Innovation Fellows structureel gemaakt

Nieuws | de redactie
18 augustus 2015 | President Obama is zijn bureau aan het opruimen nu het einde van zijn tweede termijn in zicht komt. Zo maakt hij het experiment met Innovation Fellows structureel via een ‘executive order’. “A powerful mechanism to ensure that the most current cross-functional innovative thinking can be part of our governance.”

In een verklaring zegt de president over deze stap in de organisatie van de Amerikaanse regering het volgende: “The program brings entrepreneurs, executives, technologists, designers and other innovators into government, and teams them up with Federal employees to improve programs that serve more than 150 million Americans. Since the launch of the program in 2012, 96 top innovators have been recruited into this highly-competitive program from across the country, including places like: Silicon Valley, New York, Austin, Washington, D.C. and Boston.”


“The program is on the lookout for more talented innovators and technologists to join the team and work on our Nation’s most pressing challenges. Fellows serve for 12 months as embedded entrepreneurs-in-residence, working quickly and iteratively to turn promising ideas into game-changing solutions.”

Megan Smith, zijn Chief Technology Officer op het Witte Huis, zet nader uiteen wat dit betekent voor zowel de federale overheid als de betrokken mensen uit R&D, innovatie, bedrijfsleven en kennisorganisaties.  “The tradition of innovation and entrepreneurship in the United States is one of our greatest national assets. It is an evolving and evergreen tradition: At no point in our history have we been without passionate innovators who have used the technology, innovation, and design thinking of their time to advance solutions to pressing problems and needs?—?and move our country forward.”

De Founding Fathers deden dit al

“Our Founders had these skills?—?they, of course, were statesmen, writers, leaders, orators, organizers?—?they were also inventors, engineers and systems thinkers. George Washington founded what is now the Army Corps of Engineers prior to the founding of the United States, knowing that technical capability and ingenuity were needed.

The innovator’s seat at the table is part of our longstanding American tradition. The Presidential Innovation Fellows program gives our country a powerful mechanism to ensure that the most current cross-functional innovative thinking can be part of our governance. That technology innovation and design talent can join expert colleagues already in government and together address the greatest challenges our leaders are facing.

Like similar Federal and external fellowships designed to bring top American talent to serve in our government?—?White House Fellowships, Presidential Management Fellowships, Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and others?—?the Presidential Innovation Fellows program gives us a path for bringing talent with the latest innovative approaches and technology skills into the Federal government for a burst of time.

Fellows have already delivered extraordinary value for the American people in just the first three years. We can only imagine the kind of impact we will see year after year as the program supports this top American talent to collaborate and innovate with colleagues across government?—?providing great value, lowering costs, and together solving the many challenges we face as a nation.”

Change agents and forward-thinkers

Garren Givens , de directeur van het Presidential Innovation Fellows Program, voegt daar aan toe: “Our team’s mission at the White House is to ensure the United States continues to be the best place for engineers and technologists. Part of that mission is making sure the best people and practices from the private sector are infused into government. The team that manages the PIF program is a great example of this diversity, which cuts across all dimensions of geography, age, skill, race, gender, professional and life experiences.

As a team, we’ve been empowered to look across the vast federal government for change agents and forward-thinkers working on complex challenges. We home in on problems where new ideas and new technology will enable us to design new solutions and gain valuable insights quickly. We then look to the private sector and focus on building a large pool of candidates with experiences, skills, and backgrounds as diverse as the challenges they will face here in government.”

Tip voor Brussel?

Givens heeft ook zelf als zo’n fellow gewerkt en maakte vervolgens de overstap naar het Witte Huis. Zijn ervaringen zet hij daar nu in. “As a Presidential Innovation Fellow, you are an “entrepreneur-in-residence” working alongside other talented civil servants within agencies. I can tell you firsthand that you will be inspired by the commitment and dedication of your partners at those agencies. Together, you will work as a team, building on each of your unique experiences to strive for results at “startup speed,” which is months?—?not years.”

In het kader van het Juncker Plan voor investeringen en inovatie in de EU – en als impuls voor een Europees burgerschap – zou eenzelfde opzet voor een Europees Innovation Fellowship een uitdagende gedachte kunnen zijn. Iets voor Carlos Moedas en Robert Jan Smits?

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