The Future of Innovation – John Kao


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This lecture will take place at the Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Rd, Wilton, CT

In the 17th year of the collaboration between Wilton Library and the Wilton Historical Society, the scholarly lecture series will focus on the theme of “Innovation, Disruption, Revolution: The Impact of Technological Advancement.” In this lecture, John Kao, Turing Fellow at Yale’s Digital Media Center, will present a contemporary view of what innovation is, where it is going, and how advanced technology is reshaping its foundations. Our current way of thinking about and doing innovation does not, for the most part, fit our new business and societal realities. Innovation remains essential, especially in these turbulent times. But, to remain relevant, it needs to evolve. Its very definition needs clarification; its core methods need to be reimagined. The future of innovation is now intimately entwined with the rapid advance of technology. Artificial Intelligence and ChatGPT, innovation marketplaces, and augmented reality are only some of the powerful influences that will shape future innovation practices. And, they raise the central question of how humans and machines will renegotiate the trade space for creativity, entrepreneurship…and innovation.

John Kao

For the past 25 years, John Kao has worked in an area loosely bounded by the terms innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship, and leadership. Dubbed “Mr. Creativity” by The Economist, his work has been partly academic: 14 years at Harvard Business School; visiting appointments at the MIT Media Lab; and the US Naval Postgraduate School among others. He’s also worked in Hollywood, Broadway, the music industry, the worlds of politics and national security as well as Silicon Valley. John is currently the Turing Fellow at Yale’s Digital Media Center, a Visiting Fellow at Yale’s engineering school and a Yale entrepreneur-in-residence. He co-founded and is Chairman Emeritus of ThayerMahan, Inc., a leader in maritime intelligence. With a BA and MD from Yale and a Harvard MBA, John has also written Jamming which looks at what we can all learn from jazz musicians, and Innovation Nation: How America Is Losing Its Innovation Edge, Why It Matters and What We Can Do To Get It Back.

Reception following the talks. No charge but a $10 suggested donation is always welcomed. Click here to donate.

This series is sponsored by Laureen Mody. The moderator for this lecture is Max Gabrielson. Registration required. Please register for each lecture individually. Register online or call 203-762-6334.

Click here to view the entire lecture series program.