Every time we reflect on the state of the world’s economy, it seems someone will mention innovation. The insistence on innovation seems to be everywhere. Recently I realised just how closely we have come to associate prosperity with innovation.

I was walking through the immensity of Tiananmen Square where glowing from huge LCD screens proclaim the hopes of a nation:

Love your country – work to improve what you have been given – innovate

Thinking about it though, it is as if everyone mentions innovation without ever mentioning an example of what has been innovated, or how we have successfully innovated recently. There are, of course, examples of people who have overcome the recent economic downturns and adapted business models and technologies to the the advantage of many.

I am traveling to the Annual Meeting of the New Champions with a Technology Pioneer, Sam White, one of these technology-driven people who dream of changing the world. His company, Promethean Power Systems, uses a battery developed at MIT that is being employed as an industrial milk chiller for farmers in India. We are both attending the Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Tianjin this week. So many things waiting for us: strategy, competitiveness, science, video interviews, meetings; but yet the most exciting of all is the unexpected. People we will meet at random who will profoundly impact what we do and how we think.

I hope that when I go back to Boston to run my biotech start-up that I will not forget to love and respect where I live, work hard to improve what I have been given and innovate to make this world a better place.

Author: Elisabet de los Pinos is the founder and Chief Executive Office of Aura Biosciences Inc, selected as a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer 2010.

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Why innovation matters more than ever

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