Imagine this is 1979: If you were reading this article back then, chances are you would have read it on paper–with a printed newspaper or magazine in your hands. Today, you are probably reading it on a desktop computer, a laptop (or as a printout from either of these) or perhaps even on your BlackBerry or iPhone. The pace of innovation has been so hectic in recent years that it is hard to imagine which innovations have had the greatest impact on business and society.
Is it possible to determine which 30 innovations have changed life most dramatically during the past 30 years? That is the question that Nightly Business Report, the Emmy Award-winning PBS business program, and Knowledge@Wharton set out to answer to celebrate NBR’s 30th anniversary this year. NBR partnered with Knowledge@Wharton to create a list of the “Top 30 Innovations of the Last 30 Years.” The show’s audiences from more than 250 markets across the country and Knowledge@Wharton’s readers from around the world were asked to suggest innovations they think have shaped the world in the last three decades.