Johnson Dean Soumitra Dutta Explores Boundaries of Innovation at World Economic Forum Annual Meeting


Soumitra Dutta, the Ann and Elmer Lindseth Dean of Johnson at Cornell University, this week is joining other leading thinkers at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Dutta is a member of the Davos Circle, an association of long-time 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, to Bill Gates.

Dutt, an authority on strategies for driving 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 January 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 be hindering meaningful breakthroughs, and research and innovation systems that present greater 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. “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), Geneva; Andrew Plump, board member, chief scientific and medical officer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals International, USA; Randy Schekman, Nobel Laureate and professor, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, USA; Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, and founder and chair Emeritus, board of Trustees, Wikimedia Foundation; USA.

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