I am attending the Fortune Brainstorm conference the week in southern California. I like to do at least one "thought provoking" event per year, if the calendar permits. This one is still a bit of a techie conference but at least it goes beyond IT.
One thing that really resonated with me was the concept of taking "rapid prototyping" to a policy level. From a software standpoint, I am a huge fan of rapid prototyping: creating a semi-usable version of a new product that customers can touch and feel.
As I look at our "big challenges" in areas like energy and healthcare I am amazed that we do not embrace this concept to a greater degree. Clearly big topics like healthcare are national issues that ultimately require universal solutions, but it seems that when we are faced with problems of this magnitude, we should look at how we can do more "rapid prototyping" to prove out key ideas.