Rebellion of an Innovation Mom
June 5th, 2011
09:05 AM ET

Rebellion of an Innovation Mom

Editor's Note: Anne-Marie Slaughter is the Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. Follow her on Twitter at @slaughteram.

By Anne-Marie Slaughter – Special to CNN

Call it the rebellion of the mother of two adolescents against the Tiger Moms, but what this nation needs to be innovative and entrepreneurial is to ask our kids to do less.

Innovation requires creativity; entrepreneurship requires a willingness to break the rules. The jam packed, highly structured days of elite children are carefully calculated to create Ivy League-worthy resumes. They reinforce habits of discipline and conformity, programming remarkably well-rounded and often superb young people who can play near concert-quality violin, speak two languages, volunteer in their communities and get straight A’s.

These are the students that I see in my Princeton classes; I am often in awe of their accomplishments and teaching them is a joy. But I strongly suspect that they will not be the inventors of the next "new new thing".

Creativity requires a measure of random association and connection and substantial periods of down time, where the mind is allowed to run and turn over seemingly disconnected bits of information, images, and ideas. Richard Florida, author of The Creative Class (follow him on Twitter at @richard_florida), observes that “many researchers see creative thinking as a four-step process: preparation, incubation, illumination and verification or revision.”

Incubation is “the ‘mystical’ step,” one in which both the conscious mind and the subconscious mull over the problem in hard-to-define ways.” Hard to define, yes, but not hard to foster, as long as chunks of the day or the week are left open for relatively random activity: long walks, surfing the Internet, browsing a bookstore, household chores that don’t require too much thought, watching the birds at the birdfeeder and gazing out at the ocean.

Tune In: Sunday 8pm ET/PT as Fareed Zakaria explores why innovation is the key to America's future on CNN.

Creativity gurus often suggest ways to add randomness to your life. Left to their own devices, teenagers are masters at drifting from fad to fad, website to website, and event to event as their fancy takes them, but that seemingly aimless, random wandering is exactly what we are programming out of them.

Entrepreneurship means undertaking something new, something that you create or make happen that does not exist in your space. It does not have to require breakthrough innovation; successful entrepreneurs can borrow ideas that are succeeding elsewhere and transfer them. But our most famous entrepreneurs have a vision and follow it in defiance of conventional wisdom.

One of the nation’s leading entrepreneurs recently listened to me pitch a new idea and patiently told me the many reasons it was unlikely to work and/or that I was the wrong person to make it happen at this point in my life. But at the end of our conversation, he smiled and said: “Of course, every successful entrepreneur started with an idea that other people said would not work but persevered anyway. So go for it.”

Read and Watch: China poses an innovation challenge to the U.S.

To nurture young people who are willing to persevere in the face of deep skepticism or outright opposition, we must reward them or at least allow them to be rewarded for breaking the rules, not meeting our expectations by jumping through an endless series of hoops.

Remember that Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of college to follow their passions.

Can we really imagine kids who have done absolutely everything expected of them both in and out of school being willing to ignore their college courses and their parents’, teachers’, and coaches’ expectation to suddenly pursue their own path?

Check Out: More from the "Global Innovation Showcase" created by the New America Foundation and the Global Public Square.

The U.S. higher educational system recognizes the value of challenging authority; that is what “teaching critical thinking” is all about. I wrote in 2009 that the U.S. was primed to remain an innovation leader precisely because we give A’s for the answers that challenge the teacher’s thinking and B’s for the answers that echo it.

China, by contrast, is not a country where the government is likely to foster challenging authority any time soon. But a genuinely entrepreneurial, creative nation cannot reward such thinking only in the classroom. We must openly value rule breakers, rebels, and iconoclasts and hold them up as role models. Scary stuff for parents of teenagers, of course – we are then inviting them to challenge our authority. And many readers are already no doubt thinking that Gates and Zuckerberg had to get in to Harvard to be able to drop out of it, and their paths in were not exactly unconventional (they both excelled at exclusive prep schools).

Read: Fareed Zakaria's TIME article, The Future of Innovation: Can America Keep Pace?

True, but Gates at least demonstrated a willingness to break the rules at an early age; he and three fellow students got banned by a computer company for exploiting bugs in a program to get free computer time.

For anyone noticing that my two examples are both men, that may not be accidental. I recall many conversations when I was teaching at Harvard Law School about why our women students did better on average than our male students but that the superstars of the class – the kids who were reinventing legal doctrines on their exam essays – were almost always male.

Read and Watch: A brief history of innovation

By contrast, one researcher had found that women were more likely to be at the very top of their class at Suffolk Law School, where they were often the first women or even the first children in their families even to go to law school. My colleagues posited that these young women had had to break the mold at every step, and had been rewarded for it, in contrast to the many elite young women who are rewarded for meeting expectations – for being good girls.

A Princeton study on women’s leadership has just found that women are far more likely to take second chair leadership positions, supporting the organization and getting the work done as vice-chair, executive editor, or secretary, than to have their name at the top of the masthead.

One young woman surveyed referred to “the intensity of self-effacement,” acknowledging the social pressures on girls not to “put themselves forward.” Are not we still much more likely to reward girls for being good, while bad boys get “boys will be boys”? Who is more likely to carve their own path? On the other hand, women who leave conventional corporate and legal career path to be the kind of parents they want to be are then much more likely to start their own businesses because they require the flexibility of being their own bosses, so we may have cultural counter-currents fostering female entrepreneurship later in life.

Read and Watch: Fareed Zakaria on innovation online and on TV.

Finally, Tiger Mothering encourages competition over cooperation. The discipline that competition enforces – in the daily practice of a sport, instrument, writing or performing art – is important for later success of any kind, conventional or entrepreneurial. But the verification or revision stage of the creative process often comes from tossing ideas around among members of a trusted group, as does the courage to launch something new.

In a recent piece on the perception that the current generation of young people are slackers, Jon Gosier notes that their habit of asking for help and wanting to work with others reflects their understanding of the gains that come from teamwork, which “have been learned from the collaborative nature of their childhood activities, which included social networks, crowd-sourcing and even video games like World of Warcraft.”

The corporate culture at hubs of innovation like Google and Twitter encourages employees to hang out together, work together and explore random ideas in a collaborative atmosphere.

Read: Are we still an innovation nation?

Nothing in this post is meant to reflect on the problems with secondary education in the majority of U.S. schools across the nation, where kids need more hours in the classroom and hard work on the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic. But to be an innovation nation in the knowledge-based, networked economy of the 21st century, we must remember that creativity and entrepreneurship cannot be programmed, and that less is often more.

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Topics: Culture • Education • Innovation • United States

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soundoff (333 Responses)
  1. magellan

    It would appear that Anne-Marie is unlike many professors I have met over the years, who understand a good education is important in being able to find solutions to problems. and creativity really comes from being able to draw on the ideas of others experiences . if Anne-Marie wash to live in the real world where business needs to make money to pay employees, she may feel a need to have them work. I too would like every person to be educated so this country could get back on the right track. I think Anne-Marie is one of those that thinks we should be exporting hight tech items all over the world, but she probably does not understand that in 80 % of the world a round point shovel is high tech..

    June 5, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Reply
  2. Lizzy10

    It would seem to me that you need to know each of your children and how they learn. You need to push them some times and know when to back off and let them find out things on their own. You need to be proud of them no matter if they are straight A students or doing the best they can and getting C's. There isn't any one way to parent children, because every child is individual.

    June 5, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Reply
  3. Martin

    Hear- hear. I had the same thought when I read an interview with the "tiger mom": 'Yes, your kids can play a gorgeous piece of music, but do they know how to create an original work?" We can build robots who know how to reproduce music. We can't build robots who can innovate.

    One person who needs to be mentioned more often when people hold up Gates & Zuckerberg as examples of innovation: Richard Branson. Middle class roots, high school drop-out, and probably one of the world's truly great innovators & dreamers. I'd love to know what his childhood was like.

    June 5, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Reply
    • WuDayi

      Uh, well, uh, Richard Branson was born a Baron in the English elite / nobiliary system, was he not? The bottom line is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ and access it.

      June 5, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Reply
    • joe hater

      Branson didn't innovate anything. He just lucked out, and took bigger risks.
      You can take bigger risks when you have money to spend.

      Innovation requires that you make something NEW. Branson did not create anything new. He was merely a good businessman who lucked out early on.

      He started out selling discount records from the trunk of his car. Who would have thought he would make enough money to start a record label that would sign a band that made so much money?

      Don't confuse risk-taking with innovation. One sometimes requires the other, but they are not the same.

      June 5, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Reply
      • WuDayi

        Exactly. Right on. And don't lose track of the role of $$$$ (time to create) in the role of creativity. Branson, and others like him, are all about relying on the $$$$$ supplied to foster creative thinking and application. It's all about $$$$ and its access.

        June 5, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
    • aj

      OK Marin, if you had kids, would you want to give them the best guidance and structure as possible to be successful with a great career so that they would not have to worry about buying groceries or paying for gas, or want to foster their innovative side by giving them freedom in hopes that they hit a lucky ball over the fence with innovation. Why don't you just buy your kids PowerBall tickets...

      June 5, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Reply
  4. joe hater

    I know a lot of creative, artsy fartsy, unemployed, or freelancing people.

    innovation requires logic, knowledge, common sense........ and people aren't just born with it.

    A person's mind is most active during the years leading up to the teenage years. Don't waste that precious time by letting your kid roam free.

    June 5, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Reply
  5. Dilbert

    Society will always produce "innovators" no matter what parents or the rest of community do, as long as we don't become a bunch of commies or fascists. That's where the proverb "necessity is the mother of invention" comes from. We don't need more innovators, we need more tradespeople, laborers, and drones to inhabit office cubicles. The vast majority of society are too stupid anyway to come up with society-changing innovations; you can't grow anything in barren soil, even if you throw tons of fertilizer on it.

    June 5, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Reply
  6. Living

    It is a truism that we cannot all be Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. If we were, who would perform sanitation duties? Who would stock the shelves at Walmart? Who would process our check deposits at the bank? Who would help us when we are sick? I do not believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to education. Some individuals are creative, some are intellectual, some are rules-drive, and some are rules-breakers. Each has something to offer.

    Going to college is not a guarantee of success (whether defined as financial, social, or personal). Fostering creativity and skipping college is not a guarantee either. Best we can do with a seed is to nuture it as best we can, and hope that it grows and bears fruit.

    June 5, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Reply
  7. aj

    Really? This Ms. Slaughter is going to blame our nation's lack of innovation in the past decade to Tiger Moms and the fact that they don't give their kids enough free time? She has absolutely no clue and she's a prof at Princeton? Wow! We need more Tiger Mom's in our country to create more discipline in our kids, not less and give them free time?!? Creativity is cultvated by passion and while giving kids free time to explore is one way, this free time is most often not supervised nor disciplined to foster creativity... Free time in kds today is spent on Xbox and Playstation.

    WE are not losing on innovation mind you for this BS point to even be considered news. For example, in the past decade, most of the innovatative products and services that the world enjoys today came from the US. Social networking, iPod, iPhone, Net media, and so on and so on. But, if you still argue this point and ask why then has third world countries such as India and China gained ground on us? Well, let me see, it's because those countries value discipline AND education and have outpaced our kids in intellect. When I was an undergrad in my engineer college, I was flanked by Chinese and Indian foreign students who killed the "Curve". Those students have gone back to their respective countries and now have innovated their countries to be our competitors... enough said!

    June 5, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Reply
    • Phil

      EXACTLY!! Finally some people with a bit of common sense are posting. Let's not kid ourselves. These articles are meant for nothing more than a politically correct form of other-country bashing, as well as a means to actually justify our children's collosal decent into lazyness in a increasingly competetive and shrinking world.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Reply
    • Skeeve

      All that you have listed are not innovations but mere incremental developments. I suggest you talk to people from R&D of any company, ask them how many people from abroad we have to import.... In certain fields we are talking about 60-80%. The moment the countries they are coming from will provide them with good standard of living we will have issues with the local workforce. (We do now, but so far we could compensate). So, complacency is your worst enemy

      June 5, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Reply
  8. Denny

    Wow, America, insecure much?

    June 5, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Reply
  9. Logan

    While I agree that nurturing creativity is vital, I think the juxtaposition with China and "Tiger Moms" is way off.

    "I am often in awe of their accomplishments and teaching them is a joy," she writes, "but I strongly suspect that they will not be the inventors of the next "new new thing."
    I don't think this is a legitimate speculation. No one has the ability to see what's going on in someone else's head or heart.
    The idea that strict disciplining inhibits creativity is misleading. What exactly does one compromise when refining skills and mastering skeletal tools? Because it's not just China. Asia is flooded with "tiger parenting". Japan schools their children six days a week and provides one month of summer vacation, and despite that, the rest of the world has seen how amazingly (and sometimes oddly) innovative they are.

    Though I respect the value this author bestows to creativity, I think this response is very fad-ish. Wasn't "Tiger Mom" coined fairly recently? Strict Asian parenting has been around as long as Asians have existed. Why all the attention and flack now? (rhetorical question. i'm very much aware of the satirical book, which a lot of people are failing to read as a satirical tone)

    China is getting ahead, and in order to level the playing field, we suddenly buy into "China has strict discipline, but the US has a innovative spirit" argument? Convenient, but no amount of talk can change the reality.
    It's best encompassed in the last paragraph. Just like how Slaughter thinks a lot of her excelling Princeton students won't be ones to create the next new big thing, neither are the kids in the problematic secondary education schools she references at the end, who "need more hours in the classroom and hard work on the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic."

    Many other commenters already said it. There needs to be a balance, but we can't hard-press other nations just because their concept of what a good balance is doesn't match ours.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Reply
    • Phil

      Best comment on this whole page. Wish you were my neighbor, Logan.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Reply
  10. NADINE

    I think the media is over-inflating the abilities of Chinese students by a wide margin. I must admit that I was a mediocre student in college and frankly I think that Chinese students did not fare better in many cases. A lot of them were redoing their basic calculus, physics and chemistry just to be with the rest of us . Also, most of them were about 2 years older than the rest of the students. The best and the cream of the crop of students with stellar grades were from INDIA and ISRAEL. Indian students were known for their computational skills even back then. I am particularly impressed by the Israeli students. I believe they were the best and most brilliant during my stint in college. Enough of Chinese hype and bull because here in America, Canada, we still have great men and women scholars (maybe not in greater numbers but in great quality).

    June 5, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Reply
  11. stupid just stupid

    we need jobs.... bottom line up front. not everybody can start up a business and asking ppl to be risk takers isnt a 100% cure all as most new businesses fail. Create the conditions for success by letting ppl.... TARIFFS they work... its a dirty work in the global economic schema but it works. We can create balance by recognizing the imbalance and fix it with artificial and controlled inputs.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Reply
  12. Heinrich

    There's no proof that maintaining a structured and disciplined lifestyle for children, and promoting hard work at school results in future adults that lack innovation. This is just a myth being conjured up of late, to somehow justify the state of things. I live in Japan, and I can say that this country is full of innovators, particularly in fields like electronics, robotics, IT etc. Yet the culture here is also of this "Tiger-mom" thing you people are describing. Many other countries are the sane, in asia and in other continents, So this enitre article is completely irrelevant.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Reply
    • Kermit Roosevelt

      Seriously? Japan hasn't crawled out of its "Lost Decade" state of stagnation. Your country is exactly what China will become - a nation that learned how to do things the American way, exert some aggressive influence with some newfound economic muscles, then completely collapse with the first challenge.

      Remember when America was so scared the Japanese were going to "take over". That's so cute now.

      And innovation in robotics? Seems the only reports I ever hear about regarding Japanese robot innovation is when they've created a more realistic sex doll. If you consider replacing the women in your culture because your men are such failures that they can't please real women "innovation"...

      June 5, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Reply
    • Jason

      Kermit, whether or not Japan is competing away American jobs, they are an extremely innovative culture. Whether it's aquaculture, construction, electronics, or other areas of life, that nation has contributed a lot of ideas and innovations to world culture. Most Japanese are not "think outside the box" types, but those that are, have a strong academic basis for their creativity. Contrast this with Americans, 90% of which are not nearly as creative or independent as we'd like to believe, and who also sometimes lack a strong academic basis for their creativity.

      I think our schools are much better than advertised (we simply have a segment of horrible students who drag down the average), but I don't think our schools are doing any more than Japanese schools to encourage innovation, and our culture as a whole is not necessarily giving children as strong an academic foundation as some Asian school systems.

      June 6, 2011 at 6:47 am | Reply
  13. FairGarden

    Present Western women have no hope of raising normal children. They were not virgin before marriage, they don't obey their husbands, and they date multiple losers after getting multiple divorces.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Reply
    • Kermit Roosevelt

      Wow, they have computers in your part of Backwardistan?

      June 5, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Reply
    • WuDayi

      Oh, dear....

      June 6, 2011 at 12:32 am | Reply
  14. FairGarden

    Western women are horrors. They talk and behave like men and show skin to show they are females.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Reply
    • Kermit Roosevelt

      So sorry about your erectile dysfunction.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Reply
    • WuDayi

      My, my.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:32 am | Reply
  15. Here's the simple problem

    I have an engineering degree even though I was a c student at best in school up until college. It was hard but I stuck with it. I also didn't drink and party and determined to finish what I started. I'm disappointed that so many of American students go the route of business and law. We need engineers.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Reply
  16. iwatchu

    actually, just getting them of drugs like ritalin etc...would go aloooooong way to bubbling out 'creativity'. These drugs basically 'numb' the life experience, the very life experience that IS the 'source' of innovation/creativity/outside the box thinking.

    Extremes are good. They've given us the likes of Jackson Pollock and Eddie Van Halen, two individuals that suffer massive, depression/OCD....they would've been drugged into submission instead of 'releasing' it with their art.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Reply
  17. magellan

    Not enough thought is given to how this country can become a primary producer of basic goods that can be exported. I see an absolute need to educate our people but we also need to instill work skills and pride in the work they do. It is sad we do not have programs that help the average person develope skills that would bring back primary industry to the USA. We have lost the edge in most things not because we don't have innovators. and most inovattors are not going to big name colleges but working with their hands and see a better way.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Reply
  18. Jake Briszmon

    To the poster who demeaned government research as not producing anything compared to industry - a Wall Street Journal article appearing within the last year revealed that 67 of the 82 most successful pharmaceuticals of the past 20 years were produced NOT by the pharmaceutical companies but by university and government laboratories. That makes 82 percent.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Reply
  19. LOL

    Not every Chinese mom is a tiger mom. Not every American white child is smarter or more innovative than a well-educated zombie. The future is their choice. It is our choice. Our INDIVIDUAL CHOICES and CREATIVITY. Nothing can stop you if you're determined enough. But if most of our new generation just consumes innovation, dismisses discipline, watches TV, texts, expects life to be easy like TV, etc., then we're doomed. And let me tell you, we are doomed. I've observed many children... many of them fit this description. A few of them have what it takes to be the next great innovator. AND not every innovator makes products. Ever heard of the internal combustion engine? Yeah, that's considered innovation. The ballpoint pen was an innovation. Not every innovator makes electronics. We're already skewed so much that our 'innovators' are Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg. The media needs to move from 'tasty news' to 'interesting news that educates the public with the truth'

    June 5, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Reply
  20. grofys

    maybe a good indicator of what a child will become is what he/she does in a windowless room, without any outside stimulation. we used to think it was funny that from the time our son was a baby he could create a pretend universe and entertain himself with nothing. he is now 16, and i like very much the adult he is becoming.

    June 5, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Reply
  21. FairGarden

    Men are after under-age kids because there are no virgin women and the Western women show no sense of innocence or beautiful fragility. Any kind of innovation is a useless dung in a perverse society.

    June 5, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Reply
    • JP0

      You live in a really warped part of the world. I can see it from here but it doesn't play a big role in my life or the life of my family other than we are wary and keep our eyes open.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Reply
    • WuDayi

      Arrrrr, ummm, ahhhhh, what?

      June 6, 2011 at 12:09 am | Reply
  22. FairGarden

    Women's inability to keep purity before marriage and unwillingness to obey the proper authorities made everyone's life cheap, dirty, meaningless and hopeless in the society. It only increased the number of worthless playboys, lustful and power-hungry girls, irresponsible and violent men, unhappy and abusive women, and confused and selfish children.

    June 5, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Reply
    • WuDayi

      I wonder if, outside the cave, the sun shines, or if it's still overcast?

      June 6, 2011 at 12:34 am | Reply
  23. jrg

    Oh, and what is the picture supposed to be? Assuming that is Anne-Marie Slaughter, what in the world is she trying to convey with a bit-o-cgi and that serious expression? That she's some sort of new age magician or something? I mean its got to be among the stupidest images around. Maybe the problem is with the professors the Ivy league is hiring these days.

    June 5, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Reply
  24. magellan

    now there is a troubled mind

    June 5, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Reply
  25. meh

    I thought Zuckerburg stole the idea from the Winkelvoss twins. doesn't that categorize him as a technical and manipulative genius rather than the innovative example used in the article?

    June 5, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Reply
  26. Pat

    I came up with a great idea on how to solve the energy shortage... We could create these battery cells that could charge up by the kinetic energy running on the highways and maybe even gyms. This energy could be delivered to homes and businesses... blah blah blah...Too bad I don't know what I am talking about or how to make it happen.. and neither do 95% of the rest of us. We need those hard working nerds. You can't realize the dreams without the drive. I thank God I am not the smartest person in the world.

    June 5, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Reply
    • Andacar

      Good point, which is why you really need two kinds of people to be truly innovative. You need the crank visionaries that see things nobody else sees and dream the dreams nobody else can. But you also need the second line nerds, investors, scientists and marketers who know a good thing when they see it, and know how to take wild fantasyland ideas and actually make them into something that will work. The raving nutters like Seymour Cray, Steve Jobs, Mark Zukerberg, and the like, will never get anywhere by themselves and will end up in lunatic institutions without the patient Steve Wozniacks of the world who still have a grip.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:45 am | Reply
  27. aarbee

    This is curious. Can the professor explain why Princeton is full of accomplished students who will not achieve greatness. Something wrong with the admissions process? Parents want to get their kids into top schools. What top schools want is quite predictable and therefore prepared students get in. Maybe the Ivy League wants to take a chance and only allow creativity and innovation coming from students who have had ample free time ...

    June 5, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Reply
  28. regertz

    Moderation in all things...Still good advice. Kids need structure but also space and in the final analysis have to be allowed to live their own lives once a basic discipline to achieve goals is set. Kids seem so often to get either too much restriction and regimentation in their lives or no guidance and structure at all. Above all I want my kids to be decent, happy, loving, secure, and capable of adapting to change...Apart from that they can be janitors or writers or doctors or salespeople or artists or trash collectors or whatever makes them content in life.

    June 5, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Reply
  29. asicher

    i work in the tech sector and have seen the sources of innovation up close over many years.
    it is of course important to have good disciplined math and science skills – no doubt.
    but thinking outside the box can't be easily learned with a crashing tiger whip or an iron template. kids need some time to play in the mud with sticks. it might look dirty to us, but creativity is being planted.
    thanks for the article, Anne-Marie Slaughter, I'm glad you articulated this point.

    June 5, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Reply
  30. foo

    I think something more is required for innovation than wearing leather clothes, rings, and showing something artsy in your hand.
    Real innovation has moved to China.

    June 5, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Reply
    • Jason

      Such as? I've yet to see an example of Chinese innovation outside of a niche in cinema. For the most part, their economic revolution has been about the lower cost of doing business and globalization. Their ideas are still being taken from Americans and Europeans.

      When China starts to "innovate" some ways to manufacture efficiently without destroying their environment (parts of China are currently almost uninhabitable due to air and water pollution) then I'll buy into this idea of Chinese innovation. I'm not sure that modern China has even shown much of a knack for iteration, much less wholesale invention.

      June 6, 2011 at 6:40 am | Reply
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