America’s Ideas to Support Entrepreneurship in Education, Energy, and Health Care
09:56 AM EST
In December, the Obama Administration announced the Startup America Policy Challenge to identify high-impact ideas to support entrepreneurship in areas of national interest: education, energy, and health care.
To kick off the challenge, Secretary Arne Duncan (Department of Education), Secretary Steven Chu (Department of Energy), and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (Department of Health and Human Services) each asked the American public for ideas about how the U.S. government can break down barriers to entrepreneurship and enable the use of clean energy, digital learning, and health information technologies.
On Quora, a public question and answer website, I asked the America people to respond to these specific questions:
- In the U.S. education system, what can the government do to best enable the use of new learning technologies?
- In the U.S. energy system, what can the government do to best enable the use of new clean energy technologies?
- In the U.S. healthcare system, what can the government do to best enable the use of new health information technologies?
The response has been thoughtful, wide ranging, and inspiring.
- On the subject of learning technologies, respondents had ideas to increase the flexibility of existing funds, spread best practices of what works, and improve basic infrastructure. And a number of respondents provided feedback about reducing bureaucracy and empowering teachers.
- On the subject of clean energy technologies, respondents had ideas on how the US Government could support consumer awareness of clean energy, be an anchor customer, and invest in research and development. Respondents also suggested including negative externality costs into the price of fossil fuels, and were adamant that government not pick a “winning technology.”
- On the subject of health care IT, respondents proposed ideas to promote interoperability standards, ensure a greater focus on the end user experience, share industry best practices, and measure the impact of specific technologies.
This is just a sampling of the great dialogue and answers – please feel free to vote on which ideas resonate with you and/or provide your own feedback. In the White House and in the Agencies, we are reading your responses.
To sharpen the dialogue a bit further and solicit additional input, I posted follow-up questions on Quora about specific barriers that customers face:
- Learning Technologies: Parents and teachers – what’s your biggest barrier to educating your kids that technology could solve? How important is the ability to access your child’s assessment data in electronic form?
- Clean Energy: Building and business owners – what’s your biggest barrier to using clean energy in your building or business? How important is the ability to access your building energy usage data in electronic form?
- Health IT: Doctors and patients – what’s your biggest barrier to using information technology to improve health outcomes? How important is the ability to share or receive your health records data in electronic form?
We look forward to hearing your feedback – so please keep it coming!
Aneesh Chopra is U.S. Chief Technology Officer