Activate Innovation and Institutional Change

A few years ago The Guardian created “Activate”  a global platform connecting experts “working across all sectors who are using the internet and its associated technologies to change the world” – with hubs around the world. Their annual Summit took place last week in London. A few panels and presentations touched on how technological advances can be used to transform the way institutions function and change the world for the better:

1) A panel on the impact of open data on society was moderated by Sir Nigel Shadbolt, chairman and co-founder of Open Data Institute, and member of the GovLab network. Participants included Paul Maltby, director of open data and government transparency, Cabinet Office, Rufus Pollock, co-founder, Open Knowledge Foundation, TH Schee, co-founder and CEO, Fertta Communications and Martin Tisné, director, policy, Omidyar Network. Some of the topics discussed include the open data movement and the increase in civic engagement, particularly with youth and developers, and economic efficiencies, development and growth through open data.

2) Chris Vein, chief innovation officer for global information and communications technology development at the World Bank, and a GovLab network member,  discussed open development – the application of the principles of the open movement to development work at the World Bank. In this talk, he focused on how to  flip the traditional policy development paradigm by starting with the user rather than starting with the policy. The subsequent eight principles of open development that he proposed include: user-centered, data-driven, reusable, scalable, sustainable, community based, open and respectful.

3) Hans Vestberg, president and chief executive officer at Ericsson, explained how increasing connectivity will transform society  – including the way we govern. While today there are 2bn mobile broadband subscriptions, predictions suggest that in 2018, there will be 6.5bn mobile broadband subscriptions.


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