Friday, June 27, 2008

U.S. technology industry in jeopardy?

On June 24th, the AeA released their annual Cyberstates report, with a not-so-subtle warning. The AeA report cautions that if changes are not made in the U.S.’s education system and immigration policies, the supply of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) workers will continue to decrease, jeopardizing the technology industry in the United States.

The complexity and speed by which new technology is being introduced puts the United States in a position of leadership, but our competitive slide is a serious issue. We’re feeding off past success rather than investing in our future. Many high tech master’s degree programs are populated predominantly by foreign nationals. We either have to (i) streamline the visa process to encourage the next workforce to stay in the U.S. after graduation; or (ii) take the lead and create programs that provide quality education in primary & secondary schools.

AeA President & CEO Christopher Hansen says that the technology industry is on its way back to employment levels enjoyed in the "pre-bubble" levels of the late 1990's. And California has been ranked #1 in terms of quantity of workers, job gains and wages. The growth is outstanding, but the lack of talent is a problem we can’t ignore.

As a member of the technology community, I would like to personally encourage you to consider joining the AeA on Monday, June 30th for a day of golf in support of STEM education and other important AeA initiatives.

Golf For A Better Tomorrow, KEYNOTE: Dr. Mark Drapeau (Scientist) will address the state of US global competitiveness, how we measure up against the 30-top world economies and new innovations in converging technologies of the future -- cognition, biotechnology, nanotechnology and IT.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Corporate Social Responsibility

I was invited to speak to an elite Los Angeles group of high powered CMOs (Chief Marketing Officers) about innovation and corporate social responsibility. Our discussion included case study examples to answer the following questions:

  • What are the different roles of innovation?
  • Does being ethical pay?
  • When do consumers reward a socially responsible company?
  • When does a great CSR initiative go bad?
  • Start-ups, SMEs, NGOs, Transnationals -- when to collaborate & when to walk away?
  • How to successfully share innovation stories?
  • How to leverage social media for social awareness?
  • What not to do in the "groundswell" (thanks Forrester!)