A few snippits.
It was good to see such a determined reinforcement of the Millennium Development Goals. The thing about sustainability is its multi dimensional nature. You scratch a technical issue like climate change hard enough and a governance issue emerges. Al Gore and Bono therefore tried to reconcile the MDGs and climate change crisis. Soon, I suspect we will see the green tech euphoria begin to run up against the hard edge politics of trade policy. Al Gore made this point:
In an IT empowered outsourcing world it is unimaginable that the wealthy industrialised developed nations would enter into an agreement, that has no provisions to anticipate the moving of production facilities, that might, at the margins, face a brand new set of economics because of carbon constraints, into countries that do not have any carbon constraints.
Maybe heresy to say but Bill Gate’s Creative Capitalism speech left me somewhat cold. There is nothing new here and great work has been underway for sometime to try to innovate new business models for the base of pyramid. Check out this report from the Harvard JFK School of Government CSR Initiative detailing some of the efforts in this area from across the ICT sector. These are all serious initiatives where companies are trying hard to kick start a real market for real profits rather than ‘recognition’ as a substitute.
Moving on, my favourite Davos question YouTube videos were from Jeff Jarvis of BuzzMachine.com and Bruce Sewell of Intel.
Though I enjoyed very much his prolific coverage, one Davos curiousity for me was Robert Scoble. Recently he wrote:
I don’t usually write about stuff that I don’t have first-hand knowledge of. I’m not in Kenya. The Kenya story, as awful as it is, really doesn’t impact the tech world that much……….
For me its kind of an inside out way of looking at things. It’s as if the world exists to serve technology and not vice versa. Surely all these gadgets, communications and software we hold court on can offer something to help in terms of improved communications, institutional development, education and economic development for countries like Kenya. Something?
But Robert did say:
I’m hoping to expand my personal connections next week at the World Economic Forum where we’ll talk more about this, and other issues that don’t seem to — on the surface — affect the tech industry.