Economic and Community Development
Networks Drive Innovation
Practically every region in the world wants to build a research park attached to a university and capture a slice of the high tech, innovation economy. Vivek Wadhwa of Duke University’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization would argue that innovation doesn’t happen that way. It is networks and risk-takers that drive innovation and entrepreneurship, not real estate development.
In a recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Wadhwa argues that, “To boost entrepreneurship, they (regions) need to focus their energy not on infrastructure, but on people.” Here is his shortlist of suggestions to spawn innovation:
- Remove the stigma of failure
- Teach entrepreneurship to students and skilled workers
- Promote immigration
- Deepen networks, locally and globally
- Invest in education
Chambers can play a big part in all of these areas, whether or not they are paid to do economic development.