Dean Schmittlein talks MIT Sloan mission, American innovation on CEO Global Foresight

Published: April 2, 2014

Business news show also examines DARPA, flying cars

Nearly three decades after the term globalization entered the lexicon, the United States continues to lead the world in innovation and business education, MIT Sloan Dean David Schmittlein says in a new episode of CEO Global Foresight.

“Around the world, there is a great deal of attention being paid to innovation hubs,” Schmittlein tells Maryanne Kane, the host of the half-hour business news show, which airs on PBS affiliates and public television. “Innovation doesn’t just happen every old place by any old individual. It tends to happen in clusters. So there is a goal that governments have to create these kinds of clusters, in Bangkok, in Singapore, and so on, to a great degree by trying to look similar to the way those clusters look right here in the U.S.”

Schmittlein points to breakthroughs in life sciences—including pharmaceuticals, surgical techniques, and medical devices—as well as in information technology, computing, big data, and energy, as evidence of the United States’ sustained innovation leadership.

He also explains how MIT Sloan’s mission “to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world” informs work across the Institute and distinguishes MIT from its peers.

The program includes related interviews with Arati Prabhaker, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, and Carl Dietrich, MIT alumnus and founder of flying car company Terrafugia. The company is based near Boston.

“The United States has a unique environment and in particular there are certain hubs of entrepreneurship in the United States—Boston is one of them—where the network is there to support people who are willing to take risks, who are willing to try things where there is no guarantee of success, but the potential outcome of success could be globally game-changing,” Dietrich says on the program.