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VIDEO SERIES: How Will the Obama Administration and New Congress Support Innovation Amid An Economic Crisis?

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Exerpts from the 12/1/08 Washington D.C. briefing.

VIDEO Fred Block's comments

Fred Block

VIDEO Panel One Rebuilding the U.S. Innovation System

Fred Block

Rebuilding the U.S. Innovation System.

The speakers on this panel address both the strengths and the weaknesses of the current U.S. innovation system. Several speakers address the "valley of death"--the great difficulty that small, high tech, firms face in getting financing while they are trying to transform a new technology into a commerical product. Several speakers address initiatives that the government has taken and could take to accelerate the movement of key technologies into widespread deployment.

Fred Block, Professor, Department of Sociology, University of California, Davis

David Douglas, Senior Vice President, Sun Microsystems

Victor Hwang, Managing Partner, T2 Venture Capital

Nicole Biggart, Dean, Graduate School of Business, University of California, Davis

VIDEO Prof. Michael J. Piore's Address

Michael Piore

Learning on the Fly: Reviving Active Governmental Policy in an Economic Crisis

The distinguished MIT professor discusses the challenge that we face of having to "learn on the fly" how government initiatives can help to accelerate key technological developments, particularly those that address the reality of global climate change.

VIDEO Panel Two The Green Challenge

Fred Block

The Green Challenge: Investing in Innovation for Energy Independence and Sustainability

The speakers on this panel offer a variety of perspectives on the climate crisis and what can be done to use government to create green jobs and make the key investments that will permit a rapid shift from carbon-based fuels to alternative energy sources.

Moderator: Michael Shellenberger, President, Breakthrough Institute

John Irons, Research and Policy Director, Economic Policy Institute

Robert Pollin, Professor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and author of Green Recovery

Andrew Revkin, Reporter, New York Times

Daniel Sarewitz, Director, Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes, Arizona State University

VIDEO Panel Three Overcoming Political and Economic Obstacles

Fred Block

Overcoming Political and Economic Obstacles: Can the U.S. Create a World Class Innovation System?

This panel brings together scholars and government experts to look at the key problems that have to be solved in upgrading our innovation system. Speakers address the power of "free market" ideology, the threat of corporations moving high tech jobs overseas, and the difficulties of sustaining political coalition in support of innovation policies. But the panel ends with a strong statement from a Federal official about the potential of government programs to make a significant difference.

Moderator: Nicole Biggart, Dean, Graduate School of Management, UC Davis

Robert Berdahl, President, American Association of Universities

Ron Hira, Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology and author of Outsourcing America

Sean O Riain, Professor of Sociology, National University of Ireland

Marc Stanley, Director of the Technology Innovation Program, U.S. Department of Commerce

Sponsored by the Ford Foundation, University of California Washington Center, Breakthrough Institute, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, and Economic Policy Institute.

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