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USA Falling Behind in Innovation
Gregg Fraley -- Best Keynotes on Creativity & Innovation Gregg Fraley -- Best Keynotes on Creativity & Innovation
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Chicago , IL
Saturday, January 25, 2020


Main Culprit?

Lack of Education in Science, Manufacturing, Construction, and Engineering

Infrastructure and Education Project Idea: Learn, Build, Innovate USA

Learn, Build, Innovate USA is an idea for a national project. It would address two major shortfalls in the economy: education in “maker” sciences, and, the crumbling infrastructure. As the long term project happens, the USA will improve in innovation capacity, while creating jobs, skilled people, and a new America.
The USA is 9th in the 2020 Bloomberg Innovation Index, supported by leading in a couple of categories like “High Tech Density” and “Patent Activity” so that’s good. But that’s not the whole story.
Can we agree that innovation drives economies? The stock market is actually a mediocre, and trailing, indicator of economic health, particularly looking to the future. The Bloomberg Innovation Index shows broad trends related to a countries ability to create.
The ability to create is at the heart of any economy. So, this is our future USA citizens, unless we change. It’s true at the national level, and also true at the local level. If a region, or town wants to grow in the future it needs to invest in “the ability to create.” That means an investment in education that schools people in how to make things. Let’s be specific: Science, manufacturing, construction, and engineering.
Here’s the big red flag, the USA is 47th, yes, 47th in the world at “Tertiary Efficiency”.  Don’t look it up, here’s the definition:
Tertiary efficiency is “the enrollment ratio in all subjects for post-secondary students and the graduation of those who majored in science, engineering, manufacturing and construction.”
Tertiary Efficiency essentially means advanced education in those disciplines of people who actually make things. 
47th in the measurement of people’s capacity or capability to make things.
This is not good. Wake up USA.
China by contrast is 5th in the Tertiary Efficiency category. Do you know how many people live in China? 1.4 Billion. USA population is 330 million. 
So, not only are we short on raw people capacity (while we worry about immigration, we actually need young people to move here if we’re going to compete in the future) we’re being out trained. This is a wake up call for training in manufacturing, science, construction and engineering. I will add that there is a through line between all those domains — innovation training.
Innovation training, which helps skilled people connect the dots and create new things, is not being provided, generally speaking, to those being trained in these science oriented domains. Our current educational system routinely leaves training in this essential skill out. Corporations have to buy innovation training from people like me because it’s not being trained, with rare exceptions, in schools.

Infrastructure Please?

In a related issue it’s also clear we’re being out-built — right now — in everything from factories to bridges, roads, airports, and train systems.
So, we’re being out-hustled in both education and infrastructure.
It’s frustrating that we can’t get an infrastructure bill out of Washington, even though people (voters) on both sides of the political divide want one. It’s the one thing American citizens agree on, and our representatives won’t get it done.

The Solution is a Mash-Up National Project

Here’s a wacky idea, why not use a massive infrastructure program as a way to not only rebuild the USA, but to get people trained to do it? That’s right, let’s mash-up the need to educate with the need to build. All in one big, long term, culture changing project.
It’s project based learning, which has been proven to be effective and culture changing.
A working title? How about “Learn, Innovate, Build USA.”
Which candidate can we enlist to do this? Andrew Yang comes the closest to understanding this message. But he’s not going to get the nomination. It’s Mike Bloomberg’s company that created this index, so, maybe he’s the guy. Who else is talking about infrastructure and/or education? They all touch upon it but it’s nobodies main theme.
This is not socialism. It’s investment.
Send this post to the candidate of your choice!

Recent History

When the Bloomberg index was first compiled in 2013, just seven years ago, the USA was number one overall. We’re 9th now. 
Can we wake up and get back to work? Back to school? Back to providing education at a reasonable cost without saddling people with life long debt?
Let’s put together a project to address our Innovation Fail, because…

47th. It’s a disgrace.

Here’s the link to the Bloomberg innovation index data: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-18/germany-breaks-korea-s-six-year-streak-as-most-innovative-nation
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Name: Gregg Fraley
Title: Founding Partner
Group: KILN Ideas, Ltd.
Dateline: Three Oaks, MI United States
Direct Phone: 773-251-8567
Cell Phone: 773-251-8567
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