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CEA’s Shapiro Shares Key Strategies To CE Innovation At Accenture Global Convergence


Digital technology can be disruptive to established business models, but is ultimately good for the world economy and should be embraced by all, according to Consumer Electronics Association (CEA®) President and CEO Gary Shapiro who delivered a morning keynote today at the 2007 Accenture Global Convergence Forum in Rome, Italy. Shapiro addressed roughly 500 executives from 30 different countries and shared his insights on what it takes to succeed in today’s digital world and the future of the consumer electronics industry.

“Companies must adapt to technological change in order to survive,” Shapiro said. “It is in our global interest to see technological innovation continue to spread. This requires an environment that fosters innovation and competition and encourages growth.”

Shapiro outlined five key strategies to create an innovation-friendly environment: Embrace digital technology; resist restrictions on innovation such as DRM; support free trade; ensure intense competition among broadband service providers and focus on the positive attributes of energy efficiency in today’s consumer electronics.

Challenging the audience to look past the doomsday predictions raised by some who are reluctant to change, Shapiro said, “We must be careful in advocating or accepting restrictions on new technology as they may also result in restrictions on freedoms. Additionally, we must resist the urge of isolationism and instead expand global trade to build the stronger world economy that technology promises.”

Shapiro also explained that digital technology is changing the way consumers live, work and play, which ultimately is saving energy through advancements such as telecommuting, online commerce, in-home entertainment and greater efficiency for the world economy. For example, of the two billion U.S. Energy Star-qualified purchases since 1992, more than half or nearly 1.1 billion of these products are consumer electronics. Voluntary, market-oriented programs, including industry-led standards which promote energy efficiency, are friendlier to innovation than government mandates against technology, he said.

“We’re well into the analog to digital transition, but we’re only beginning to realize the benefits of global convergence. If the five keys to success I’ve outlined are followed, the CE industry will continue to bridge divides and provide a roadmap to a better world.”


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