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Profs & Pints: Innovation, from Stone to Silicon

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Profs & Pints: Innovation, from Stone to Silicon


Profs and Pints presents: “Innovation, from Stone to Silicon,” a brief history, with Lawrence Husick, lecturer at Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting Graduate School of Engineering, chemist, patent attorney, hacker and entrepreneur.

“Innovation” is a hot commodity, with seemingly every company, elected official, employee, and organization out there either striving to be innovative or claiming they already deserve the label to anyone who will listen. The problem is that few can answer basic questions about innovation such as: How do you do it? How can you recognize it? Why is it worth doing?

Although we apply the term “innovation” to some new thing that someone has developed--the “better mousetrap” that's been built--innovation is much more than gizmos. It's also a process, a way to bring about change by introducing valuable new methods, ideas, or products. It’s coming up with different ways of thinking and doing. Innovations may be beliefs, organizational methods, and discoveries. Innovation is the creation of value. And despite the stereotype of the innovator as a tireless tinkerer, the impulse that spawns innovation is laziness. It arises from our desire to extract more value from our time and from things around us. It's how we've managed to get away from long days of hunting and gathering and generate economic surpluses. It's often been a way to spend more time in bed or on the couch.

Come learn about innovation—and the surprising lives of some of our lazy inventive heroes—from Lawrence Husick, whose job titles also include Co-Director of the Program on Teaching Innovation at the Foreign Policy Research Institute's Wachman Center. He'll tackle a tough-but-fun question: What are the 25 most important innovations in history, ranked in order? You'll be welcome to chime in with your own ideas, as independent thinking is a big part of what this talk is about. You might not leave able to build a better mousetrap, but you'll gain appreciation of those who did. (Advance tickets: $12. Door: $15, save $2 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please give yourself plenty of time to place an order and get settled in.)



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