On October 13, President Obama will travel to Pittsburgh for the White House Frontiers Conference. Co-hosted by the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University the event is intended to “explore the future of innovation here and around the world” and focus on building the nation’s capacity in science, technology and innovation.
Frontiers as defined by the conference are quite broad, broken out into personal, local, national, global and interplanetary frontiers. Some of the attendees will be taken from a list of those nominated by the public.
Given how close we are to the election and the transfer of power to a new administration, it’s unclear to me what initiatives, if any, we might expect from this event. Certainly there will be mention of the Administration’s innovation work to date, and there will likely be announcements of new innovation commitments by federal agencies and private organizations. Having another conversation about innovation has some value, certainly. But without linkage to future action, how valuable will the conversation be?