Edith Cresson, former French Prime Minister at Global Forum

Edith Cresson, former French Prime Minister, at Global Forum 2010.

Edith Cresson, former French Prime Minister, served as commentator for session seven, “Open Innovation : Strategy & Policies.”

The session was the largest of the conference, consisting of 13 panelists from the business, research and design, ICT, and government sectors.

Cresson spoke on how Open Innovation strategies require interaction between the science and technology communities and the general public.

She explained this with an example.

“There is an interaction between research in the lab and the population…while you can make a new drug in a lab alone, you need subjects to test it on,” said Cresson.

The same idea is behind innovation strategy to communicate with the public.

“When you consider suggestions and ideas, you create something people want,” said Cresson.

Cresson, who was the first woman to become Prime Minister of France, an office she held from 1995 through 1999, also commented on the future of women in science and technology.

“Girls seem to be less interested in science then men,” said Cresson, adding that she noticed this was something not just in France but globally.

To get more children interested in science, cultural programs and policies with museums have been established, according to Cresson, in France and elsewhere.

“The programs hope to attract the curiosity of young children,” said Cresson, as well as generate more interest in science and technology.