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In the Name of Progress: What Role Should Government Play in Medical Innovation?

I recently spent some time catching up on the excellent podcast, Planet Money, and I really enjoyed one episode in particular, Lighthouses, Autopsies and the Federal Budget. The show was about what governments should or shouldn't pay for, but what it got me thinking about, was how huge a role government policy will play in the innovation landscape of the future.

Data.gov and the Digital Open

While working on the Digital Open: the Innovation Expo for Global Youth that IFTF is running in partnership with Sun Microsystems and Boing Boing, I have tried to keep an eye out for potential areas that would benefit from the types of projects the Open is seeking. It was great to see this interview with the U.S. Government's first C.I.O. in the July edition of Wired.

Ruby`s Bequest in Kenya?

I’ve been reading through Ruby’s Bequest and have been struck by how useful a similar exercise could be for Kenya. When it comes to caring for the mentally ill, many Kenyan’s still live in the dark ages. To begin with, there is little to no government support. There is little to no education regarding mental illness. Kenya only has 60 psychiatrists, one for every 500,000 people. There is no education regarding the causes of mental illness, most people still think mental illness is caused by bad behavior.

New report on the U.S. innovation system

The Institute does quite a bit of work these days on the future of innovation and innovation systems. So I was interested to see a report by the Information Technology and Innovation Forum (ITIF) on the U.S. innovation system. (It also caught my eye because long ago I took a sociology of work class with one of the report's authors.) From the press release:

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