My blog is dedicated to exploring issues of technology and development, looking at ways that business, government and people around the world can come together to solve problems.
Work takes me all over — from New Zealand, to Nigeria, to Guatemala and Morocco so I thought I would start with a few observations, things I am seeing around the world. Three to begin with:
1) There are big opportunities around the world, right now, bringing technology to people in emerging markets. The pace of change is dizzying, the number of places that are “off the map” is shrinking fast. Everyone thinks about India and China, but consumer demand in places we rarely think of as prime markets (like West Africa) is in some ways even more impressive. And, though there are still many problems with connectivity, I believe that the Internet can help consumers and businesses in these markets “skip steps” in development, using the decentralized cellphone model. More on this another time.
2) I also believe that there is stength in numbers, and partnerships are key. Governments, private sector companies, international orgs and just groups of people when they come together can have a real impact on solving big problems. The key, from what I’ve seen is that each of them must stay “in character” — staying with their expertise and mission, being true to their interests. Clarity about your goals makes you a better partner anyway.
3) Finally, just so you don’t think I’m all seriousness, my third random observation is that the people who choose the films for international air travel must never actually go to films when they are not in the air. Otherwise they would never show Cheaper by the Dozen 2 on a flight. Shudder.
Anyway, off for a week to the World Cup and then on to the ICANN meetings in Marakech where I hope we will talk more about Emerging Markets and the Internet, specifically Africa.