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Jean Paul Fitoussi

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Jeremy Rifkin

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Allen Sinai

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Our Mission

To introduce the best International Management, Economics and Finance practices.
To develop innovative ideas, methodologies and management tools to support Operating Enterprises in implementing their own Corporate culture.
LESTER, RICHARD K. Print E-mail

 
Richard K Lester's Mug Shot Head, Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, Founding Director, Industrial PerformanceCenter

Speaking Topics:

1. Innovation --The Hidden Dimension

What companies, and countries, can do to encourage the creative dimension of innovation, and how the analytical/interpretive dichotomy can help them. (Draws on my book with Michael Piore, Innovation – The Missing Dimension, Harvard University Press, 2005)

2. Innovation and the Competitiveness of Regions

How innovation can help regions prosper in the global economy, and why the university role in local and regional economic development must be rethought. This talk describes several different pathways of regional innovation-led growth, and advocates a strategic approach to the problem of regional economic development and to the university role in this process. (Draws on the IPC’s Local Innovation Systems Project, a study of 25 city regions around the world and their efforts to transform themselves through innovation.)

3. This is MIT

By one recent estimate there are almost 26,000 currently active firms founded by MIT alumni, employing 3.3 million people worldwide and generating about trillion in annual revenues (equivalent to the world’s 11th largest national economy.) How did this happen? Could it be replicated by other universities? This talk examines the proposition that MIT’s ‘magic sauce’ of entrepreneurship is made up of readily reproducible ingredients.

4. America’s Energy Innovation Problem (and How to Fix It)

The threat of global climate change will require a rapid, massive shift away from current patterns of energy supply and use, in which fossil fuels are dominant, towards low-carbon energy supplies and much more efficient energy use. The role of innovation in this transition will be crucial. This talk describes the latest developments in energy innovation in the U.S., and assesses the prospects of achieving the carbon emission reduction goals of Kyoto and Copenhagen in light of this. (Draws on the IPC’s Energy Innovation Project.)

5. The Future of Nuclear Power

There is no credible path to avoiding the risks of climate change that does not involve a major global expansion of nuclear power. This talk assesses the prospects for nuclear power growth around the world. It discusses the major obstacles – cost, safety, waste disposal, and security -- and considers the potential of innovations, both technological and organizational, to overcome them.

6. The Future of Manufacturing in Advanced Societies

The two great economic forces of our time – globalization and automation – have inflicted a near-fatal blow on standardized, labor-intensive production in advanced societies. Routine manual jobs, and now routine service jobs, are either being automated away or are migrating to places like China and India. What’s left at home, increasingly, will be the kinds of economic activities that entail direct, nonprogrammable, non-codifiable face-to-face interactions. What does this mean for the future of manufacturing in advanced societies? This talk explores the prospects for new kinds of manufacturing – nano-manufacturing, bio-manufacturing, lowcost/ low-volume manufacturing, sustainable manufacturing. These innovations offer new prospects for manufacturing competitiveness in advanced economies, but will they replace the lost jobs from the traditional manufacturing sectors?

 

 
Professional Profile : 

Richard Lester is professor and head of the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he is also the founding director of the MIT Industrial PerformanceCenter. His research focuses on innovation management and policy, with an emphasis on the energy and manufacturing sectors. As head of NSE, Professor Lester works with his faculty colleagues to advance the Department’s role at the forefront of research and education on energy and non-energy applications of nuclear science and technology.

As director of the Industrial Performance Center (IPC), Dr. Lester has led several major studies of national and regional competitiveness and innovation performance commissioned by governments and industrial groups around the world. Recently, in the Local Innovation Systems Project, he directed an international network of researchers studying the technological transformation of industries in regional economies and the role of universities in that process. He is currently leading the Energy Innovation Project, a major MIT study of strategies for upgrading the U.S. energy innovation system.

Professor Lester’s book on the sources of creativity and innovation in advanced economies, Innovation – The Missing Dimension, jointly authored with Michael J. Piore, was published by Harvard University Press in 2005. Other recent books include Making Technology Work: Applications in Energy and the Environment (Cambridge University Press, 2004), with John M. Deutch; and Global Taiwan (M.E. Sharpe, 2005), co-edited with Suzanne Berger. Professor Lester is also the author of The Productive Edge: A New Strategy for Economic Growth (W.W. Norton, 2000); Made By Hong Kong (Oxford University Press, 1997) with Suzanne Berger; and Made in America (MIT Press, 1989) with Michael Dertouzos and Robert Solow. (With over 300,000 copies in print in eight languages, Made in America is the best-selling title in the history of MIT Press.)

Professor Lester co-teaches a popular MIT course on “Applications of Technology in Energy and the Environment”. He is a co-author of the widely-cited recent MIT reports on The Future of Nuclear Power (2003) and The Future of Coal (2007), and has published many articles on the management and control of nuclear technology.

 

Accademic Profile:

Professor Lester obtained his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Imperial

College (London) and a doctorate in nuclear engineering from MIT, and has been a member of the MIT faculty since 1979. He serves as an advisor or consultant to corporations, governments, foundations and non-profit groups, and speaks frequently to academic, business and general audiences throughout the world.