Achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals

This blog's purpose is to connect in an every widening and deepening manner with others across the globe in support of the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals.

Let's be the first generation to end poverty by 2015 with the United Nations' Eight Goal Millennium Campaign.
1. End Hunger 2. Universal Education 3. Gender Equity 4. Child Health 5. Maternal Health 6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases 7. Environmental Sustainability 8. Global Partnership.

Learn more about what this weblog is trying to accomplish at the new PBworks Wiki.

Speaking Out for the Millennium Development Goals

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What If - Millennium Development Goals Ending Poverty 2015

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Innovation, Disruptive Milestones for the New Millennium

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Some articles of interest from the New York Times, this time on innovation. I was originally going to post this at the other blog. If we are to create a sustainable economy under a free enterprise system that is to be of benefit to the world as a whole and not to a privileged few, we will have to depend greatly upon innovation. A concern for some is that the United States is losing its innovative edge. A greater concern is that we do not apply our innovation to the betterment of mankind.

TECHNOLOGY | February 25, 2009 In Innovation, U.S. Said to Be Losing Competitive Edge By STEVE LOHR

The U.S. ranks sixth among 40 countries and regions for innovation, a nonpartisan group noted in a report.

The report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation found that the United States ranked sixth among 40 countries and regions, based on 16 indicators of innovation and competitiveness. They included venture capital investment, scientific researchers, spending on research and educational achievement.
Disruptive Innovation seems to me to be the Twenty-first Century update to Creative-Destruction, and of far greater utilization to entrepreneurs, social or private. The fact that it is currently being applied to the medical field also means it is applicable to global health issues being faced by Millennium Development Goal 6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases. In truth, those who have been involved in facing health challenges in developing countries have been using disruptive technologies out of necessity. The New York Times article below provides a basic look at the issues and the MIT video following provides greater insight from the author of the concept Clayton M. Christensen.

BUSINESS | February 01, 2009 Unboxed: Disruptive Innovation, Applied to Health Care
Using innovation management models previously applied to other industries, Clayton M. Christensen, a Harvard Business School professor, argues in “The Innovator’s Prescription” that the concepts behind “disruptive innovation” can reinvent health care. The term “disruptive innovation,” which he introduced in 2003, refers to an unexpected new offering that through price or quality improvements turns a market on its head.

The Innovator's Prescription: A Disruptive Solution to the Healthcare Crisis

Christensen distills several books' worth of research describing how business leaders sometimes metamorphose into losers when confronted with market-rocking innovations. He also reveals how we may harness his insights in such socially significant and complex industries as healthcare.
The final question is what does one need to strive in such an environment. The answer below is taken from the private sector, but I believe, as I so often do, that there are important lessons to be taken from the private sector in creating a sustainable, efficient and effective system for delivering public services and social goods.

Corner Office: The Keeper of That Tapping Pen By ADAM BRYANT Anne M. Mulcahy, who led a turnaround at Xerox, says it "learned a lot about identifying failure quickly."

Q. Do you find yourself looking for certain qualities in a candidate more than you did several years ago?

A.
Adaptability and flexibility. One of the things that is mind-boggling right now is how much we have to change all the time. For anybody who’s into comfort and structure, it gets harder and harder to feel satisfied in the company. It’s almost like you have to embrace a lot of ambiguity and be adaptable and not get into the rigidness or expectation-setting that I think there used to be 10 years ago, when you could kind of plot it out and define where you were going to go.

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