Ingenuity v Innovation

 As we confuse ‘efficiency’ and ‘effectiveness’ so we confuse ‘innovation’ and ‘ingenuity’ – as we need to be effective, by doing the right thing, then do it efficiently; so we must be ‘ingenious’ in devising new new ideas and methods then ‘innovative’ in how we employ them.

We may have innovation problems but it is the ‘ingenuity gap’ that is key. As societies we squander this precious resource without thought andit is the key to our futures.


From the Oxford Dictionary

  • Ingenuity – Skill in Devising or contriving
  • Innovation – Bringing in new methods or ideas, making changes

How to fix the innovation gap: A conversation with Judy Estrin

In this video interview, the author of Closing the Innovation Gap: Reigniting the Spark of Creativity in a Global Economy says we are living off the previous generation’s research investments and thus failing to make the basic research investments needed to seed innovation in the future.

Estrin taps her years of experience in nurturing Silicon Valley companies to describe what’s necessary to help new ideas thrive. She also offers some advice to the incoming administration on how to begin reinvesting in fruitful research.

The Ingenuity Gap

Can we solve the problems of the future? Thomas Homer-Dixon tackles this question in a groundbreaking study of a world becoming too complex and too fast-paced to manage.

The challenges we face converge, intertwine, and often remain largely beyond our understanding. Most of us suspect that the “experts” don’t really know what’s going on and that as a species we’ve released forces that are neither managed nor manageable. This is the ingenuity gap, the critical gap between our need for ideas to solve complex problems and our actual supply of those ideas.


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