EGR 492: Radical Innovation in Global Markets with Jim Shinn

Radical innovation solves big problems and alters the way we live, colliding with government polices as the effects ripple across national frontiers. Where do these innovations come from, how do they work, and what policy problems do they cause? This class examines the impact of technical innovation on a global scale. Students learn how innovations in areas such as satellite imaging, global positioning, internet search engines, and pandemic vaccines have a profound impact on foreign policy. Students learn to think about innovation from the standpoint of business managers, government regulators, social entrepreneurs, in very practical terms.

Please note this course is not being offered in Fall 2017.

Sample Reading List

  • Vipin Gupta, New Satellite Images for Sale
  • Steven Levy, Crypto
  • Steven Levy, Secret of Googlenomics
  • Richard Van Noorden, Buried Trouble

See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing Assignments

For each class session, students should read the case and reference materials, analyzing the problem situation at hand, exploring the technical context of the innovation, and preparing for the classroom discussion. Some primer notes on are posted on Blackboard.


  • Papers - 10%
  • Term Paper(s) - 40%
  • Class/Precept Participation - 30%
  • Other (See Instructor) - 20%

Other Requirements

Not Open to Freshmen.

Prerequisites and Restrictions

A background in engineering, computer science, or the life sciences is helpful but certainly not required.

Other Information

All cases and most reading materials are posted in electronic format on Blackboard, which is also used to administer the course. Students should take care to read the case itself and the required readings for each class; each case has optional background readings for the student to sample as a matter of personal curiosity or research interest.