We all talk about the importance of innovation, and how this crazy modern world of ours keeps changing day-to-day, but in a lot of countries across the world things tend move incredibly slowly. It takes ages to adapt to new technologies and ways of thinking, not much is done to close the divide between the rich and the poor, and little is invested in education and projects that can make a big change.
However, certain countries are continuing their efforts to improve on multiple fronts, and are doing a good job of it. I’ve based my top 5 innovative countries on the latest INSEAD’s Global Innovation Index report, which takes into account a large number of factors, and we will explore just why these countries are such a great place for highly creative people.
Switzerland has some of the oldest universities in the world, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology or ETH Zurich being a prime example of a forward-thinking and innovative approach to teaching. It has over 20 Noble Prize winners associated with it, and they offer master classes in English. However, the Swiss also have the Commission for Technology and Innovation, or CTI, which heavily invests in a number projects and promotes technological advancement. The Swiss spend an estimated 16 billion francs on research and development annually and are extremely competitive when it comes to technological breakthroughs.
2. United Kingdom
The UK has made great strides in improving the quality of life and adopting the latest technologies. Even though personal debt is on the rise at the moment, the country hasn’t slowed down its investment in technological development. In fact, IT-related job openings are on the rise, and a lot of the work is going to people from other European countries. This makes it an ideal place for ambitious and creative people in the IT sector who wish to build a successful career.
Sweden is a cold country, but its citizens are remarkably lively and very liberal in their views. There are a number of technological advancements that not a lot of people know are actually attributed to Sweden, so you could say that they are quite an inventive and creative bunch. They certainly have the credentials to prove it. Spotify, Ericsson and Skype are excellent examples of companies that value creative thinkers and are not afraid of giving talented and ambitious young professionals a chance to shine.
This plucky lowland nation has always been at the forefront of technological advancement, and continues to prioritize innovation to this day. While many people associate its capital with drugs and partying, there are a lot of unique, creative and highly paid job opportunities to be had here. Just take a walk down Dam Square and you’ll immediately get a sense of Amsterdam’s diverse culture, with the average person speaking 3.6 languages. It’s no surprise that their government prioritizes the High Tech and Creative Industry sectors, among others, and devotes a large chunk of the budget to improving these and creating new job openings.
5. United States
The US has a longstanding history of IT excellence, with five of its universities making it into the top 10 Engineering and Technology Universities in the world – MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, Caltech and Georgia Institute of Technology. The US famously pioneered multiple projects that change the technological landscape of the world. From the internet to huge global computer companies, Microsoft and Apple, all the way to unmanned combat aerial vehicles and all manner of robotics advancements, America has always invested heavily in those ready to push the boundaries of what was possible with current technology.
These countries are more than just names on a random list – they have all earned their reputation as top innovators through the years of hard work, and continual improvement. They value creative young minds, and invest a great deal in ideas with the potential to make a huge positive change on a global scale.