A flood of data is created every day by the interactions of billions of people using computers, GPS devices, cell phones, and medical devices. Many of these interactions occur through the use of mobile devices being used by people in the developing world, people whose needs and habits have been poorly understood until now. Researchers and policymakers are beginning to realise the potential for channelling these torrents of data into actionable information that can be used to identify needs, provide services, and predict and prevent crises for the benefit of low-income populations. Concerted action is needed by governments, development organisations, and companies to ensure that this data helps the individuals and communities who create it.
Phi Beta Iota: What is interesting is the absence of any concept of call centers or geospatial plotting. These people are on to something, but they are approaching it from an Industrial Era mind-set, using the big data to monitor and anticipate rather than to nurture and educate.
Economic imbalances and social inequality risk reversing the gains of globalization, warns the World Economic Forum in its report Global Risks 2012. These are the findings of a survey of 469 experts and industry leaders who worry that the world’s institutions are ill-equipped to cope with today’s interconnected, rapidly evolving risks. The findings of the survey fed into an analysis of three major risk cases: Seeds of Dystopia; Unsafe Safeguards and the Dark Side of Connectivity. Report also analyses the top 10 risks in five categories – economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal and technological.
Phi Beta Iota: The report fails to address the absence of both intelligence and integrity among all “institutions” be they public or private. This is the entire point of the global Occupy movement. This is also the entire point of this website, which predates Occupy by some time.
Phi Beta Iota: The interactive edition is well worth going through. Below are highlights from our own review.
Six Risks Stand Out: Fiscal crisis, Geopolitical Conflict, Climate Change, Extreme Energy Price Volatility, Economic Disparity, Global Governance Failure.
Risk Interconnectivity Map: Central to the map are Economic Disparity and Global Governance Failures. Three clusters add depth to the potential sustained crisis: Fiscal-Energy Volatility; Crime, Corruption, and Failed States; and Water-Food Security.
Overall this is one of the most extraordinary points of reference in existence.
The Global Risks Report 2011 from the World Economic Forum highlights two primary megatrends with the potential to inject significant disruption into global systems. From the report:
Two risks are especially significant given their high degrees of impact and interconnectedness. Economic disparity and global governance failures both influence the evolution of many other global risks and inhibit our capacity to respond effectively to them.
In this way, the global risk context in 2011 is defined by a 21st century paradox: as the world grows together, it is also growing apart.
It is worth noting how inter-related these two megatrends are as wealth consolidation into an elite class enables them to further deconstruct global governance mechanisms. This has been a feedback loop for at least the past 40 years, if not longer, as western growth fueled the rise of non-state economic bodies & super-empowered individuals who then lobbied against regulatory measures that would aim to keep their rise in check and mitigate the risk of disparity. Elites consolidate more money & power, further driving disparity and eroding governance. What results is an interstitial vacuum where corporate intervention fails to see any profit motive and where state intervention lacks the funds or will to govern effectively.
In effect, the combination of super-empowered non-state actors, failures of state governance, and widespread economic disparity undermines the Rule of Law by releasing elites from accountability and driving the underclass deeper into criminality.