Technology Review has a column by Michael Schrage:
Innovation isnt what innovators do; its what customers, clients, and people adopt. Innovation isnt about crafting brilliant ideas that change minds; its about the distribution of usable artifacts that change behavior. Innovatorstheir optimistic arrogance notwithstandingdont change the world; the users of their innovations do. Thats not a subtle distinction.
Thats also why I now believe that the dominant global issue of our time is the accelerating diffusion of innovation. Period. Full stop. The diffusion of innovationnot the spread of ideas or the clash of civilizations or even globalizationis the dynamic driving todays world and tomorrows. Whether you care about nuclear-weapons proliferation, the specter of bioterrorism, global warming, the digital divide, or the prospect that new sources of potable water and cheap energy will better the lives of billions, you arein the first and final analysisconcerned about the risk/reward rivalry that drives the diffusion of innovation.
Every significant issue of our timeenergy crises, environmental degradation, economic development, public health, HIV/AIDS, educational opportunity, child careis increasingly shaped by the ebb and flow of technical innovation. In fact, the quality of global life and the standard of local living have come to be defined by the diffusion of technology. Were not going to escape this essential truth; its dishonest to try.