Redefining skills for an age when machines outsmart humans

Category: Business & Economics | Health, Science & Education
Published on May 27, 2012

Countries around the world are making the development of so-called “e-skills” a major priority in a bid to equip more young people with the skills to be successful in a world of intense technological change and global competition. Despite the fact that I despise the term e-Skills because it frames the challenge inappropriately, the focus on skills is certainly not misplaced given the shifts towards knowledge-based work and the growing gap in skills required to […]

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Bootstrapping Entrepreneurship: How Technology is Revolutionizing the StartUp

Category: Business & Economics
Published on Mar 10, 2012

Anyone paying attention to the economic impact of the Internet cannot have missed its manifold contributions to prosperity and growth: the rise of new growth industries; more potent models of innovation and marketing; staggering new efficiencies in retailing and other sectors; and the plethora of free Internet services like email, search and social networking, to name just a few. In these economically challenging times, however, the Internet’s most significant economic gift to the world is […]

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The Inexorable Rise of a Platform for Innovation

Category: Business & Economics
Published on Feb 29, 2012

With each passing year, the Internet grows richer in content, more diverse in its user base, and more accessible to the masses through countless connected devices—from automobiles and household appliances to iPads and urban street kiosks. Its global reach and exceptional versatility make the Internet an increasingly potent and indispensable platform for creativity, commerce and innovation, not least because the growing accessibility of information technologies puts the tools required to collaborate, create value, and compete […]

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Educacao Livre: Igniting Economic Opportunity in Brazil

Category: Health, Science & Education
Published on Jan 26, 2012

For the past three months I’ve been flying back and forth between Brasilia and Toronto, working with a great team here in Brazil on a project we are calling Educacao Livre (or the Free Education Project): a project that we hope will ignite economic opportunity and promote social inclusion by providing digital skills training for some 2 million young people who are currently underserved by or excluded from Brazil’s education system. Back in Canada, we […]

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A 21C Innovation Economy Needs More Digital Public Goods

Category: Business & Economics
Published on Feb 01, 2011

In the formative years of the industrial revolution it quickly became evident that economic progress depended upon substantial investments in public goods. The economy needed a growing supply of educated workers, so the government created public education. The expansion of trading relationships was made possible, in part, because traders could rely on the judicial system to mediate commercial disputes. Meanwhile, America’s continental network of roadways, railways and power grids helped create the dynamic continent-wide market […]

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21C Infrastructure Challenges and America’s Innovation Potential

Category: Business & Economics
Published on Jan 28, 2011

America’s infrastructure problem is truly serious and perhaps more dire than Obama let on in his State of the Union address earlier this week. What’s worse, is that for all the talk of Sputnik moments and restoring America’s competitiveness, I didn’t hear much about the kind of infrastructure investments that could really boost America’s innovation potential. Sure, Obama talked about building a network of high-speed commuter trains. But that’s in the “nice-to-have” rather than the […]

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Awakening Freedom’s Allies: Thoughts on Egypt, Youth Bulges and Economic Growth

Category: NGOs & Government
Published on Jan 28, 2011

As one watches the events unfold in Cairo, it’s impossible not to feel sympathy for the Egyptian citizens who want, more than anything, to share the values of freedom and openness, but must risk life and limb to do so. For me, freedom is the most important human aspiration. No one should be denied the right to determine their own destiny, to be free of oppression or to enjoy bedrock liberties like the right to […]

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A regulatory system that learns and improves

Category: Business & Economics | NGOs & Government
Published on Jan 20, 2011

In my previous post I discussed why the Obama administration is right to make renewing America’s regulatory system a priority. We already have a situation where citizens armed with information are drawing attention to many important fissures in the global economy that threaten to undermine global peace and stability, issues such as climate change, food security, water scarcity, and corruption. They are increasingly willing and able to contribute to solving these issues, and they are […]

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Regulatory innovation the next frontier for Open Government

Category: Business & Economics
Published on Jan 20, 2011

Earlier this week Obama issued a call to renew America’s regulatory system and not a moment too soon. A string of events over the past couple of years have underscored just how strained and ineffectual the current systems of regulation have become. The FDA’s own Science Board concluded in 2007, for example, that the agency did not have the capacity to ensure a safe food supply, with domestic businesses under its purview having risen to […]

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Could Wikileaks Set Back Open Government?

Category: NGOs & Government
Published on Nov 29, 2010

In the wake of yet another massive disclosure of compromising US government secrets, it’s worth reflecting on whether Wikileaks is helping or in fact undermining the transparency movement in the United States and abroad. To conclude that Wikileaks’ unapologetic disclosures are undermining transparency is admittedly a counter-intuitive. After all, the self-proclaimed “intelligence service of the people” has, in just a few short years, released more than a million confidential documents, from highly classified military secrets […]

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