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The Top 30 innovations that changed the world

According to the University of Pennsylvania, these are the top 30 innovations of the past 30 years. These innovations span all disciplines and have shifted the world, and propelled it forward.

The verdict is in: the Internet and PCs are the most transformative innovations seen in the last 30 years

Earlier this year, a panel of academicians from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School collectively came up with a list of what they felt were the top 30 innovations of the last 30 years.

The Wharton judges first had to define what innovation means in an age dominated by digital technology, medical advancements and mobile communications. Another qualification was the problem-solving value of the innovations. The innovations were selected based on how they impact quality of life, fulfill a compelling need, solve a problem, exhibit a “wow” factor, change the way business is conducted, increase efficiency, spark new innovations and create a new industry.
  1. Internet, broadband, WWW (browser and html)
  2. PC/laptop computers
  3. Mobile phones
  4. E-mail
  5. DNA testing and sequencing/Human genome mapping
  6. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  7. Microprocessors
  8. Fiber optics
  9. Office software (spreadsheets, word processors)
  10. Non-invasive laser/robotic surgery (laparoscopy)
  11. Open source software and services (e.g., Linux, Wikipedia)
  12. Light emitting diodes
  13. Liquid crystal display (LCD)
  14. GPS systems
  15. Online shopping/ecommerce/auctions (e.g., eBay)

Click here to browse the full list.

Image credit: Paul Foreman

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