Welcome to the Innovation Age
“An age of constant invention naturally begets one of constant failure,” the New York Times Magazine declared in a recent story called “Welcome to the Failure Age.” Its core premise—that innovation is inextricably linked with failure—may be a fresh insight for the high-tech era, but has long been understood by those who work in infrastructure. To state the obvious: for those of us in infrastructure PPPs, failure is not a novel concept. Innovation is. The interplay between the two, with attention to the iterative learning that is necessary to morph missteps into course corrections, is the focus of this issue.
How appropriate, then, to admit that Handshake has learned a few lessons of its own since the first issue launched in 2011. Our redesign emphasizes content our readers asked for in last year’s survey, including a section that profiles the head of a national PPP unit, with background on how the unit’s goals meet its government’s needs. A new column, “Master Class,” answers readers’ need for a PPP 101-style lesson on a specific technical aspect of PPPs. These and other new features, along with the entire, searchable Handshake archive, now live on www.handshakejournal.org.
But not everything in Handshake is new. We continue to believe that the human stories behind PPPs are compelling enough to share with a wide audience; we remain committed to telling those stories in ways that will allow readers to replicate the elements appropriate to their own situation. Once the seeds of those ideas are planted, innovation has already begun to germinate.