New Academic Journal Reflects Partnership with Harvard, MIT

Posted: March 31, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Christopher Anzalone

As of this week, George Mason, in partnership with Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, houses a new quarterly journal, Innovations: Technology| Governance| Globalization, published by The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press.

The journal examines how people use technology to solve societal problems in a globalized world, with particular focus on successful local methods.

“The exciting basketball events of the last week at George Mason reinforce a central premise of this journal,” says Philip Auerswald, assistant professor in the School of Public Policy who co-edits the journal with the Kennedy School’s Iqbal Quadir.

“Small can be very big. Resources in the formulation and implementation of policy, like those in sports, are highly concentrated in a few institutions. Those existing institutions and the incentive structures that shape them may or may not be adequate to address tenacious global challenges such as climate change, pandemics and persistent poverty.

“If the past is any guide, continued progress will require continued innovations, the efforts of individuals, groups, and communities who creatively employ new organizational forms, and in many cases new technology, to effect discontinuous change. This journal is about just such innovations and the changes they bring about. It is less about what needs to be done, and more about what people are doing.”

Innovations originated in Auerswald’s initial proposal in 2001 to the Kennedy School of Government and his early work with several Harvard faculty members, including Quadir, John Holdren and Winthrop Carty. After accepting a faculty position at George Mason’s School of Public Policy a year later, Auerswald continued to move forward with the project.

“My partners and I decided that the new journal should make its mark by focusing on people using technology to address global challenges,” he says. “Once we framed the journal this way and began to develop content, the project linked very naturally to the strong and rapidly developing George Mason programs on entrepreneurship, technological innovation and globalization.”

Auerswald believes that George Mason exemplifies the story that Innovations seeks to present. “The combination of tenacity, talent and can-do attitude that has been so magnificently displayed by our basketball team really is in evidence in many ways throughout the university. Like the school’s namesake, people at George Mason are about principle and the power of ideas when put into action.

“That this journal is a collaboration between us, Harvard, and MIT is evidence of how far we have come. The world’s elite universities are fully aware that even they cannot go it alone in a globalized world. Trusted partners and collaborators are essential to success.”

This fall, in partnership with Tsinghua University in Beijing, Innovations will also be published in Chinese. Several other international editions are currently in the works.

To view PDFs of the inaugural issue of Innovations, which includes articles about the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative to find a solution to the AIDS epidemic and an article, “How Is Entrepreneurship Good for Economic Growth?,” by Zoltan Acs, university professor of Public Policy at George Mason, visit the web site.

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