Sarkozy to Davos: This is a crisis of globalization

Category: Business & Economics | NGOs & Government
Published on Jan 28, 2010

French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, gave the opening address to Davos yesterday. His message: this is not just a global financial crisis; it is a crisis of globalization. My overall assessment of his talk: A good job diagnosing the problems with today’s economy, but Sarkozy offers little in the way of novel or innovative solutions. Not surprisingly, he was very critical of bankers and financial power brokers who have rigged the system to extract maximum profits for […]

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Wikinomics rap on the future of journalism

Category: Media & Technology
Published on Jan 28, 2010

My sister-in-law Sandra Amerie, who runs a popular laptop confidential series on YouTube, pointed me to this sweet piece developed by a group of journalism students at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. Sure, it’s not going win them many kudos on the source or BET, but I was nevertheless impressed by the thought and effort that went into this production.

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Building an app store for government: challenges and opportunities

Category: NGOs & Government
Published on Jan 27, 2010

As part of a multi-year research effort to understand how wikinomics and web 2.0 was changing the nature of government and democracy, my research associates and I argued that governments–perhaps more than any other institution–could benefit enormously from broad-based shift to cloud computing. That idea is gathering steam and in some leading jurisdictions it’s becoming a reality. Where most governments build mainframes and buy expensive software, a growing number of IT leaders in government are consolidating computing […]

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Is the problem in Haiti too much collaboration?

Category: Health, Science & Education
Published on Jan 23, 2010

I realize this sounds like a strange hypothesis for explaining the delays in delivering relief in Haiti, particularly coming from the guy who co-authored Wikinomics. But could it be that there are just too many players and too little centralized leadership to carry out an operation that has been described by people on the ground as the most complex relief effort to date? Sure, social media is helping to rally people behind the fundraising efforts and […]

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The wikinomics of sport medicine

Category: Health, Science & Education
Published on Jan 20, 2010

I came across a fascinating article published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine about a British doctor’s first encounter with Wikinomics. The doctor, Karim Khan, recounts the story of having seen a patient who had been concussed after hitting his head while falling off the back of a treadmill. It turns out he’d been reading wikinomics at the time (I won’t speculate as to whether the two events are causally related!!). Apparently, the patient proceeded to bring the […]

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GSK puts anti-malarial compounds in the public domain

Category: Business & Economics
Published on Jan 19, 2010

Nearly a year ago I blogged about GlaxoSmithKlein’s plans to create a patent pool for neglected diseases. In a speech tomorrow, CEO Andrew Witty will announce that the company is ready to publish details of 13,500 chemical compounds with the potential to cure malaria, an affliction that kills at least one million children every year in sub-Saharan Africa. The Guardian has an exclusive interview with Witty. Here’s a clip. “I think it’s a significant contribution […]

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Rebooting Iceland with Wikinomics

Category: Business & Economics | NGOs & Government
Published on Jan 18, 2010

Less than four weeks after Lehman Brothers collapsed on September 15, 2008, Iceland became one of the first and most dramatic national casualties of the global financial crisis. Its three largest banks had all been nationalized. Its government was driven from office. The national debt skyrocketed and the value of its currency plummeted as mass unemployment and inflation brought the whole economy to a virtual standstill. It appeared that Iceland, once considered a rising star, was […]

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China’s information society dilemma and the Ghosts of Tiananmen

Category: Media & Technology | NGOs & Government
Published on Jan 14, 2010

Google’s clash with China raises some more fundamental questions. It’s now been 20 years since the June 4th incident in Tiananmen and political change has been, as Mao predicted, “like crossing a river, feeling for the pebbles one at a time.” The question, over the long term, is whether the ghosts of Tiananmen will come back to haunt China in ways its leadership could not have predicted. Just as India aspires to be more than the […]

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Google has thrown down the gauntlet — now’s the time for collective action

Category: Business & Economics | Media & Technology
Published on Jan 14, 2010

I was delighted to hear that Google has finally thrown down the gauntlet in China. No longer will it be complicit in denying freedom of information and expression to Chinese citizens. Google is now on the right side of the moral equation. But will it change anything? Like Iran and Burma, China has modernized and adapted its authoritarianism for the 21st Century. Rather than simply suppress news and information, it tries to influence online debate […]

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Reflecting on “Free Culture” and Lanier’s Digital Peasantry, part II

Category: Business & Economics | Media & Technology
Published on Jan 14, 2010

After criticizing Lanier on his arguments about the problems with “digital collectivism” I am finding some of his other arguments more compelling. He gets closer to hitting the mark, for example, when he talks about the detrimental impact of the “free culture” movement on knowledge producers who increasingly rely on indirect methods like advertising to reap economic rewards for their efforts. Now, if you’ve read Wikinomics, you’ll know I’m a supporter of the idea that […]

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