Most of my professional career has been focused on innovation, though not all innovation is complicated or a result of technology. Innovation is simply about doing things in a new or different way. Not all innovations prove to be beneficial, but it’s through this process of trying and learning that we all make progress.
Doing something in a new way often involves risk. When it comes to the government’s role in innovation, there’s a tension between encouraging good risks and subsidizing bad risks. There’s also the unavoidable challenge of defining the difference between a good or bad risk.
I believe that long-term growth and prosperity require some degree of risk-taking and an openness to innovation. For Johnson County, this includes:
- Development policies and programs that encourage new investments in high-growth industries such as IT, renewable energy, and healthcare / biotechnology;
- Openness to creative mixed-use real estate development projects; and
- Cultivating long-term partnerships between community colleges, universities, and employers that create opportunities for new graduates to launch their careers in these innovative disciplines.