June has been declared “Innovation Month” here in New England — where MIT is located. Maybe it should be “Innovation Month” everywhere.
Whatever your opinion of General Motors and its management decisions over the last few decades, it was sad to read today about GM's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing -- and about the fact that an estimated 20,000 GM employees will lose their jobs between now and the end of 2011.
On a more upbeat note, Boston Globe columnist Scott Kirsner has declared June "Innovation Month" in New England, the region of the U.S. where MIT is located. With the understanding that we'll need innovation to get the economy out the recession, Kirsner's theory apparently is that we might as well all start focusing on fostering it -- particularly by connecting with one another. "My idea behind designating June as Innovation Month is to get everyone talking and making new connections in a focused way over the next 30 days," Kirsner wrote in The Boston Globe. You can find out more details at the New England Innovation Month website.
In an article in Sunday's Boston Globe, Kirsner noted that people in the New England region of the U.S. have a long history of innovating their way out of economic funks. For example, after the American Revolution disrupted the region's then-dominant trade patterns in the late eighteenth century, Boston experienced an economic depression -- but within ten years, innovative businesspeople had developed new trading opportunities.
Good point -- but New Englanders aren't the only ones needing to get in touch with their innovative spirit these days. Maybe we need national -- or international -- Innovation Months to jumpstart the global economy.