Reminder: The Educational Legacy of Woodrow Wilson

The Woodrow Wilson Center invites you to a Book Discussion:

The Educational Legacy of Woodrow Wilson: From College to Nation

Edited by: James Axtell, Kenan Professor of Humanities Emeritus, College of William & Mary

Moderated by: John Milton Cooper

Thursday, January 12, 2012 ~ 6th floor Joseph H. and Claire Flom Auditorium ~ 4:00–5:00 pm

In The Educational Legacy of Woodrow Wilson, James Axtell brings together essays by eight leading historians and one historically minded political scientist to examine the long, formative academic phase of Wilson’s career and its connection to his relatively brief tenure in politics.  Together, the essays provide a greatly revised picture of Wilson’s whole career and a deeply nuanced understanding of the evolution of his educational, political, and social philosophy and policies, the ordering of his values and priorities, and the seamless link between his academic and political lives.

Please RSVP in advance by sending an email to maria-stella.gatzoulis@wilsoncenter.org

Posted by: PAGE Staff

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Report: The Competitiveness and Innovative Capacity of the United States

The Commerce Department, in consultation with the National Economic Council, released a report to Congress  today detailing the competitiveness and innovative capacity of the United States.  The report in its entirety can be read here.  The report was required as part of the re-authorization of the America Competes Act signed in January of 2011.

The report argues that innovation is key to America’s continued economic success.  “Innovation is the key driver of competitiveness, wage and job growth, and longterm economic growth.”  In order to best facilitate this innovation, the report identifies three areas in which strategic government investments have been key to unleashing the competitive power of the private sector: “… basic research, education, and infrastructure.”  In addition to those three key pillars the report identifies other areas which have a significant impact on our competitive and innovative capacity: facilitating regional clusters, effective intellectual property regimes, and access to foreign markets are some of the areas named.

Rob Atkinson, President of the ITIF, welcomed the report in a statement, noting that “I hope this is a first step in the process of Washington waking up to the urgent innovation challenge…”

Posted by: Clark Taylor

Sources: Commerce Department, ITIF

Book Launch: Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises

The following is an event summary from a book launch hosted at the Wilson Center on September 13.

The Program on America and the Global Economy (PAGE) of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars welcomed Robert Z. Aliber, Professor Emeritus of International Economics and Finance at the Booth School of Business, University of Chicago, on September 13, 2011 for a book launch of his newly released edition of ‘Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises.’  The book, in this case the sixth edition, was originally written by Charles P. Kindleberger with the first volume having been published in 1978.  While noting that this is “essentially Charlie’s book “ Aliber said the book provides a contemporary account of financial crises. Given recent economic history, the subject matter is rife for an updated account.  Kent Hughes, PAGE Director, moderated the event.

Aliber’s edition focuses on the most significant financial crises of the last 40 years.  It begins in 1982 when a number of developing countries defaulted.  It then proceeds to Russia’s default in the mid 1990’s, which immediately preceded the Asian financial crises, and then moves on to the current financial crisis, which Aliber termed the “Anglo-Saxon real estate crisis.”

He argued that these periods have a number of characteristics in common.  The first is that they were all preceded by a rapidly growing credit supply.  The second is that they were accompanied by a dramatic increase in real estate prices.  Thirdly, along with these crises came massive swings in currency values.  Lastly, during this period investment bankers “got filthy rich” as trading revenues soared. Read more of this post

STEAM Education

Much has been made of STEM education and its role in America’s future.  However, some argue that the term may leave out a key ingredient that we would be remiss to forget; arts education.  Thus the term ‘STEAM education’ was born.

In Rhode Island, a coalition exists to promote the intersection of art and design with math and science education.  Robin Bronk, CEO of the Creative Coalition, is trying to ensure that arts education play a role in a well-rounded curriculum.  In fact, there have even been  proposals for new STEAM charter schools to open their doors.  When asked about STEAM education Dr. Francis Kane responded, “STEM represents the knowledge, tools and processes to invent the future, however, the arts are what make us human. They are inseparable.”

Posted by: Clark Taylor

Sources: edutopia.org, nwitimes.com, stemtosteam.org, Washington Post

Obstacles to Innovation

Innovation has long been identified as a key ingredient to a healthy economy.  That being the case, it is worthwhile to determine how we can facilitate innovation.  In order to best facilitate innovation, it is necessary to identify and lessen the impact of obstacles preventing further innovation.

A number of factors, in different sectors and different areas of the world, have been identified as obstacles to achieving more innovation.  In the European Union, some have pointed to bureaucratic snafus, overly regulated patents, and restrictive immigration policy as obstacles.  Shelly Lazarus, Chairman of public relations firm Ogilvy & Mather, identified the cultural barriers to successful innovation.  She remarked that sometimes, the biggest obstacle to implementing innovation is the fragility of new and innovative ideas in the workplace.

Henrik Otto, head of Swedish appliance maker Electrolux, claims that the biggest obstacle to innovation is experience.  He argues that those with experience tend to make arguments for why something will not work, as opposed to making arguments for why something will work.  According to Otto, those with experience “…use that experience to tell themselves and others why things won’t be possible to do, rather than use that knowledge and experience to invent ways to circumvent obstacles.”

Posted by: Clark Taylor

Sources: Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, PR Canada, Science Business, Wall Street Journal