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Innovation Policy for Obama

| On 17, Mar 2009

Prakasan Kappoth

The current economic scenario has triggered several discussions on emphasizing an innovation action plan for Obama administration to revitalize the US (and apparently the world) economy. The recent Business Week article by Thomas D. Kuczmarski proposing a step-by-step innovation action plan for Obama is encouraging at this juncture, because the growth of several other countries around the world has been depended on US innovations. An unbiased view of Kuczmarski’s plan as an “outsider”, and indeed by supporting him for his proposal, the question remaining to me is how the government should rationalize the implementation of this plan when the priority is dealing with the reality at the grass root level problems of unemployment, reduced consumer spending, and over and above the looming negative sentiments leading to a deep recession? Is there a way President Obama can tie the innovation policy to bring the changes immediately that we are looking for, so the action plan for innovation can yield benefit quickly?


In his previous post The 4400, Jack Hipple seeded some excellent thoughts on using the “free resources” effectively. Taking the cue from there, some wild ideas to ponder..



  • Setting up micro-venture capital fund to help people at the grass root level for the area they have expertise in.  May be it is ok to tax the wealthy more but force them to invest in the new businesses as micro-venture capitalists.

  • Encourage the huge pool of unemployed, diversified, experienced group of people (resources) to build their own businesses by providing a federal grant, entrepreneurship support, and tax break(must be better than bailing out the banks). Well, can even infuse creativity by ensuring that there are people coming together from different discipline to build a business.

  • Leveraging huge unemployed talent pool to setup private educational institution to educate the future generation. Remember, the future gets hands-on education from these diversified, experienced people if we don’t enforce the teachers should have high qualification. to teach.  ( Kuczmarski mentioned about training people on innovation)

  • For those ready to get their hands dirty;  encourage, support (money and other) for the community farming. (Another way to focus on “what is consumed in America is built in America”) 

  • And how about letting the community driving the energy initiatives (especially green) by allowing them to setup their own community based power grid (You don’t have to be a nuclear scientist to setup a micro wind turbine). Also inline with Obama’s commitment to invest in infrastructures, energy. Clean energy, new jobs..

A thought plane for you to think further; what are your ideas?