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Always looking for the “new” new thing

– How Silicon Valley evolved and what Sweden can learn from it

Date: September 12, 2013

Lecturer: Professor Martin Kenney, University of California, Davis

About the lecture: The debate about regional innovation systems has been framed by the success of Silicon Valley. But the complex history of the region is often reduced to a simple recipe, based on a snapshot in time. During this Estrad lecture, Professor Martin Kenney will give you a more historically nuanced and balanced account of the region’s evolution.

According to Kenney, Silicon Valley’s success is unique and therefore irreproducible. However, there are lessons that other regions can apply to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation.

The key is to be able to “peer over the horizon” and spot the newest technology. In Silicon Valley, intermediaries (such as venture capitalists, lawyers and accountants) play a vital role in helping new firms. Three top universities, and leading high-techs like Cisco and Google, provide the region with the brightest engineers and managers. Entrepreneurship is further enhanced by the California legal system.

So what can we learn from all this? Martin Kenney will end his presentation by speculating on potential lessons applicable to Nordic nations. Most welcome!

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