US Tech DominanceApril 4th, 2007 | Posted by in Interesting News
…Or lack thereof, I suppose.
I tend not to write about technology issues, and even less so about international technology issues, but a recent article on Ars Technica piqued my interest enough to mention it here. (As an aside, if you have not visited Ars Technica before, I’d recommend popping by every now and then, even if technology is low on your interest-radar.) The article, World Economic Forum releases annual IT rankings; US plummets from the top, touches on the decline of US-dominance in technology.
Why did it grab my attention? In short, I tend to look at broad metrics such as where a nation stands relative to its peers in technology investment, innovation, and leadership, as a barometer for other complimentary metrics. While this is a rough (perhaps very rough) exercise, it is conceivable to correlate US technology innovation with the country’s innovation in math or science education. Again, this is rough, but a decline in technology dominance can certainly stem from a decline in related education innovation, in the current educational environment, and perhaps more reasonably in periods prior.
Looking to similar measures as indicators for progress, or a decline in progress, for business innovation (as it pertains to CSR, ethics, governance, sustainability, etc.) is practical and effective. Obviously the closer the relevance of the metric is to such issues (e.g. international rankings on the development of alternative fuels points to sustainability issues), the greater the correlation and utility between the two will be.
If you have an interest in technology issues, here are a few passages from the article you might find particularly interesting:
“Denmark has been steadily climbing towards the number one spot in the GITR, and the report credits government policy there—and in other top-ranked countries—along with a good system of higher education that produces technology-savvy graduates.
“…Higher education is keeping the US in the game; public policy that hinders technological innovation and overbroad regulation are responsible for the drop in rankings. ‘Much of the slip can be attributed to a relatively complex political and regulatory business environment,’ according to Soumitra Dutta, Dean of External Relations at INSEAD and another report coeditor.”
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