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The OECD economies may be sluggish; America may or may not hurtle over fiscal cliffs; and BRICs may not be growing quite as fast as their champions hoped. But adversity (almost) always creates economic opportunity. Digital media continue to be springboards for global innovation and enterprise. North America's fracking fever has proviked experts (who once feared the world had passed Hubbert's Peak) to predict the US will soon be a net energy exporter. Human ingenuity — increasingly augmented by technical amplifiers — remains the most remarkable renewable resource.

So here are four innovation ideas — themes, really — sure to gain significantly greater mind- and market-share over the coming year. What do they all have in common? Individual empowerment.

To read the original article: Four Innovation Trends to Watch in 2013 - Michael Schrage - Harvard Business Review