Kickstarting global entrepreneurship

Category: Business & Economics
Published on Nov 18, 2010

This week is Global Entrepreneurship Week and rightly so. Entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of a dynamic economy and society and the key to solving some of the world’s toughest challenges. Indeed as the global economy continues to sputter, it’s clear that we need entrepreneurialism more than ever. A study done last year by the Kauffman Foundation shows the extent to which job creation depends on new business creation. Using Census Bureau data, the Foundation examined […]

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Getting out the vote – there’s an app for that

Category: NGOs & Government
Published on Oct 31, 2010

Last week I had a conversation with the Toronto Star about a Facebook app being used by California Democrats to mobilize supporters in the run-up to this week’s mid-term elections. The app, called Friend Out the Vote, is designed to sift through a user’s friends list, match it with friends’ party registrations and affiliations and voting histories, and develop a list of people who vote Democrat but don’t vote regularly. I talked about why Facebook apps alone […]

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From wikinomics to the Tea Party, revisited

Category: NGOs & Government
Published on Oct 10, 2010

The WSJ had a nice piece on Macrowikinomics last week (pdf here). My only complaint is that Crovitz put the usual WSJ spin on our work on the future of government by arguing for “less government” rather than “better government.” Here’s a clip from Crovitz’s article: The rate of technological change is exhilarating for some and nerve-racking for others, but it should be most terrifying to the political class. The disconnect between the frenetic pace […]

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The Economist reviews Macrowikinomics

Category: Business & Economics
Published on Sep 23, 2010

With just 5 days to go before the official book launch, media reviews are going to start flooding in. In the latest, The Economist calls Macrowikinomics a “Schumpeterian story of creative destruction” for the core institutions of modern society. Here’s a clip: How can organisations profit from the power of the web rather than being gobbled up by it? Messrs Tapscott and Williams endorse the familiar wiki-mantras about openness and “co-creation”. But they are less […]

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UCLA scientist predicts Canada will become global power thanks to climate change

Category: Business & Economics
Published on Sep 16, 2010

A warmer climate, plentiful fresh water, an abundance of land for development, and access to rich deposits of  minerals and hydrocarbons currently frozen under Arctic sea ice. These are among the assets that could position Canada as a global power by 2050 as climate change transforms geopolitics says UCLA scientist Laurence Smith in his new book The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization’s Northern Future. There’s a preview in the Vancouver Sun today, where Smith […]

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Republican “Climate Zombies” poised to control US Senate?

Category: Environment & Sustainability
Published on Sep 14, 2010

The hopes of any meaningful action on climate change emanating from the US Government could be quashed if, as expected, Republican candidates fare well in the upcoming elections. According to the Wonk Room, a blog run by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, virtually all Republican candidates for the Senate, save one (Rep. Mike Castle of Delaware ), have pubicly expressed varying degrees of doubt about the science of climate change, calling it “a conspiracy” and claiming that policies to […]

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Internet = democracy in China. Not really according to Chatham House

Category: NGOs & Government
Published on Sep 14, 2010

Conventional wisdom suggests that as China grows richer it will also become more liberal, following essentially the same path of development as today’s advanced democracies. The Internet is supposed to accelerate this process by equipping pro-democracy activists with the tools to find information, inform others and self-organize like never before. Unfortunately, the evidence doesn’t always stack up. On the contrary, China’s phenomenal growth has arguably emboldened its communist leaders. Over time they have grown increasingly […]

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Cool open source Web tool for probing climate data

Category: Environment & Sustainability
Published on Sep 13, 2010

After posting about the efforts of climate scientists to build a global climate databank for predicting extreme weather events, I got a note from Dave Jarvis who recently built a cool open source tool for exploring weather trends across Canada since 1900. Just choose a location in Canada and within seconds you can pull up historical trends ranging from minimum, mean and maximum temperatures to average daily rain and snowfalls. Apart from the fact that it’s […]

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Financial governance debate caught in old-school economic dichotomy

Category: Business & Economics
Published on Sep 09, 2010

Watching the lingering debate about how best to avoid a repeat of the global financial crisis has been fairly depressing for someone who saw the events of 2008 as an opportunity to inject some truly creative thinking into our outmoded institutions for financial governance. This FT article by Sebastian Mallaby (author of More Money Than God) is fairly typical in that it reinforces rather than challenges the prevailing economic assumptions and offers little in the […]

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Mass collaboration to improve climate data — a new frontier in citizen science

Category: Environment & Sustainability
Published on Sep 06, 2010

Scientists meeting in the UK this week are crafting a revolutionary new project aimed at transforming their ability to predict meteorological disasters. The goal, as reported by the Guardian, “is to create an international databank that would generate forecasts of unprecedented precision.” To make that happen, the scientists behind the project are contemplating something even more radical: enlisting thousands of ordinary citizens around the world to gather, classify and even help analyze the meteorological data required to build […]

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