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War on Terror: Obstacle to Innovation?

Hey everybody, my name is Jeff De Cagna and I write The Association Innovation Blog. I want to thank Heath Row and FC Now for allowing me and other long-time FC readers to contribute to the blog. It’s a great honor and I know it will be great fun as well!

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I wanted to post a brief thought about the Interim Report of the National Innovation Initiative, which is a project of the Council on Competitiveness, located in Washington, DC. The report poses an interesting question that I had not previously considered:

“Can we clamp down on terrorism–but not on experimentation, trade or the free flow of ideas?” (emphasis added)

As someone who spends a considerable amount of time thinking, writing and talking about innovation, I was particularly struck by the link made between the war on terror and our national capacity for innovation. Setting politics and civil liberties aside for the moment, there is a reasonable point to be made that our understandable yet all-consuming need to feel safe could shut us off to valuable ideas originating elsewhere that might form the basis for powerful innovation.

Is anyone aware of specific actions taken to advance the war on terror that may have prevented an idea from taking hold in a company or community? More broadly, what is your reaction to the link between America’s political activities and its ability to engage in and sustain a national innovation effort? Do you personally feel less inclined toward certain ideas given today’s climate of constant terror alert?

Let the conversation begin!

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