Innovation, Technology and Growth: A Conversation with Christine Lagarde: What She said

I happen to have attended a Christine Lagarde open lecture and she had interesting things to say about Africa.She was very direct in letting people know that Africa is a continent and not a country and hence each country needs to be treated totally different.She told the people gathered that IMF has different systems linned up for the countries it works with in Africa but she did not go further than that.

Below are some of the things she had to say about Innovation and Technology;

     R&D in innovation as well as technological transformation is more effective when being driven by big companies or new small but fast growing companies rather than SMEs. SMEs have a tendency to stay small for a very long time whereas small, new but fast growing companies get big very fast (Tesla, Facebook, Uber).She clarified that big companies have the means to take technology global and spread it faster into different markets. SMEs support talk is mostly for political gain but not that helpful when it comes to innovation.

     Over the past decades technology has not helped much in improving the GDPs but rather enriching a few entrepreneurs. Technology has been focused on social initiatives rather than productivity but the tides are changing because organizations are realizing the need to invest in technology for productivity reasons.

     She emphasized on the need as well as the importance of putting in place a structure within the organization which supports technology driven innovation. She said the only innovation success stories are happening in places which have such a system in place.

     She emphasized on the need to embrace rather than fear innovation. Job losses as a result of innovation are probable however new jobs will be created along the way.

     2/3 of the kids of the current generation are going to have job tittles which are so unique that they currently do not exist.

     Tax as an important subject in the future. How will we tax robots??

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