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Economic News, Data and Analysis

Diversity Powers Innovation

I met Scott Page about a decade ago at the Santa Fe Institute’s graduate computational economics workshop. He’s done some great work, especially on the border between poli-sci and econ. His most recent effort looks at the social science foundations (via computaional econ) of diversity–that is, diversity of thought, problem solving approaches, etc; not necessarily race or ethnic, but obviously there is a connection. (See “In Boardrooms and in Courtrooms, Diversity Makes a Difference” in the WaPo recently.)
I had him draw the connections between diversity and economic growth/innovation for a column at the office (the Center for American Progress).
Read this and then buy the book

Diversity Powers Innovation
Diversity Powers Innovation
By Scott Page
January 26, 2007
Most people believe that innovation requires smarter people, better ideas. That premise, though intuitive, omits what may be the most powerful but least understood force for innovation: Diversity.
Diversity usually calls to mind differences in race, gender, ethnicity, physical capabilities, and sexual orientation—social or political differences that at first glance have little to do with innovation. Yet the key to innovation, in economic terms, resides inside the heads of people, the more diverse the better. That link may not be immediately apparent, yet any understanding of innovation’s role in economic growth must focus on diversity as well as ability.
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