You are Invited: Private Sector Innovation for Emergency Communications

Private Sector Innovation for Emergency Communications

Tuesday November 1, 2011  4:30-6:00 pm

5th Floor Conference Room, Woodrow Wilson Center

Congress and the Administration are working to create a national public safety broadband network. The network will provide interoperable voice and data communications for emergency responders nationwide, and offers an opportunity to leverage mission critical technologies such as geospatial and social media that will dramatically enhance the way public safety prepares for and responds to emergencies.  Closing the gap between the emergency responders and private sector innovators is vital to achieving the full potential of the national public safety broadband network.  To do so we need to ask the following questions:

  • What new technologies and applications in both the commercial and public safety markets are currently being developed that could be leveraged through the deployment and adoption of a national public safety broadband network?
  • What new technologies and applications are in the pipeline which 5-10 years from now might aid the public safety and homeland security community?
  • How do we create public-private partnerships to make this critical leap, both in technology innovation and adoption, as a nation?


Click here for more information.

Posted by: PAGE Staff

STEM Education and Sports

While seemingly unrelated, STEM education and athletics are becoming more and more intertwined.  In the recently released motion picture Moneyball baseball scouts and managers develop a mathematical and statistical analysis of players performances called sabermetrics.  Similarly, computer aided scheduling, which utilizes an algorithm to determine the complex recipe of home and away games, was first implemented during the 1997-1998 National Collegiate Athletic Association season.

There are also growing methods in which STEM fields are designed to appeal to students in the same ways that athletic competitions do.  Most notably FIRST Robotics, in which teams of students build robots and enter into athletic-like competitions.

More predictably, STEM fields are also impacting sporting equipment and technological components of athletics as safety concerns rise.  In June 2011 the House Science Committee on “STEM Education in Action” addressed the success of the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision National Science Competition, in which a group of grade schoolers built a prototype for the HEADS UP! HELMET.  The product is a helmet that not only protects soldiers from traumatic brain injury, but one that also can be used on the playing field for high-contact sports such as football in coming years in an effort to “help prevent the growing number of concussions in children and athletes.”

Posted by: Carolyn Bantz

Sources: The Atlantic, FIRST Robotics, HEADS UP! HELMET, Science Daily, US House Committee on Science

Photo credit: Moneyball Movie courtesy of flickr user pursuethepassion.

Innovation and Poverty

When one pictures a hotbed of innovation, an image of a university classroom or science laboratory is usually the first thought that comes to mind.  An exhibit at the United Nations arranged by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, however, is doing just the opposite.  The exhibit is dedicated to showing how urban slums can act as a breeding ground for innovative ideas.

Given the nature of life in an urban slum, the needs to be addressed are different from those in the more developed nations.  The innovations on display include repurposing steel drums into laptops, and prefabricated architectural pieces from Venezuela designed to become ‘Vertical Gyms.’  The Vertical Gym project is already exploring partnership options in New York City, the Netherlands, and Jordan.

This is not the only or the first example of innovation in less developed areas of the world.  A phenomenon, which has been termed ‘trickle-up innovation’ is one in which innovative ideas first take place in developing areas and then, if successful, make their way back to richer nations.  The practice shows no signs of abating as the United States Agency for International Development recently announced a grant designed to unlock the power of Africa’s innovators and entrepreneurs.

Posted by: Georgina Ellison

Sources: USAID,,

Photo credit: Moneymaker Block Press_2056 courtesy of flickr user hoyasmeg

Reminder: Two Events Tomorrow

At noon, Wilson Center on the Hill is hosting an event on Capitol Hill entitled ‘Congress: Global Finance and Global Development.’  More information can be found here.

At 3:00 pm, PAGE Director Kent Hughes will be appearing on a panel at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.  The event is titled ‘Restructuring Sovereign Debt.’  More information can be found here.

Posted by: PAGE Staff

New Digest – Innovation and Entrepreneurship: The Right Combination for Growth?

On October 7, 2011, Wilson Center on the Hill hosted an event titled, “Innovation and Entrepreneurship: The Right Choice for Growth?” Three panelists, Amy Wilkinson, Philip Auerswald, and Brink Lindsey, along with moderator Kent Hughes, addressed the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship in creating economic growth.

Brink Lindsey, a senior scholar at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, proposed solutions to the issue of “structural doom and gloom” often brought up by economists. Lindsey argued that unemployment and concerns regarding innovation are problems that can be solved through effective entrepreneurship. He contended that jobs come from startup firms, and from 1997-2005 these firms were the only source of net new jobs. The barriers to entry for new firms need to be eliminated, he noted, and road blocks to growth must be identified.

Lindsey summarized the proposed Start-Up Act as a path out of the recession and to renewed prosperity.  In particular, he emphasized three elements of the Act:  establishing an “entrepreneur” visa, implementing tax advantages for start-up firms, and increased access to capital markets. Immigration was an especially crucial issue, Lindsey argued, as students who come to the U.S. from abroad to study STEM subjects often find it too difficult to stay. Today’s innovative companies have a large international workforce, and immigrants are an important asset to the U.S. economy. Lindsey also encouraged a balance between regulatory costs and regulation, while noting that regulation is most efficient at the local level. He urged the United States to consider using the World Bank’s model for regulation, which focuses on states and localities. Lindsey concluded by arguing that the U.S. needs “well-structured rules that allow creative and innovate people to be creative and innovative.” Read more of this post

You are Invited – Congress: Global Finance and Global Development

Invitation to a Program on America and the Global Economy and Wilson Center on the Hill Event:

 Congress: Global Finance and Global Development

Wednesday, October 26, 2011, 12:00-1:15 p.m.

B-340 Rayburn House Office Building

The author of  Legislating International Organization:  The US Congress, the IMF, and the World Bank, will discuss how  the U.S. Congress, tracing its long history of involvement with these institutions, wields significant influence.  The impact of the 2008 financial crisis has focused American politics on the global role played by the IMF and World Bank.

KATHRYN LAVELLE, Author and Ellen and Dixon Long Associate Professor of World Affairs, Case Western Reserve University

Moderated by: KENT HUGHES, Director, Program on America and the Global Economy, Wilson Center 

Please RSVP acceptances only to or 202-691-4357.

Posted by: PAGE Staff

You are Invited – Book Launch: Legislating International Organization

The Program on America and the Global Economy (PAGE) Presents a Book Discussion:

Legislating International Organization:  The US Congress, the IMF, and the World Bank

Kathryn Lavelle, Author, former Fellow, Woodrow Wilson Center and Ellen and Dixon Long Associate Professor of World Affairs, Case Western Reserve University

Moderated by: Kent Hughes, Director, PAGE, Woodrow Wilson Center

Covering the history of the IMF and World Bank from their origins, Lavelle shows that domestic political constituencies in advanced industrial states have always been important drivers of international financial institution policy. She focuses in particular on the U.S. Congress, tracing its long history of involvement with these institutions and showing how the Congress wields significant influence. The impact of 2008 financial crisis has focused American politics on the global role played by the IMF and World Bank.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 ~ 9:00 – 10:30 a.m.     6th Floor Moynihan Boardroom, Woodrow Wilson Center

Please RSVP acceptances only to

Posted by: PAGE Staff

You are Invited: Restructuring Sovereign Debt

Restructuring Sovereign Debt

Wednesday October 26, 2011 – 3:00-5:00 pm

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

1779 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.  Root Room, 2nd Floor

The last years of financial crises have seen developed countries wrestling with the problems of sovereign indebtedness, long thought to be a problem unique to developing countries. Some former “Heavily Indebted Low-Income Countries” initially avoided the debt trap during the first years of this prolonged financial crisis, but now face severe indebtedness once again.

This panel will discuss what we have learned from the past experiences with restructuring sovereign debts, and what options are (or should be) available to today’s and tomorrow’s sovereign debtors.

-          Mr. Lee C. Buchheit, Partner at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, LLP, New York, scholar and practitioner working to resolve sovereign debt problems

-          Mr. Kent Hughes, Director, Program on America in the Global Economy, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

-          Mr. Eric Le Compte, Executive Director, Jubilee USA Network

-          Mr. Monsur Muhtar, Alternate Executive Director for Nigeria and South Africa, and former Nigerian Minister of Finance

This event is co-sponsored by the Heinrich Boell Foundation’s North America Office, Jubilee USA Network, New Rules for Global Finance, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

The conversation will be on the record.  We plan to videotape the proceedings and post it on some or all of the sponsors’ websites.  There will also be a summary of the discussion and suggested reading to assist the visitors to the website on the significance of sovereign debt problems and to acquaint them with options for resolving them.

Please RSVP to Mary Donahue (

Posted by: PAGE Staff

Cyberspace, Cybersecurity, and American Competitiveness

As the global economy evolves, cyberspace is becoming more and more integral to American competitiveness.  On October 17, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Renewing America Initiative hosted an Expert Roundup to explore this issue titled, “Cyberspace and U.S. Competitiveness.”  This event discussed government regulation of cyberspace, bandwidth size, and broadband access in the United States.

In addition to transforming communication and business-consumer relations, the internet has given rise to unprecedented business models that transcend national borders.  “Policymakers and chief executives need to understand this new kind of consumer power and let it flower if they want to better serve their audiences,” said James Harkin, author and director of Flockwatching.  Peter Schwartz, cofounder and chairman of the Global Business Network, explained, “Domestically, the policy targets should be expanding and deepening access to all U.S. citizens at a lower cost. The country lags behind many nations both in the percentage of citizens with Internet access and in the amount of bandwidth available.”

While cyberspace can serve to bolster American competitiveness, it also comes with risks.  Cyber attacks can often inflict damage of an unprecedented size.  As more information and greater internet access spreads to more people, security risks can rise.

The House Intelligence Committee chairman recently accused China of conducting “predatory” cyber attacks and intellectual property theft against the United States, reports the Los Angeles Times.  Similarly, the Ponemon Institute recently published a study demonstrating the increasing prevalence of cyber attacks, writes P.R. Newswire.  “77 percent of businesses responded that attacks have become more severe while 78 percent said they have become more frequent,” according to this study.

Even considering the risks, harnessing the internet for America’s future competitiveness will remain a key challenge.  “The Internet has become a universal solvent, which enables a knowledge-intensive economy and growing citizen power. Washington needs to do everything it can to assure that this digital infrastructure continues to advance, deepen, and grow in its reach,” Schwartz concluded.

Posted by: Rebecca Anderson

Sources: Council on Foreign Relations, L.A. Times, P.R. Newswire

Photo credit: Internet courtesy of Flickr user transCam

Watch Live: 21st Century Pathways to a Skilled Technology Workforce

To watch a live webcast of this event click here.

The National Center for Women & Information Technology and the Wilson Center invite you to:

“21st Century Pathways to a Skilled Technology Workforce” Roundtable

October 13, 2011, 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 5th Floor Conference Room

1300 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20004

8:00 a.m. Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. Opening Remarks

Kent Hughes, Director, Program on America and the Global Economy, Woodrow Wilson Center; Lucinda Sanders, CEO & Co-founder, The National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT)

8:45 a.m. Keynote Addresses

Congressman Thomas Petri (R-WI)

9:30 a.m. Panel One:  Unpacking STEM & the Problems with Finding Talent

Avis Yates Rivers, President and CEO, Technology Concepts Group, Inc. – confirmed; Dan Zelem, CIO, Medco – confirmed; Donagh Herlihy, Senior VP & CIO, Avon Products, Inc. – confirmed; Cordell Carter, Director of Public Policy, Business Roundtable – confirmed; Dr. Anthony Carnevale, Director, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce – confirmed

10:30 Coffee & Conversation

10:45 a.m. Panel Two:  National Security & a 21st Century Workforce

Laura Adolfie, Director, STEM Development Office, Department of Defense – confirmed; Susan Lavrakas, Director, Workforce – Aerospace Industries Association – confirmed; Kelly H. Carnes, President and CEO, TechVision21 – confirmed; Kim Adams, Vice President, Diversity, Inclusion, and Equal Opportunity Programs, Lockheed Martin- invited; Alan Paller, Director of Research, The SANS Institute – invited; Matt Fussa, Managing Attorney for Global Government Solutions, Cisco Systems, Inc. – invited; Rand Beers, Under Secretary, National Protection and Programs Directorate, Department of Homeland Security – invited

11:45 a.m. Creative Approaches to 21st Century Skills

Bill Kamela, Senior Director for Education and Workforce Law and Corporate Affairs, Microsoft – confirmed; Bob Baugh, Executive Director, AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council – confirmed; Sara Akbar, Senior Manager, Government Affairs, Oracle Corporation – confirmed

12:45 p.m. Closing Remarks

Lucinda Sanders, CEO & Co-founder, The National Center for Women and Information Technology; Kent Hughes, Director, Program on America and the Global Economy, Woodrow Wilson Center

RSVP to by October 11, 2011             

Please contact Liz Byers with questions:  202-691-4357

Posted by: PAGE Staff


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