Collaboration for Global Social Impact

I see the need for 5 sets of immediate collaboration to pave the way for digital transformation.

1.     Collaboration to help shape the technology.

Technologists are often working in a vacuum advancing technology, with a limited understanding of different social, institutional, infrastructure and cultural contexts. For technology to work, it has to be scaled to suit the context. Governments and international institutions can help shape the application of technology for maximum social benefit and to protect the interests of the poor and vulnerable. Collaboration to understand the political economy for implementation is especially important as intermediaries will be removed and the implications of this change will be a key aspect to integrating this change into public sector work. Researchers can help by developing rapid cycle analytics to monitor the impacts of technology adoption and advice on the policy environment and regulatory environment being contemplated by governments. NGOs and communities can report on their user experience and industry can partner to see how to scale technologies commercially.

2.     Collaboration in Engaging and Educating Governments

The deployment of blockchain applications will continue to accelerate with or without government and international agency support. Governments and international institutions need more knowledge, to understand the benefits and pitfalls of this new technology and issues surrounding implementation and scale. They need to be able to learn from other countries\’ experience and understand how to deploy it for social benefit and develop plans for expanding digital capability and ambition. Who teaches policy makers blockchain and frontier technologies? It has to be the technology industry building bridges between the technology ecosystem and governments and international institutions will be part of building the needed platform for successful adoption of transformational technologies.

3.     Collaboration in Engaging and Educating Regulators

Regulators are interested in safety and soundness of the financial system and consumer protection and that Know your Customer (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) are adhered to. They are cautious about the risks of technologies and consumer protection from speculative cryptocurrencies, veracity of token offerings and risks to privacy and informed consent. Many are adopting a regulatory sandbox approach to test in a safe environment. 

  4.     Collaboration in Building the Talent Pool for the Future Digital Economy

There is a global talent shortage of developers and specialists working on blockchain, AI and associated technologies. Traditional education approaches will never meet the future, let alone current needs. In developing countries, there are vast numbers of young people who through innovative training approaches could be taught digital skills. Building mutual benefit collaborations with industry to develop new forms of training e.g. Gamification and fast track learning that can be global and virtual will be an essential part of building capability for a digital future.

5.     Collaboration in Developing a New Global Economic System

Blockchain has potential to lead to a new global economic system. Community Token Economies to address global commons problems are already emerging – although we have yet to see them at scale. 

There remains much to do – but we are indeed entering an age when  Hyper co – collaboration will become the new normal for solving global problems and achieving exponential social impact.

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