The Era of Innovation
- By Katherine Grayson
Nothing spurs creativity like dire need and urgency.
Just ask our president.
One of my favorite books is
Jonathan Alter's The Defining
Moment: FDR's Hundred Days
and the Triumph of Hope (2006, Simon
& Schuster). Though it may be a great
deal more relevant today than it was
when it was published, I came upon the
Newsweek editor's tome before I had
heard much about then-Sen. Barack
Obama, let alone witnessed his ascension
to the presidency during a period
in history that may turn out to rival the
Given my nature (impatient, and
always impressed by any ability to innovate
past stumbling blocks), it's not surprising
that the book left an indelible
impression upon me. It's all about how
our 32nd president, descended from a
dynasty of activists and charged with
the mission to rescue a nation swirling
into despair, tried every creative, outof-
the-box solution he or others could
could up with, to make a difference--
and make it quickly.
In fact, it was Roosevelt's resolve to
try anything and everything-- without
fear of failure ("The only thing we have
to fear is fear itself")-- that impresses
me most. Certainly, this fearlessness
must be a mark of some form of greatness,
for the trait is shared by so many
of history's innovators, including so
many intrepid explorers, inventors, and
researchers, most of whom struggle
against time and lack of resources.
And it will fall upon our 44th president,
as well, to do the impossible with little
more than the visions he and his cabinet
can conjure up, and with no real
models or benchmarks by which to
navigate. This kind of scenario is ripe
for missteps, misfires, and mishaps--
and true innovation.
Yet what better environment and
impetus for every possible form of
innovation, including those previously
unimagined technology advances taking
place right now, on your own campuses?
We know that these initiatives, too,
often are fueled by little more than imagination,
drive, and urgent need, which
make them all the more inspirational.
That's why, here at Campus Technology,
we once again are set to kick
off our Campus Technology Innovators
Awards on Feb 1. This special
program is designed to recognize you,
the campus technology innovator, and
to motivate the technology dreamers
and activists to come. The Innovators
program culminates in our July Innovators
Awards ceremony in Boston at
Campus Technology 2009, followed by
our August in-depth editorial coverage
of the winners' technology initiatives.
This year, as last year, look for our Innovators
to join our 2009 conference
track presenters and other speakers,
as they share with attendees their forays
into new frontiers of higher education
Add your name to the list of those who
make technology dreams reality, even in
these most challenging of times! See
our 2009 Campus Technology Innovators
competition Call for Entries on page
23. And to find out more about Campus
Technology 2009, head here. You
have nothing to fear but-- well, you know
the rest. We want to hear from you!
--Katherine Grayson, Editor-In-Chief
What have you seen and heard? Send to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Katherine Grayson is is a Los Angeles based freelance writer covering technology,
education, and business issues.