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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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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American universities: the Detroit of higher learning?

Category: Health, Science & Education
Published on Sep 02, 2010

Are we seeing the end of university as we know it? On the surface the claim sounds ludicrous. After all, university enrolment is at an all-time high and the competition to get into the most prestigious universities has never been fiercer. But scratch beneath the surface and the picture doesn’t seem so rosy. A little over a year ago Mark C. Taylor caused fury in academia with his pronouncement that graduate education today “is the […]

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Can wikinomics help rescue the IPCC?

Category: Environment & Sustainability | Health, Science & Education
Published on Aug 31, 2010

The review committee set up to help revive the beleaguered IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) filed its report yesterday with proposals for wide-ranging changes to the way climate science is done. Set up 22 years ago to provide science advice to governments as they try to deal with global warming, the IPCC has found itself in a storm of controversy recently. First there was notoriously unsupported claim that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035. Then there […]

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Wikinomics and the Era of Openness: European Innovation at the Crossroads

Category: Business & Economics | Environment & Sustainability | Health, Science & Education | NGOs & Government
Published on Mar 10, 2010

For the past couple of months I have been working with the wonderful folks at the Lisbon Council in Brussels to prepare a report that examines the economic challenges facing Europe — and the innovative solutions that many entrepreneurs, businesses, governments and citizens are devising to succeed in networked world. The report was launched last week in Brussels at an event that also featured Europe’s new innovation commissioner, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. You can see video highlights […]

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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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Civic Robots help assess water quality in real time

Category: Environment & Sustainability | Health, Science & Education
Published on Mar 08, 2009

I love this example of participatory regulation. Marc Bohlen, an “artist-engineer” at the University of Zurich, has designed a floating public robot that makes assessing recreational water quality a transparent and participatory experience. The Glass Bottom Float, as he calls it, cruises along a beach shore, and offers itself as a resting spot in places it deems clean enough for swimming. Over time, writes Bohlen, the GBF maps paths of least contamination and highest relative pleasure for fish […]

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Galaxy Zoo enters new phase

Category: Health, Science & Education
Published on Feb 17, 2009

After posting on Galaxy Zoo last week and then catching up with one of the project leaders today I learned that the next generation of this phenomenal citizen science project was just launched last night. In the original Galaxy Zoo nearly 150,000 citizen scientists helped astronomers at Oxford and Yale classify roughly 1 million galaxies imaged by the robotic telescope of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. With so many galaxies, the researchers anticipated that it […]

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GlaxoSmithKlein pledges patent pool for neglected diseases

Category: Business & Economics | Health, Science & Education
Published on Feb 16, 2009

Some time ago, I reported that Novartis had adopted a wikinomics approach to its diabetes research. After investing millions of dollars trying to unlock the genetic basis of type 2 diabetes, the company released all of its raw data on the Internet, for free. Hardly typical behavior for a pharmaceutical company. After all, pinpointing their precise genetic origins of diabetes could unlock a treasure trove of new medicines and result in a major windfall for […]

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