In seeking to understand technological change, scholars have begun to cultivate a fertile field of study. Perhaps no place introduces a scholar to the phenomenon of technological change as thoroughly as Silicon Valley, the contemporary model for a world economy built upon technological innovation and creative thinking. In Northern California, we can see the power of a business and creative culture that has gripped the imagination of the world, inspired several generations of innovators, and spread the power of technological change to many other regions of the world. As the most technologically dynamic region in the United States, the Silicon Valley offers a bellwether for exploring the direction of these processes, comprehending their impressive effects and understanding the structures that enable change to flourish as a product of intelligent work.
Yet the Silicon Valley, as the leading contemporary example of these phenomena, is only one starting point for this analysis. Technological change and the forces of innovation and entrepreneurship that flow from it, have taken root in many regions of the world. Wherever it occurs, the phenomenon that has become a primary driver for business and economic development strategies everywhere draws upon not only the miracle of the Silicon Valley but also unique historical factors in many regions throughout the world. In its varied manifestations, technological change and the forces of innovation and entrepreneurship that it unleashes provide a fascinating framework within which to recognize new opportunities for scholarship and the evolving roles of technologists in the modern world.