Raymond Carver once titled a collection of short fiction, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. Indeed, when it comes to that emotion, we talk as if we all meant the same thing, yet we seldom do.
The same is true when we talk about innovation, a buzzword in business, industry, medicine, and government. We toss it around, and are all eager to have innovation everywhere. But what do we really mean? And why does it matter?
Fostering innovation matters, says Roberta Ness, MD, MPH, if we are to solve (and survive) major public health threats of our time: climate change, obesity, infectious disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and health disparities. And defining the term is important to knowing what it is we mean. Ness says that one common definition, that innovation is creativity with a use, proves to be problematic. (more…)