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The accelerating pace of innovation threatens its future

innovation winter
Reuters/Peter Nicholls
Winter is coming.
  • Allison Schrager
By Allison Schrager


Published Last updated on This article is more than 2 years old.

It is an exciting time to be alive. Every year seems to bring a new, once unimaginable technology, that for better or worse, changes almost every aspect of our lives: How we communicate, transact, relate, and travel. While the last 200 years has been an unusually innovative period of human history for innovation, recent years have been exceptional.

Most of the time, innovation is how economies grow and it’s what makes our lives better. As a result, we’re enjoying extraordinary advances in our quality of life, standards of living, health, and longevity. But lately, the rapid pace of innovation threatens its future, by creating change faster than our ability to process it. That could slow, or even stall, the pace of innovation and enter us into what political scientist Ian Bremmer calls an “innovation winter.” If innovation slows, so will the economy and with it, the quality of our lives.

Why innovation matters

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