Innovation isn't always the answer.
From, http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/11/vaclav-smil-wired/, at the bottom.
So the answers are not technological but political: better economic policies, better education, better trade policies.
Right. Today, as you know, everything is "innovation." We have problems, and people are looking for fairy-tale solutions—innovation like manna from heaven falling on the Israelites and saving them from the desert. It’s like, "Let's not reform the education system, the tax system. Let's not improve our dysfunctional government. Just wait for this innovation manna from a little group of people in Silicon Valley, preferably of Indian origin."
You people at WIRED - you're the guilty ones! You support these people, you write about them, you elevate them onto the cover! You really messed it up. I tell you, you pushed this on the American public, right? And people believe it now.
Dr. Smil is right about education. We cannot "innovate" our way out of poor educational policy - which is intimately tied up with many of our other policies. The Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) is the new textbook not the new classroom. The motivated student could always visit the library. These courses make material more accessible but the classroom is where the student is not where the material is. Not every person who needs help will be able to seek it. To help them you first have to find them, they will not find you.