Angela Merkel, Germany's new Chancellor, gave a popular speech to kick off the WEF last night. It was popular because, as BusinessWeek said, the keynote called for a "harder working, less bureaucratic Europe."
But, what struck us, was the number of times that Merkel used the word "innovation" (or, at least, the German version of the word). In fact, she seemed to speak to the needs for Germany to value innovation as much as she discussed Germany inherent issues with its social safety net.
Talking like a new CEO in charge of a major overhaul, she said that Germany needed to stop fixating on the risks of change and focus on the opportunities. And, regardless, Merkel said that the shift from an industrial to a knowledge-based economic system combined with the emergence of India and China meant that change wasn't optional.