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Past blogs & reports

Most of my recent blogs can be found here on Nesta's website - on dozens of topics ranging from technology to knowledge, politics to social change.   A few other blogs and reports are also linked below.

Global digital governance - what needs to be done

February 13, 2020

This report sets out options for global digital governance - from cybersecurity to AI and infrastructures. My report was prepared for Cambridge University China Dialogue Centre, to frame a discussion involving many governments, corporates and civil society.  Its proposals look out to what the world will need over the nex 10-20 years.   My section is pages 5-18 of the report which is followed by a detailed account of the seminar held late in 2019.

Jobs and collective intelligence in Bangladesh

February 12, 2020

This blog describes work I am involved in - with UNDP and the government's A2i - to help Bangladesh create an adaptive labour market - mobilising collective intelligence to support the country navigating the many threats and opportunities that the next few years could bring.  My co-author is Anir Chowdury.

Social innovation and the case for DIY societies

December 23, 2019

Social innovation is the deliberate invention of new solutions to meet social needs. In his new book, Social Innovation: How Societies Find the Power to Change, Geoff Mulgan, a pioneer in the field, argues for matching research and development in technology and science with socially focussed research and development.

This extract from the book shows how we only see a fraction of the potential social imagination around us.

Collective intelligence as humanity's biggest challenge

December 05, 2017

In the last few months the world’s media have noticed artificial intelligence programmes that can surpass humans at the most complex games like Go, joined in the excitement around driverless cars and helped to fuel fears that robots are set to take millions more jobs.

We now live surrounded by new ways of thinking, understanding, and measuring. Some involve data— mapping, matching, and searching for patterns far beyond the capacity of the human eye or ear. Some involve analysis— supercomputers able to model the weather, play chess, or diagnose diseases (for example, using the technologies of firms like Google’s DeepMind or IBM’s Watson). Some pull us ever further into what the novelist William Gibson described as the “consensual hallucination” of cyberspace.

These all show promise. But there is a striking imbalance between the smartness of the tools we have around us and the more limited smartness of the results.

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