This past week’s lecturer, professor Vittorio Loreto of Università La Sapienza in Roma, struck an interesting chord with me. As someone spanning both the humanities and the STEM in my studies, Loreto left me with a faint feeling of dread. He presented the novel ideas of quantifying innovation, an abstract concept in itself, and eventually concluded that the efficiency of innovation over time is decreasing. By his findings, the only reason the number of innovations is increasing steadily is due to the vast number of individuals seeking innovation. That only means one thing for an individual like myself (soon to graduate): competition. Therefore, there has to be a directly causational relationship between competition and innovation. As Loreto phrased it: ‘as I am writing a paper, I have to race to publish it, as my neighbors are likely doing the exact same work’. The space on which to innovate is shrinking, but the number of individuals tackling innovation is only growing.

Continue reading