Obama on Innovation

Obama is keen on innovation to cut through current economic travails. Here are nine excerpts sliced from his State of the Union address.


Obama is keen on innovation to cut through current economic travails. Here are nine excerpts sliced from his State of the Union address:

  • The first step in winning the future is encouraging American innovation.
  • In America, innovation doesn’t just change our lives. It is how we make our living.
  • Our free enterprise system is what drives innovation.
  • But after investing in better research and education, we didn’t just surpass the Soviets; we unleashed a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs.
  • With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.We need to get behind this innovation.
  • But if we want to win the future — if we want innovation to produce jobs in America and not overseas — then we also have to win the race to educate our kids.
  • All these investments — in innovation, education, and infrastructure — will make America a better place to do business and create jobs.
  • Cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine.
  • Our success in this new and changing world will require reform, responsibility, and innovation.

Obama has articulated a national vision in which innovation plays a key role. He has asked that our work as citizens now be about opening new windows, new gateways into the future. It is a time for novel ways of looking at the world to gain traction and generate growth.

I hear Obama calling for new approaches, door-opening conversations, new relationships, bringing to life new structures and courageous interactions, creative progress and practical results. I hear an unmistakable call for innovation.



Seth Kahan (
is a Change Leadership specialist. He has consulted with CEOs and
executives in over 50 world-class organizations that include Shell,
World Bank, Peace Corps, Marriott, Prudential, American Society of
Association Executives, International Bridge Tunnel and Turnpike
Association, Project Management Institute, and NASA. He is the founder
of Seth Kahan’s CEO Leaders Forum, a year-long learning experience for
CEOs in Washington, DC. His book,
Getting Change Right: How Leaders Transform Organizations from the Inside Out, is a Washington Post bestseller. Visit for more info and a free excerpt. Follow Seth on Twitter. Learn more about Seth’s work at

About the author

I help leaders with change, innovation, and growth. My latest book is "Getting Innovation Right." My first book, "Getting Change Right," was a business bestseller. home office: (301) 229-2221, USA - email: