Keynote address by Amy Wilkinson, Senior Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School | Summary and Q&A

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November 28, 2011
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Federal Reserve
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Keynote address by Amy Wilkinson, Senior Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School

TL;DR

To create jobs and foster entrepreneurship in America, it is necessary to support and unleash high-impact entrepreneurs who demonstrate key skills such as spotting opportunities, managing speed and complexity, iterating ideas, experimenting and failing wisely, networking across sectors, and practicing reciprocity.

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Key Insights

  • ❓ The ability to tolerate and learn from failure is crucial for entrepreneurs.
  • 🤔 The U.S. education system needs to focus on fostering entrepreneurial skills and critical thinking.
  • ❓ Government can partner with entrepreneurs by bringing in young, nimble entrepreneurial individuals and leveraging technology for better communication and collaboration.
  • ❓ Revitalizing manufacturing may not be the optimal solution, and instead, the focus should be on retraining individuals for entrepreneurship in innovative industries.
  • 😚 Closing the gap between GDP and unemployment requires equipping everyday people with entrepreneurial skills, leveraging technology, and changing cultural perceptions around entrepreneurship.
  • 🤕 Entrepreneurship education should be accessible and available to people of all ages and backgrounds.
  • ❓ It is necessary to cultivate a mindset that believes anyone can be an entrepreneur and provide support and resources accordingly.

Transcript

AMY WILKINSON (Applause.) So let me adjust this. So, ladies and gentlemen, we've heard absolutely fantastic panels, conversations, discussions, speeches in the last couple of days, and I think one thing is clear. And that is if we want to create jobs, we have to look to innovation, and we have to figure out how we're going to foster entrepreneurs... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What are the key characteristics of high-impact entrepreneurs?

High-impact entrepreneurs possess six key skills: spotting opportunities, managing speed and complexity effectively, iterating ideas rapidly, experimenting and failing wisely, networking across sectors, and practicing reciprocity in a networked world.

Q: How can the U.S. support foreign-born innovators?

One idea is to create an entrepreneurship Visa that allows foreign-born innovators to stay in the U.S. Another suggestion is to staple green cards to the diplomas of foreign STEM graduates to encourage them to stay and contribute their skills to the U.S. economy.

Q: What can be done to enhance entrepreneurship education?

It is important to promote entrepreneurship education at various levels, including high schools, universities, and community colleges. This can be achieved through programs like the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship and competitions like robotics.

Q: How can ecosystems be built to foster entrepreneurship?

Building ecosystems requires collaboration and cross-sector partnerships between universities, businesses, and governments. It is essential to break down silos and establish a common language to encourage innovation and problem-solving in new ways.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • High-impact entrepreneurs possess six key skills that enable them to scale businesses and nonprofits rapidly.

  • The missing ingredient in creating an environment for high-impact entrepreneurs is the need for support and context from policymakers, industry experts, and academics.

  • Four ideas to foster entrepreneurship in America include welcoming foreign-born innovators, advancing entrepreneurship education, building ecosystems that promote collaboration, and supporting women entrepreneurs.

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