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The WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM: TED and Innovation a silver lining?

The WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM: TED and Innovation a silver lining?

The World Economic Forum (WEF) saw top business leaders, politicians, thinkers and journalists come together to discuss the current global economic situation. They all tried their best Nostradamus impressions and as a result the relative theme of this year’s event was a real downer; something to the effect of– problem-based problems for the world’s catastrophic economic calamity.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure I saw a few PBPWCEC t-shirts and beanies in the audience.

Though the overall discussion was fairly gloomy there were a few bright spots…

This video was selected as the winner of the World Economic Forum and YouTube’s “Davos Debates” initiative. He proposes an “International Code of Ethics” that would pressure CEO’s took make good decisions. “Good” in both a financial and moral sense. It’s pretty thoughtful and he uses props.

Similarly, Christine Lagarde, the French Minister of Finance, encouraged the CEO’s who have escaped corporate collapse with huge bonuses, to volunteer their intellect in helping their global community solve this crisis. She cleverly equates this suggestion to how computer and tech companies hire hackers.

Both offered creative ideas during a conference that was bogged down in tired talk that was without specific, concrete plans.

And there were other presentations that suggested a shift to this tired approach– movement away from conventional thinking to innovative, 21st century solutions. Like the founding of the Young Global Leaders network works to generate businesses and employment, using modern processes, such as, social media and open sourcing.

This crisis clearly provides a genuine chance to better unite ecology and economy through innovation.

AND either by fate or coincidence, just as the WEF ended last Sunday, hundreds of the foremost movers and shakers scrambled to out here to California to attend the TED conference. Check out Bruce Nussbaum’s essay in Business Week where he compares the power of each conference to present real solutions to our global economic crisis.

Bruce writes, “The entire conversation of the conference is framed in The New and how it can solve social and economic problems with fresh solutions.

It is not about how much government money to spend on repairing roads but what kind of policy can promote entrepreneurship, startups, green technology, and people-focused, social media-based.”

“The New” is what separates TED from the WEF in its ability to generate new ideas and innovations.
If our global community is to actually resolve this historic crisis we need to be thoughtful, cooperative solutions-based. It’s about finding a fresh perspective not pointing the finger.

The Swiss writer, Max Frisch, rightly said that, “A crisis is a productive state. One just has to remove the (bitter) aftertaste of disaster.”

So keep your head up. This economic downturn is a ripe opportunity for innovators like you.