Paper by David Rolnick et al: “Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity, and we, as machine learning experts, may wonder how we can help. Here we describe how machine learning can be a powerful tool in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping society adapt to a changing climate. From smart grids to disaster management, we identify high impact problems where existing gaps can be filled by machine learning, in collaboration with other fields. Our recommendations encompass exciting research questions as well as promising business opportunities. We call on the machine learning community to join the global effort against climate change….(More)”.
Centre for Humanitarian Data: “Survey and needs assessment data, or what is known as ‘microdata’, is essential for providing adequate response to crisis-affected people. However, collecting this information does present risks. Even as great effort is taken to remove unique identifiers such as names and phone numbers from microdata so no individual persons or communities are exposed, combining key variables such as location or ethnicity can still allow for re-identification of individual respondents. Statistical Disclosure Control (SDC) is one method for reducing this risk.
The Centre has developed a Guidance Note on Statistical Disclosure Control that outlines the steps involved in the SDC process, potential applications for its use, case studies and key actions for humanitarian data practitioners to take when managing sensitive microdata. Along with an overview of what SDC is and what tools are available, the Guidance Note outlines how the Centre is using this process to mitigate risk for datasets shared on HDX. …(More)”.
Book edited by Sébastien Lechevalier: ” The major purpose of this book is to clarify the importance of non-technological factors in innovation to cope with contemporary complex societal issues while critically reconsidering the relations between science, technology, innovation (STI), and society. For a few decades now, innovation—mainly derived from technological advancement—has been considered a driving force of economic and societal development and prosperity.
With that in mind, the following questions are dealt with in this book: What are the non-technological sources of innovation? What can the progress of STI bring to humankind? What roles will society be expected to play in the new model of innovation? The authors argue that the majority of so-called technological innovations are actually socio-technical innovations, requiring huge resources for financing activities, adapting regulations, designing adequate policy frames, and shaping new uses and new users while having the appropriate interaction with society.
This book gathers multi- and trans-disciplinary approaches in innovation that go beyond technology and take into account the inter-relations with social and human phenomena. Illustrated by carefully chosen examples and based on broad and well-informed analyses, it is highly recommended to readers who seek an in-depth and up-to-date integrated overview of innovation in its non-technological dimensions….(More)”.
Matthew Hutson at Science: “Artificial intelligence (AI) used to be the specialized domain of data scientists and computer programmers. But companies such as Wolfram Research, which makes Mathematica, are trying to democratize the field, so scientists without AI skills can harness the technology for recognizing patterns in big data. In some cases, they don’t need to code at all. Insights are just a drag-and-drop away. One of the latest systems is software called Ludwig, first made open-source by Uber in February and updated last week. Uber used Ludwig for projects such as predicting food delivery times before releasing it publicly. At least a dozen startups are using it, plus big companies such as Apple, IBM, and Nvidia. And scientists: Tobias Boothe, a biologist at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany, uses it to visually distinguish thousands of species of flatworms, a difficult task even for experts. To train Ludwig, he just uploads images and labels….(More)”.
Paper by Jaehyuk Park et al: “…One of the most popular concepts for policy makers and business economists to understand the structure of the global economy is “cluster”, the geographical agglomeration of interconnected firms such as Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and Hollywood. By studying those well-known clusters, we become to understand the advantage of participating in a geo-industrial cluster for firms and how it is related to the economic growth of a region.
However, the existing definition of geo-industrial cluster is not systematic enough to reveal the whole picture of the global economy. Often, after defining as a group of firms in a certain area, the geo-industrial clusters are considered as independent to each other. As we should consider the interaction between accounting team and marketing team to understand the organizational structure of a firm, the relationships among those geo-industrial clusters are the essential part of the whole picture….
In this new study, my colleagues and I at Indiana University — with support from LinkedIn — have finally overcome these limitations by defining geo-industrial clusters through labor flow and constructing a global labor flow network from LinkedIn’s individual-level job history dataset. Our access to this data was made possible by our selection as one of 11 teams selected to participate in the LinkedIn Economic Graph Challenge.
The transitioning of workers between jobs and firms — also known as labor flow — is considered central in driving firms towards geo-industrial clusters due to knowledge spillover and labor market pooling. In response, we mapped the cluster structure of the world economy based on labor mobility between firms during the last 25 years, constructing a “labor flow network.”
To do this, we leverage LinkedIn’s data on professional demographics and employment histories from more than 500 million people between 1990 and 2015. The network, which captures approximately 130 million job transitions between more than 4 million firms, is the first-ever flow network of global labor.
The resulting “map” allows us to:
- identify geo-industrial clusters systematically and organically using network community detection
- verify the importance of region and industry in labor mobility
- compare the relative importance between the two constraints in different hierarchical levels, and
- reveal the practical advantage of the geo-industrial cluster as a unit of future economic analyses.
- show a better picture of what industry in what region leads the economic growth of the industry or the region, at the same time
- find out emerging and declining skills based on the representativeness of them in growing and declining geo-industrial clusters…(More)”.
Book edited by Masamichi Sasaki: “… deals with conceptual, theoretical and social interaction analyses, historical data on societies, national surveys or cross-national comparative studies, and methodological issues related to trust. The authors are from a variety of disciplines: psychology, sociology, political science, organizational studies, history, and philosophy, and from Britain, the United States, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Australia, Germany, and Japan. They bring their vast knowledge from different historical and cultural backgrounds to illuminate contemporary issues of trust and distrust. The socio-cultural perspective of trust is important and increasingly acknowledged as central to trust research. Accordingly, future directions for comparative trust research are also discussed….(More)”.
Book by Anton Nijholt: “This book explores the ways in which the broad range of technologies that make up the smart city infrastructure can be harnessed to incorporate more playfulness into the day-to-day activities that take place within smart cities, making them not only more efficient but also more enjoyable for the people who live and work within their confines. The book addresses various topics that will be of interest to playable cities stakeholders, including the human–computer interaction and game designer communities, computer scientists researching sensor and actuator technology in public spaces, urban designers, and (hopefully) urban policymakers….(More)”.
Paper by Susan Ariel Aaronson: “Many wealthy states are transitioning to a new economy built on data. Individuals and firms in these states have expertise in using data to create new goods and services as well as in how to use data to solve complex problems. Other states may be rich in data but do not yet see their citizens’ personal data or their public data as an asset. Most states are learning how to govern and maintain trust in the data-driven economy; however, many developing countries are not well positioned to govern data in a way that encourages development. Meanwhile, some 76 countries are developing rules and exceptions to the rules governing cross-border data flows as part of new negotiations on e-commerce. This paper uses a wide range of metrics to show that most developing and middle-income countries are not ready or able to provide an environment where their citizens’ personal data is protected and where public data is open and readily accessible. Not surprisingly, greater wealth is associated with better scores on all the metrics. Yet, many industrialized countries are also struggling to govern the many different types and uses of data. The paper argues that data governance will be essential to development, and that donor nations have a responsibility to work with developing countries to improve their data governance….(More)”.
Paper Albert J. Meijer, Miriam Lips and Kaiping Chen: “This theoretical viewpoint paper presents a new perspective on urban governance in an information age. Smart city governance is not only about technology but also about re-organizing collaboration between a variety of actors. The introduction of new tools for open collaboration in the public domain is rapidly changing the way collaborative action is organized. These technologies reduce the transaction costs for massive collaboration dramatically and thus facilitate new forms of collaboration that we could call ‘open governance’: new innovative forms of collective action aimed at solving complex public policy issues, contributing to public knowledge, or replacing traditional forms of public service provision. These innovative open and collaborative organisational forms in cities seem to point towards not only a wide variety of digitally connected actors but also to a fundamentally different and more invisible role of government in these arrangements. We argue that the recently emerging paradigm of New Public Governance (NPG) (Osborne 2010) also fails to capture the dynamics of open governance since it does not acknowledge the emergent – pop-up – character of the new collaborations; neither does it present an understanding of massive individualized collaboration in cities.
This paper aims to theoretically and empirically explore the core elements and the underlying socio-technical developments of this new Open Governance (OG) paradigm and compare and contrast OG with existing governance paradigms. Based on illustrative real-life cases, we will argue that we need a new paradigm that is better capable of explaining these emerging innovative forms of governing cities. We will argue that this requires an understanding of governance as a platform that facilitates an urban ecosystem. By connecting new insights from studies on digital governance to the debate about governance paradigms, this paper results in a set crucial empirical and normative questions about governance of cities and also in guidelines for urban governance that builds upon the rich, emerging interactions in cities that are facilitated by new technologies….(More)”
Blog Post by Natalia Domagala: “…We can all agree that open government is a necessary and valuable concept.
Nevertheless, eight years since the Open Government Partnership (OGP) was founded — the leading intergovernmental forum moving the agenda of open government forward — the challenge is now how to adapt their processes to reflect the dynamic and often unstable realm of global politics.
For open government to be truly impactful, policies should account for the reality of government work. If we get this wrong, there is a risk of open government becoming a token of participation without any meaning.
The collective goal of open government practitioners/community should be to strive for open government to become the new normal — an aim that requires looking at the cracks in the current process and thinking of what can be done to address them.
As an example, there have been an increasing number of letters sent by the OGP in the past few years as a reaction to national action plans being published too or as notifications of late self-assessment returns.
If a large number of countries across the geographical spectrum continuously miss these deadlines, this would indicate that a change of approach may be needed. Perhaps it’s time to move away from the two year cycles of national action plans that seemingly haven’t been working for an increasing number of countries, and experiment with the length and format of open government plans.
Changing the policy rhythm
Two years is a short time in the cycle of government, and offers insufficient time to deliver desirable results. The pressure to start thinking about the next plan half way through implementing the first one can negatively impact the quality of commitments and their impact.
Having a rolling NAP that is updated with very specific actions for every two years could be another alternative. Open government is a vibrant and fast-growing movement, therefore action plans should reflect it through being living and interactive documents. Perhaps after two or three national action plans countries should be allowed to adjust the cycle to their needs and domestic government planning timescales.
There is an opportunity for open government as a movement in going beyond the national action plan commitments. Open government teams within governments should scrutinise existing policies and advise their colleagues on how to align their policymaking process with the principles of participation, accountability, and inclusion, to eventually embed the open government approach across all policy projects.
Appetite for new strategies
The rise of “open”, “agile”, and “participatory” attitudes to policy indicate that there is an appetite for more responsive and better-tailored strategies, an appetite that the global open government movement could look to satisfy.
The next steps could be focused on raising awareness of open ways of working within governments, and developing the policymaker’s capacity to deploy them through workshops and guidance….(More)”.