Vivek Wadhwa, Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley's School of Information, argues that Chinese innovation lags far behind innovation in the United States because China's rigid political structure doesn't allow for risk-taking.
Proposition: America is winning the innovation race
Staggering growth in developing economies—as well as new networking technologies and a renewed spirit of entrepreneurialism—is democratizing innovation throughout much of the world. Yet, huge global risks threaten to impede the pace of innovation. Countries from America to Japan are reeling under the weight of enormous debts. Emerging economies from China to Brazil, which have surged in recent years, are battling growing pains—like inflation and widening inequality. In Europe, chronic defaults and bailouts threaten the future of the euro itself. The result is a global political and economic climate that makes fueling innovation both difficult and necessary. With crucial presidential elections unfolding in many large countries throughout the world in 2012, now is the time to answer crucial questions about how to boost innovation—to propel nations and solve the world's problems.
Ideas Economy: Innovation will explore the role of governments, corporations and individuals as drivers of innovation and will develop prescriptions that lead to lasting progress and prosperity. Conference attendees will engage in a lively examination of current political and economic policies around the world, develop a keen understanding of how the forces of globalization affect the ways companies innovate and manage innovation, and discuss what individuals can do, not only to energize their own creative and intellectual potential, but to develop jobs, improve company earnings, and contribute to economic growth around the world.