South Africa: 2020 State of Innovation Address

Innovation is doing something new and different and getting it out there. Innovation is both new things and how one does new things. Innovation is what South Africa needs badly. Now.

13 February 2020

All protocols observed, Ladies, Gentlemen and Youth. It gives me great pleasure to deliver this, the first State of Innovation Address, today, the 13th of February, 2020. This is an auspicious day for other reasons. First, some know it as Kiss Day, being the prelude to Valentine’s Day that occurs tomorrow. But second, and most important to our theme, is that today is Unesco World Radio Day, and radio is one of the most profound innovations that humankind has produced.

Radio is a phenomenon that was unknown to the Ancients. The great engineer, scientist and artist Leonardo da Vinci conceived of submarines and airplanes, but radio, no. It is curious therefore that we owe so much of radio to his countrymen, Volta, and later to Marconi, who undertook his first experiments in Italy, before moving to England at the age of 21.

Even more curious is that the US Supreme Court later ruled that Marconi’s patents were invalid, and that Serbian-born Tesla was the actual inventor…

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