this problem be put in the hands of groups like the National Governors Association and National Association of State Legislators, not only to get at a holistic best practices solution but to get beyond the rivalry among states in a region. Here in the Washington region, there is competition between MD and Virginia, so much so that the two states fought a battle over the water in the Potomac rivier!! Reward University Faculty for Entrepreneurship Author: David Ralph (23 Apr 2008) - 937926298924239BELB-7DZ3AM Personal Information: 1: Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer 2: Integrated BioScience Solutions 4: Central 5: Yes 6: Monica C Debban/Washington/IBM 7: Yes Area(s): Academia Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: There are a lot of smart university faculty in this country. However, the rules by which they are compensated discourages entrepreneurship. University faculty are evaluated based on their teaching, service and research. Currently, faculty at research universities are most heavily evaluated based on the number of indirect or overhead dollars that they bring into a university. Service usually means academic committee work. Currently, faculty are penalized for entrepreneurship because it detracts from time spent on those things for which they are evaluated. Let's change the rules. First, let us permit university faculty to count entrepreneurship activities towards the service components of their job descriptions. One particular example might be to allow faculty extensive release time to do consulting work for companies and count a portion of the consulting time as service. Second, we should encourage faculty to become involved in start-ups by allowing them to decrease their time commitments to the universities to 75% or 50% time (And decrease their salaries proportionally). This would free up the rest of their time to start companies. They could also keep health insurance, which is extremely important. Third, count patent applications as publications for tenure review. Forth, let faculty take significant equity positions in their companies. I suspect that right after one faculty member in a department makes a fortune at a liquidity event, every other faculty member in the department will be thinking about how they can follow in their colleague's footsteps. Fifth, find a way to promote faculty who do entrepreneurship activities well but bring in limited overhead dollars. Finally, let us reform university tech transfer offices. Instead of evaluating the performance of tech transfer officers based on the number of patent licenses or royalty revenues, let's tie their raises to the number of new companies spun out of their institutions that successfully raised equity financing. Benefits: Academia loses in this situation because their faculty will be doing nontraditional activities. Therefore, the universities need to be supported in this effort. Everyone else benefits because the talent and innovation that is currently locked up in the ivory tower gets let out. New companies and formed, and old companies get help. People get new jobs. Government gets more tax revenue. Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: 6 months to 18 months Road Blocks: All the issues are cultural and institutional. Many will say that entrepreneurship is not the mission of universities. We need to change the academic culture to one that realizes that through entrepreneurship, the benefits of knowledge and study can be delivered to all of society. Responses to 'Reward University Faculty for Entrepreneurship' Comment Author: Marc Williams (25 Apr 2008) I agree that university faculty could be a more promising source of entrepreneurship. I want to focus my comments on your comment that tech transfer offices should be measured on businesses started not on licensing income. I agree. Also, when licensing becomes the primary driving criteria for universities, it not only hurts creation of new businesses but harms collaboration with existing ones to create new innovations since the focus becomes not on collaboration but on who is going to own the IP. Idea for Fred Bergston Author: Tom Kucharvy (28 Apr 2008) - 493324177920195BELB-7E5RKC Personal Information: Self Registration Area(s): Government Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Given that the election year is coinciding with a downturn in the economy, what is the prospect of a productive dialog around globalization? Are we better off trying to deemphasize or focus attention away from this issue until after the election? At least there may be a somewhat greater interest in assessing facts, rather than in attracting votes. Benefits: Getting a hearing on the merits, rather than on what plays with voters. Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: 6 months to 18 months Road Blocks: Don't know of any, off the top of my head Responses to 'Idea for Fred Bergston' Comment Author: C. Fred Bergsten (28 Apr 2008) I am afraid that we do not have a choice with respect in debating globalization during this election year. Such periods do not provide the most fruitful context for objective discussion but globalization is now too important to ignore and the candidates have of course themselves been addressing it directly. The political campaigns in fact offer an opportunity to highlight the benefits of globalization, obviously in the aggregate but in specific cases as well and thus to take advantage of the current discourse to dispel misunderstandings and begin building a more sustainable foundation for open trade policies. The media will of course play a central role in this process and must be enocouraged to present the real facts as well as the contrary assertions of some politicians and constituencies. Teach Creativity and Entreprenuership early on Author: Andres Jordan (23 Apr 2008) - 694483863584344BELB-7DYPC2 Personal Information: 1: Innovation 2: Deutsche Telekom North America 4: East 5: Yes 6: Monica C Debban/Washington/IBM 7: Yes Area(s): Government; Academia; Businesses Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Make teaching creativity and entreprenuership mandatory in all curriculums at elementary and middle schools. Moreover, do so via "play acting" educational models. One idea is to play Monopoly in school and supplant that with a talk from an entreprenuer. Andres Jordan Benefits: start imbedding entrepreneural thinking in kids early on. Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: Don't know Road Blocks: Educational establishments and established interests Responses to 'Teach Creativity and Entreprenuership early on' Comment Author: Chris Paterson (23 Apr 2008) What I take from this is placing a priority on hands-on, interactive learning... this approach to education stimulates creativity, team work and an ability to diagnose and solve problems in meaningful ways... very different from,'ok, go to page 32 of your text...' and very much required for success in a services, knowledge driven economy... Comment Author: Amy Hermes (23 Apr 2008) What skills do students of today and students of the future need to master to be successful in the 21st century business world and beyond and what interactive tools and learning strategies can be leveraged by teachers, parents and other influencers to help enable this 'early start'? Comment Author: Ned McCulloch (24 Apr 2008) One appealing aspect of this teaching approach is the inclusion of the 'go-to-market skills' as part of the entreprenuership package. That brings to bear the immediate feedback of good sales for good efforts. Kids naturally get sales. Positive feedback comes to a kid when they sell something, and it is immediate and tangible. That immediacy of feedback provides a teaching advantage over the design and production phase which are somewhat romoved from the eedback of the marketplace. That powerful feedback loop catches the kids attention, and facilitates coaching them through the entire marketing and selling process. For example, working with a kid on a better lemonade design might be tough. But working with them on a signage, location, and personal appeals to neighbors is pretty doable. In a services driven economy, we need to focus on all parts of the sell cycle. Comment Author: Andres Jordan (24 Apr 2008) Adding to the idea further and building on the comments. I think that creativity and entreprenuership are one and the same. We grow being very imaginative and creative and we play and we create by doing. Then we grow up and we loose it and are taugh to be afraid of being creative and passionate. Why? I think is a complex answer. One solution is to use the full 'digital' power of technology to prove and disprove new educational strategies. We do this by adopting the innovation concept of 'failing fast' I know we are talking about humans/kids, etc...The point is that the sooner we can prove or disprove, the sooner we can move on to the next approach. I think that technlogy with all its power to serach, mine and analyse quickly could give us answers very quickly as well. Markeeter;s do it....they have teh mining engines to predict our every move. Why couldn't IBM create such a 'fast failing' ecosystem to try new teaching methodologies? It is all there. Comment Author: Meridith Singer (28 Apr 2008) I think that everyone should have internships to increase their exposure to jobs and career possibilities that will further spur innovation. Hands-on experiences have equal, if not more, impact that standardized classroom-based learning. If students are exposed to the challenges facing companies of all sizes and governments, they can be stimulated to find innovation solutions to current and future problems. We need to get more people engaged early on with businesses and governments to expose them to real challenges. Globally integrated economy + Corporate citizenship, social responsibility Author: Julia Cheng (24 Apr 2008) - 483466849774929CORB-7DZKYX Personal Information: East Area(s): Government; NGOs; Academia; Businesses; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Today's economy and business landscape intersects with society in creative, innovative ways. How, specifically, can companies express their responsibility as corporate citizens in a globally integrated economy? For example, what programs, initiatives, or actions can they undertake today, and in the future, to demonstrate corporate social responsibility in the countries where one does business around the world? What are the key actions, steps which companies can undertake and consider as next steps? Any examples that you can share as well would be beneficial. Benefits: building corporate citizens corporate social responsibility cultural awareness around the globe businesses relationship-build with governments, NGOs, other businesses, academia, non-profits, etc. Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: Less than 6 months Road Blocks: open for discussion, would like to hear thoughts from other individuals Responses to 'Globally integrated economy + Corporate citizenship, social responsibility' Comment Author: David Stirling (28 Apr 2008) General Electric offers a great example through their 'Ecomagination' initiative. They have embedded their four point commitment into their overall corporate strategy. See: http://ge.ecomagination.com/site/index.html#vision/commitments Comment Author: C. Fred Bergsten (28 Apr 2008) Companies can express their responsiblity as corporate citizens both by educating the countries in which they operate about their benefits and by contributing tangibly to the realization of those gains. The former will sometimes require sponsorship of objective and balance studies that trace the costs as well as benefits of globalization to host at home nations. The later calls for the companies to make conscious efforts to train local workers to fill their jobs, contribute to the welfare of the communities and indeed entire countries in which they operate, operate transparently so that they can allay suspicions concerning their activities, and engage all stakeholder groups in their governance processes. There are now established best practices through which GIEs can demonstrate their sincerity in pursuing the goals that they share with virtually all countries in which they operate. Comment Author: Richard Blank (28 Apr 2008) GE is a great example --- and also a company whose DNA and culture has CSR 'baked-in'. In fact, GE's website refers to their corporate culture 'to be among its innovations.' --- focused on people, working environment, and community. Starbucks is another example... http://www.starbucks.com/aboutus/csr.asp A global company with global sourcing. They actually go as far as publishing metrics....and CSR is part of Starbucks core values and 'DNA'. Of course it's easy to jump on the 'green' or 'csr' bandwagon when it's politically correct to do so. One might assume that CSR should not be just some corporate initiative --- but should indeed be part of the corporate culture and DNA (as in the case of SBUX or Whole Foods or GE). Obviously when a business operates accordingly to certain values -- CSR included --- they'll have the necessary credibility needed from both a supplier and consumer standpoint to be perceived as a company that is indeed socially responsible --- no matter what country in the world they operate. Branding the U.S.A. Author: louis lazarus (23 Apr 2008) - 124238956282902CORB-7DYM55 Personal Information: 4: Other 5: No 6: Other Area(s): Businesses; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: As global adoption of the Internet explodes and billions of new consumers enter the global economy, we need to do a better job of branding the U.S. We certainly do a lot to point out the flaws in imports from China (and other) countries. But what we need is an equivalent effort to promote U.S. goods and services. What if the U.S. government funded a global marketing campaign that would be created and implemented by American advertising agencies? This could be similar to public service campaigns from the Ad Council (http://www.adcouncil.org/default.aspx?id=15). Promoting the superiority of U.S. goods and services would help justify the relatively higher price point of our products and services by showing that they are the most innovative and of the highest-quality in the world. This could help stabilize/increase U.S. wages and eventually create greater demand for all things made in the U.S.A. Another benefit would be an increased sense of optimism among Americans about our products, services and abilities. The campaign would reinforce the idea that the U.S. can compete – and not just compete but win – against products and services from any other country. We may not always be the cheapest option, but we will always be the most innovative. In other words, if you want to be the Cadillac instead of the Yugo, then you have to be willing to advertise and promote what it is that makes you better. Benefits: Business would benefit because their products and services would be promoted globally and 'protected' from purely price-based competition. Individuals would benefit from improved wages and renewed sense of pride in American ingenuity. Overall impact:: Medium: Significant positive impact, but somewhat more restricted in scope or geography Timing: 6 months to 18 months Road Blocks: funding Responses to 'Branding the U.S.A.' Attributes for Success Author: Catherine Morris (23 Apr 2008) - 752895399404898BELB-7DYH8G Personal Information: East Area(s): Government; Academia; Businesses; Individuals Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Change isn't easy. It can be disruptive. And everyone doesn't adapt at the same rate and pace. A vision for success is critical. Some attributes for success: - Strong committed leadership - leaders that will stay the course - A clear and executable plan - write it down, publicize it, track results, measure performance - and adapt) - A "culture of innovation" - success can depend on changing the culture from the bottom up. - A governance process that supports the plan - make sure you have a "decision making" process that is clear and transparent, one that can respond with speed and flexibility to a changing environment - A collaborative organization - break down barriers and silos that dampen innovation and build new relationships. - Perserverance - there will be no shortage of critics and obstacles - prove them wrong. Benefits: Ease the transformation journey. Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: Don't know Road Blocks: Lack of buy-in. Responses to 'Attributes for Success' Comment Author: louis lazarus (23 Apr 2008) I like your point about creating a clear plan and publicizing it. I've often heard people refer to the globalization issue in the following way: It is easier to tell the 'slay the dragon' story than the 'pot of gold at the end of the rainbow' story. In other words, it's easier to promote short-term protectionist policies (aka slay the dragon) than it is to explain the long-term benefits that a globally integrated economy can provide (aka pot of gold). Creating a clear plan and publicizing it would help tell the pot of gold story. People could see a roadmap with the steps it will take for everyone to share the benefits of globalization. Teach Life Learning Author: Andres Jordan (23 Apr 2008) - 083192187380789BELB-7DYPH5 Personal Information: 1: Innovation 2: Deutsche Telekom North America 4: East 5: Yes 6: Monica C Debban/Washington/IBM 7: Yes Area(s): Government; NGOs; Academia; Businesses; Individuals; Other Idea Groups: For Phase Two Review Idea: Most people stop learning as they age. Develop a curriculum that teaches "life-learning". For a very simple start, Teach the "7 Da Vinci principles." This will be enough to spark a massive shift in thinking in the populace. Benefits: Develop a flexible mind set Develop peripheral vision Learn to value what one does not understand Develop critical-thinking skills Learn to go deeper than emotional responses Learn to understand the World Overall impact:: High: Major positive impact on a very large number of individuals, businesses or communities across the nation or have a major influence on public perception regarding globalization, e.g. a 'game changer' Timing: Less than 6 months Road Blocks: established political and educational interests. If done via corporations, less so. I can implement this program NOW. For it to work with adults, they will have to be incented to go via some sort of motivational gift, or program. Responses to 'Teach Life Learning' Comment Author: Chris Paterson (23 Apr 2008) There appears to be a common theme with the idea expressed in the link below https://globalleadership.imaginatik.com/globalidc1.nsf/1cb8f8baf7eb811a85256d4e006e9569/98da909f2cc515ef85257434005b31bd!OpenDocument Comment Author: Lisa Neddam (24 Apr 2008) See also: Emphasizing lifelong learning over narrow technical skills (louis lazarus - 04/22/2008) End - Results for 65 Idea(s).
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