Tuesday 20 May 2008

A collaborative future ?

The online web technologies of the future will enable collaboration like never before.  There are real needs for a collaborative approach to solving the future problems of the planet.  In addition to current issues such as climate change, it is inevitable that the future will hold new wars that we fail to avoid, and epidemics/pandemics that kill even more people than the wars.  At present, the focus of many is the threat of the power of emerging economies in Asia such as India and China.  Beyond that though, one can imagine a collaborative scenario of online distributed power, a new form of democracy in the hands of groups of individuals who can influence and innovate on a global basis.  Ten million additional phone users are being added in India alone every month.  And many phones are internet devices now.  There is also enormous underestimated potential in the continent of Africa too.  Phone users there are in many cases already using their mobile minutes credit as mobile electronic payments in ways that makes European and North American culture look some distance behind. 

Bob Geldof quoted George Bernard Shaw at the Innovation Edge conference in London today... "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself".  Social entrepreneurs are essential to innovation and they are examples of unreasonable people - the world needs more of them.  

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