The recent Global Information Technology Report (GITR) from the World Economic Forum highlights the role that ICT plays as an enabler of economic, environmental and social development today. The Networked Readiness Index in the report also showed that developing countries led by China and Brazil are catching up in terms of technology adoption.
There’s another aspect to the report that bears mentioning, and that is the rising importance and shifting composition of the Internet Economy, in chapter 1.2, and authored by Cisco’s Enrique Rueda-Sabater and John Garrity. Cisco has supported and made contributions to the GITR for most of its 10 years of existence and has used the Networked Readiness Index in many discussions around the world on the potential for networks to contribute to economic and social progress.
The report has generated a lot of attention and has been the subject of blogs (from Russia, Singapore, Turkey …) press articles and comments from businesses, government official and individuals across the world.
Regardless of how the future unfolds, the Internet will evolve in ways we can only begin to imagine. By allowing ourselves to explore and rehearse divergent and plausible futures for the Internet, not only do we find ourselves more prepared for any future—we can also help shape it for the better.
I thought I’d sharing one of the video discussions on the findings of the report with the Monitor team.
You can watch the rest of the videos here, and download the complete white paper (PDF) here.
Smart cities has been a hot topic for governments around the world for several years as climate concerns, rising urbanization trends and increasingly technology-savvy citizens is driving demand for connected and sustainable cities. The race to build smart cities will only intensify as competitive pressures build up amongst cities to attract the best talent and investment, says Dr Steve Hodgkinson, research director for Ovum, the analyst and consulting company.
Dr Hodgkinson, based in Melbourne, Australia, was speaking to press from around the Asia Pacific region over TelePresence and WebEx about a new report which he authored: “Is your city smart enough?”. The report cements the role of ICT as an important factor in designing, building and operating smart cities sustainably.
Imagine being able to download services such as an e-learning course, health check-ups or a high-definition video conference session with your friends, family or business associates anywhere in the world from your smart phone or network-enabled TV at home.
Need to tweak your energy usage up or down? Check on your little one in kindergarten? Or ask your city council to help with some bulky refuse? Just a few taps on your smart phone or remote control gets the job done.
Just as we today download apps for our iPhone or Android devices, citizens in Busan Metropolitan City, at the heart Korea’s second largest mega city region, will soon be able to request for services or download applications for their everyday needs.
Busan may only have a population of around 3.7 million but it’s the world’s fifth largest port, and also a leading producer of semi-conductors, automobiles and iron and steel. The city is clearly aiming higher and working with private sector companies like Cisco to achieve its ambitions to be a smart city.
This bold vision took the first step towards reality with the opening of an innovation center, called the Busan Mobile Application Center (BMAC), which will provide developers with an environment to create and test these applications and services.
On October 2, 2010, the day after Singapore celebrated Children’s Day, close to two thousand children and Cisco volunteers led by Edzard Overbeek, President of Cisco’s Asia Pacific and Japan theaters, created a little piece of history by attending the World’s Largest Art Lesson across 12 countries and 33 locations around the globe.
Sitting in Cisco’s Singapore office, Peter Draw, a gifted young artist with a passion to bring joy to the lives of underprivileged children through art, achieved his dream of reaching out to hundreds of children simultaneously thanks to Cisco’s technologies including TelePresence and WebEx.
The event was recognized by Guinness as a new world record but the real rewards lay in the squeals of laughter from the children who came from different backgrounds, different cultures and different nations; united for those few hours through a combination of technology and good old fashioned drawing.