William McDonough participated in the inaugural Innovation Economy Conference in Washington DC November 30 – December 1. This conference’s primary focus was to identify how the following key components drive innovation and economic growth: people, ideas, investment, and leadership. The speakers included leading educators, scientists, investors, legislators, business leaders, Administration officials, and other experts and policy makers. They were charged with answering tough questions about investment during a recession; education in the US; what it takes to cultivate creativity; and what strategies can be taken to ensure we uphold a principal role in the industries of tomorrow, including renewable energy, human health and bioscience, and communication technologies. Event sponsors included: The Aspen Institute, Intel, Democracy (Journal of Ideas), and The News Hour with Jim Lehrer.