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Innovation speaker Vivek Wadhwa on “Start-Up Chile”

Vivek Wadhwa speakerIn his latest article for the Washington Post, Vivek Wadhwa, a leading thinker in innovation and education, explores the success of Chile’s grand innovation experiment and argues that Chile has taught the world a lesson about innovation.

In 2010 an ambitious programme called “Start-Up Chile” began; Vivek helped design the project, and he continues to serve on its advisory board. The idea was to pay foreign entrepreneurs to come and visit for six months, and in return all Chile asked was that the foreigners interact with local entrepreneurs and consider making the country their permanent home. The experiment was such a runaway success that, in an Oct. 2012 story, The Economist dubbed it “Chilecon Valley.”

Vivek argues that the success is important because regions all over the world spend huge amounts of money on innovation clusters—at the cost of other efforts. Top-down innovation clusters have a 100% failure rate, yet politicians keep touting them, because they provide great PR, as well as opportunities for patronage and corruption. Instead, Vivek believes that “to foster economic growth and innovation, the focus needs to be on people. They need to be empowered, enabled, and connected.”

Click here to access the full article.

For information on Vivek’s speaking availability, please contact our Managing Partner, Leo von Bülow-Quirk, at or call +44 (0) 20 7792 8000

Vivek Wadhwa: a tech manifesto for India’s new government

Vivek Wadhwa, Fellow at Stanford Law School, has written a tech manifesto for the incoming government of India, on how technology can help transform the country.

Technology carries many risks and potentially creates new problems.  But, as Vivek explains, it is the only way for India to educate the 200 million children who otherwise will be left out; curb the rampant corruption of the fabric of the country; solve its health problems; and provide clean water to the masses.

Vivek notes that increasing the availability and use of the Aakash tablet – one of the world’s cheapest tablets manufactured in India with the capabilities of the original iPad  – is one way to accelerate social change. Educational apps can be downloaded and widely accessible, thus transforming the educational system; the “digital tutor of the future can provide equally good education to all kids – rich and poor.” 

Vivek goes on to say that “technology has levelled the playing field, and the same advances that are propelling American innovation are available to India. The new government has to give priority to technology infrastructure so that it can reinvent India.”

Click here to read the full article.

Vivek Wadhwa on the possibilities and perils of Big Data

In his latest musing for the Washington Post, Vivek Wadhwa, a leading thinker the on future of technology and innovation, argues that the rise of big data brings tremendous possibilities and frightening perils.

Big Data is accumulating at an exponentially increasing rate: the NSA has been mining our phone metadata and occasionally listening in; marketers are using this to sell more to us; and politicians are fine-tuning their campaigns.

But Vivek believes that this is minor compared to what lies ahead, noting that in the not-so-distant-future we “will be able to analyse all data we have collected from the beginning of time—as if we were entering a data time machine.” He goes on to say that “if information is power and power corrupts, we’ll need to be careful about making sure the potential of big data isn’t misused.”

Click here to read the full article.

Vivek Wadhwa on the promising future of medicine

In his latest Washington Post column, Vivek Wadhwa, Vice President of Innovation and Research at Singularity University, focuses on the future of medicine, and predicts that an era of data-driven, crowdsourced, participatory, genomics-based medicine awaits us.

Vivek asserts that disruptive technologies are well on their way to prevent illness and disease, which will “turn the entire medical system on its head and increase the quality of our lives.”

The advances in smart phone and wearable technology in particular are cause for such excitement. We are now able to measure almost every aspect of our day to day life and manage our health accordingly using apps, sensors and the Internet, which enables the expansion of the already fast-growing field of Telemedicine and mHealth [for an example, check out Suneel Gupta and his work at Rise Labs].

Consequently, Vivek believes that “our doctors—or their artificial intelligence replacements—will prescribe medicines or lifestyle changes based on our full medical history, holistic self, and genetic composition.”

Click here to read on.

Vivek Wadhwa: “Facebook’s moonshot is a wise move in a time of radical change”

Vivek Wadhwa, Director of Research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at the Pratt School of Engineering, has written a new Washington Post column, commenting on Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus for $2 billion.

In September 2013, Vivek wrote that Facebook could have the same fate as AOL or MySpace because it wasn’t keeping up with technology changes. However, Vivek says that in recent months Facebook has taken the proper approach, acting as if it’s doomed unless it reinvents itself. He adds that “companies need to experiment with “moonshots” such as these if they are to survive in today’s era of exponentially advancing technologies—when innovations come out of nowhere and disrupt entire industries.”

Clearly Facebook overpaid, according to Vivek, but it is using monopoly money – its inflated stock price (there is an extra digit in the prices of both companies). As such, Vivek believes that the acquisition makes sense.

Click here to find out why.

Vivek Wadhwa: “The triumph of genomic medicine is just beginning”

Vivek PortraitIn a recent blog for The Washington Post, Vivek Wadhwa, a leading thinker on the way that technological developments can solve big challenges, argues that despite general reservations about the genomic medicine and Human Genome Project – which the New York Times had declared DOA (Dead on Arrival) – we are only just beginning to witness the true triumphs of it’s potential.

Very few people realise the magnitude of the impact of such exponential technologies. Within this decade, Vivek believes that we are going to enjoy the fruits of the scientific breakthroughs that are now happening. In short, we are headed into an era of crowd-sourced, data-driven, participatory, and genomics-based medicine.

However, in order for this to happen the government needs to continue to invest in the types of basic research that led to genome sequencing and the Internet itself. This is because “[such] technologies often take decades to bear fruit and there are many disappointments and failures along the way…[as such, it] is time to double down on, not walk away from a great investment.”

Click here for the full article.

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