Jan. 21, 2016

Johnson Dean Dutta explores innovation at Davos

Soumitra Dutta
Dutta

Soumitra Dutta, the Ann and Elmer Lindseth Dean of Johnson at Cornell University, this week is joining other leading thinkers at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Dutta is a member of the Davos Circle, an association of longtime participants in the annual meeting, whose purpose is to engage the world’s top leaders in collaborative activities focused on shaping global, regional and industry agendas.

More than 2,500 leaders from business, government, international organizations, civil society, academia, media and the arts are participating this year, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Bill Gates.

Dutta, an authority on strategies to drive growth and innovation by embracing the digital economy, brings his expertise on the impact of new technology on the business world to speak to the meeting’s theme: “Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

On Jan. 21 Dutta moderated a panel titled “Exploring the Boundaries of Open Innovation.” The session considered whether open collaboration platforms are helping scientific and technological progress. Panelists discussed obstacles that may hinder meaningful breakthroughs, and research and innovation systems that present opportunity for innovation. (The session was conducted under Chatham House Rule to encourage openness and sharing of information.)

“Technology poses new possibilities for gathering and sharing information, presenting new challenges to scientists, technologists and innovators in all disciplines,” Dutta said before the conference. “I look forward to collaborating with panelists and audience members on how we can further breakthroughs in the evolving digital world.”

Panelists for the session were Fabiola Gianotti, director-general, European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN); Andrew Plump, board member, chief scientific and medical officer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals International; Nobel laureate Randy Schekman, professor, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley; and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, chair emeritus of the Wikimedia Foundation.

In spring 2016, Dutta will unveil the Global Information Technology Report 2016 in collaboration with the World Economic Forum. This annual reportfeatures the Networked Readiness Index, which assesses the factors, policies and institutions that enable a country to fully leverage information and communication technologies for increased competitiveness and well-being.

Shannon Dortch is associate director of public and media relations for Johnson.