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They “get it”

It is my guess that SC Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt and GSV (Global Silicon Valley) Capital’s Michael Moe have not yet met each other, but it is clear they each understand the importance of the knowledge economy.

Bobby Hitt spoke at the SC Summit on Information Technology a couple of days ago and here is how he started his weekly e-mail today:

“In his 1999 book, Business at the Speed of Thought, Bill Gates wrote, “Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven.” At the time that book was published, less than 45% of Americans used the internet. Today, that figure has ballooned to more than 85%, making Gates’ statement even more profound. Technology, like business, doesn’t sit still; both are constantly changing and evolving. To be successful in South Carolina, it’s not enough just to adapt to the changing business and technological environments; we must promote them and foster a robust knowledge economy that enables entrepreneurship and technology-based economic development in our state.”  Link

Earlier this week Michael Moe and colleagues posted a well researched and important article at GSVTomorrow.com entitled “DIVERSIFY HUMAN CAPITAL PORTFOLIO TO OPTIMIZE PERFORMANCE.” They ended the article with a reference to Sallie Krawcheck’s Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund and the following paragraph:

“In a Knowledge Economy, the Wealth of a Nation is determined by its Human Capital, as opposed to Physical Capital, which was critical to Industrial Economies in days gone by. To optimize our country’s potential, we need to get full participation from everyone, regardless of race, gender or how wealthy their parents are. That’s our challenge and that’s our opportunity.” Link

Also, GSV partners with Arizona State University (ASU) [see immediately preceding post as well] to annually host a very significant conference called The ASU+GSV Summit (asugsvsummit.com). If you scroll to the bottom of the home page you reach the one sentence description of the conference: “The ASU+GSV Summit is the Knowledge Economy’s Mecca of conversation and activism devoted to accelerating learning innovation around the world.”

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Designing the New American University

Delineating the correlates of educational attainment has in fact been one of the objectives of my new book, coauthored with William Dabars, which presents a new and complementary model for the American research university. Designing the New American University (Johns Hopkins University Press) argues that the set of major research universities uniquely offers academic platforms that combine discovery and knowledge production with programs of undergraduate and graduate education that enable competitiveness in the knowledge economy. Instead of the intensely selective admissions process that excludes the majority of qualified applicants, the New American University model that I envisioned when I left Columbia University for Arizona State offers broad accessibility to an academic platform of discovery and knowledge production as well as societal impact.  Link

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Why Some U.K. Cities Thrive While Others Decline

An office building goes up in Reading, a British city that has seen great growth in knowledge economy jobs since 1911. (Flickr/Tristram Brelstaff)

… The report offers three broad recommendations for how metros—and in particular older, struggling industrial metros—can better adapt to the post-industrial knowledge economy.

Invest in talent and skills

The report highlights the central role played by talent, human capital and skills. The knowledge economy is powered not just by the clustering of firms per se, but by the clustering of talented, highly-skilled workers. This is key to business location and development.  Link

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Africa, Africa, Africa

Africa Urged to Embrace ICTs

African economies can fully derive maximum value from their resources if they embrace the use of information technology, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda has said. Speaking during the launch of Twenty Third Century Systems’ Africa Graduate Trainee Programme in Harare yesterday, Dr Sibanda said the world was in the era of “knowledge economy” that is characterised by the pervasive influence of ICTs.  Link

Meetings Africa 2015: Conventions Will Be Key to a Balanced Economy

Late last month in Johannesburg, Derek Hanekom, the new South African Minister of Tourism, officially opened  the 10th edition of Meetings Africa, the continental showpiece that “Advances Africa Together,” with the announcement that his country has already attracted 177 major international association meetings slated for the next five years. But much as the R3.5billion [about US$285M] tourism impact resulting from 250,000 delegates attending these events will be welcome, the contribution to Africa’s knowledge economy will be far more important.  Link

South Africa as a continental PhD hub?

Internationally, the importance of the doctorate has grown. Heightened attention has not been predominantly concerned with the traditional role of the PhD – providing a future supply of academics – but has focused on the increasingly important role higher education is perceived to play in the knowledge economy, specifically with regard to high-level skills.  Link

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Digital India: $16B = 50M jobs

NEW DELHI: Government’s Digital India project will create over five crore [crore = 10M] jobs once it is complete, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today. “IT gives employment to about 30 lakh [lakh = 100K] people. Once Digital India becomes reality, we can give jobs to five crore [50M] plus people,” Prasad said while addressing students at Shri Ram College of Commerce. Digital India is an umbrella programme of the government comprising various projects worth about Rs 1 lakh crore [about $16 billion] to transform the country into a knowledge economy. The programme includes projects that aim to ensure easy access to technology infrastructure and government services are to citizens.  Link

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Botswana Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo

He said a recent challenge to the promotion of growth and economic diversification has been the declining total factor productivity in the domestic economy, especially labour productivity. “In this regard, Government will continue to put in place measures to promote productivity that include: reforming the country’s education and training system; improving work ethic through training the workforce; as well as reviewing labour legislation; with a view to promoting efficiency in the labour market,” said Matambo.  Such labour market reforms, he said, will assist the economy to transit from mineral-led to a knowledge economy.  Link

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Governments, too, should think strategically about shifting their spending away from tangible infrastructure like roads and buildings, and toward intangibles like education and research and development.

It is no secret that the US and Europe, combined, spend more than $250 billion of public funds annually on R&D to maintain their leading positions. Likewise, a key driver of rapid development in countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and South Korea has been their strategic decision to shift public expenditure away from hard infrastructure and toward the “soft” infrastructure needed to build and sustain a knowledge economy. Likewise, the British government spends markedly more of its budget on such intangibles than on tangible assets.  Link

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… a report published last year by the Dubai based “knowledge-creating” company Madar Research and Development shines some light on [the topic of the Arab Knowledge Economy]. By combining a variety of data resources with their own research, they have ranked Arab countries on a “knowledge economy index.” Unsurprisingly, the rich Gulf States fared well with the United Arab Emirates topping the chart. Djibouti came in last … Bahrain tops the list on this chart thanks to the prevalence of Internet access there. Qatar is second with the largest number of computers in the region. “The wealthy Arab gulf states are approaching European levels of Internet access,” says an education consultant, Michael Lightfoot, who completed his doctoral thesis at the London University Institute of Education on the Arab knowledge economy, but was not an author on the report.  Link

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Knowledge@Wharton on Cuba

Faquiry Diaz Cala, CEO of Tres Mares Group, an innovation-driven holding company in Miami that invests and co-invests alongside successful Venture Capital/Private Equity funds and multilateral organizations throughout Latin America and the US:  The knowledge economy in Cuba is significantly stronger than people give it credit for. The country has one of the highest literacy rates in the hemisphere, one of the highest college graduate rates and PhDs in the hard sciences. Cuba has been producing physicists, mathematicians and so forth who have been exported to other countries. We have to consider Cuba as a startup nation and take a look at some of the similarities with Israel.”  Link

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From Carbon to Knowledge Economy

All nations face the question of how to meet economic, social and technological change. Taking a proactive approach to its future, Qatar has set out a clear path for the transition from a carbon- to a knowledge-based economy through the Qatar National Vision 2030. … What marks Qatar Foundation’s approach to research and development as special, is its application of a cycle of education, research and commercialisation.  From the outset comes a commitment to investment in a wide range of research in order to foster commercially viable projects that will contribute to the new knowledge economy through Qatar National Research Fund. This works in tandem with QF’s promotion of a culture of innovation through the entire education cycle that encourages new thinking. … This process has proven its success in helping to incubate well-researched ideas into prototypes that are patented and commercialised and, therefore, advancing Qatar towards fulfilling its National Vision by delivering economic diversification and innovating home-grown solutions to the grand challenges. … With initiatives in art and literature as well as health, family policy and sustainability, Qatar Foundation is proving its commitment to social development alongside the growth of the knowledge economy.  Link

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