Ariel Schwartz in Co.Exist: “The $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize asks entrants to perform an incredibly difficult feat: accurately diagnose 15 diseases in 30 patients in three days using only a mobile platform. To do that, competing teams need to have access to sophisticated sensors and related software.
Some of those sensors may be found among the finalists of the $2.25 million Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE, a set of two consecutive competitions that challenges teams to advance sensing technology for gathering data about human health and the environment. The finalists for the first challenge, announced in early August, are diverse, though they do share one common trait: They’re all lab-on-a-chip technologies. “They’re small enough to be body wearable and programmable, but they use different methods,” says Mark Winter, senior director of the Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE.”
A report by the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP): “A large share of public decisions that shape the fundamental character of American life are made at the local level; for example, decisions about controlling crime, maintaining housing quality, targeting social services, revitalizing low-income neighborhoods, allocating health care, and deploying early childhood programs. Enormous benefits would be gained if a much larger share of these decisions were based on sound data and analysis.
In the mid-1990s, a movement began to address the need for data for local decisionmaking.Civic leaders in several cities funded local groups to start assembling neighborhood and address-level data from multiple local agencies. For the first time, it became possible to track changing neighborhood conditions, using a variety of indicators, year by year between censuses. These new data intermediaries pledged to use their data in practical ways to support policymaking and community building and give priority to the interests of distressed neighborhoods. Their theme was “democratizing data,” which in practice meant making the data accessible to residents and community groups (Sawicki and Craig 1996).
The initial groups that took on this work formed the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP) to further develop these capacities and spread them to other cities. By 2012, NNIP partners were established in 37 cities, and similar capacities were in development in a number of others. The Urban Institute (UI) serves as the secretariat for the network. This report documents a strategic planning process undertaken by NNIP in 2012 and early 2013. The network’s leadership and funders re-examined the NNIP model in the context of 15 years of local partner experiences and the dramatic changes in technology and policy approaches that have occurred over that period. The first three sections explain NNIP functions and institutional structures and examine the potential role for NNIP in advancing the community information field in today’s environment.”
Todd Sherer, Chief Executive Officer of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, in Forbes: “he problem is, we all still work in a system that feeds on secrecy and competition. It’s hard enough work just to dream up win/win collaborative structures; getting them off the ground can feel like pushing a boulder up a hill. Yet there is no doubt that the realities of today’s research environment — everything from the accumulation of big data to the ever-shrinking availability of funds — demand new models for collaboration. Call it “collaboration 2.0.”…I share a few recent examples in the hope of increasing the reach of these initiatives, inspiring others like them, and encouraging frank commentary on how they’re working.
The successes of collaborations in the traditional sense, coupled with advanced techniques such as genomic sequencing, have yielded masses of data. Consortia of clinical sites around the world are working together to collect and characterize data and biospecimens through standardized methods, leading to ever-larger pools — more like Great Lakes — of data. Study investigators draw their own conclusions, but there is so much more to discover than any individual lab has the bandwidth for….
A great way to grow engagement with resources you’re willing to share? Ask for it. Collaboration 2.0 casts a wide net. We dipped our toe in the crowdsourcing waters earlier this year with our Parkinson’s Data Challenge, which asked anyone interested to download a set of data that had been collected from PD patients and controls using smart phones. …
Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration 2.0
The more we uncover about the interconnectedness and complexity of the human system, the more proof we are gathering that findings and treatments for one disease may provide invaluable insights for others. We’ve seen some really intriguing crosstalk between the Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease research communities recently…
The results should be: More ideas. More discovery. Better health.”
Final version, 10 July 2013: “As technologies that facilitate State surveillance of communications advance, States are failing to ensure that laws and regulations related to communications surveillance adhere to international human rights and adequately protect the rights to privacy and freedom of expression. This document attempts to explain how international human rights law applies in the current digital environment, particularly in light of the increase in and changes to communications surveillance technologies and techniques. These principles can provide civil society groups, industry, States and others with a framework to evaluate whether current or proposed surveillance laws and practices are consistent with human rights.
These principles are the outcome of a global consultation with civil society groups, industry and international experts in communications surveillance law, policy and technology.”
New Paper by Djoko Sigit Sayogo and Theresa Pardo: “Open data policies are expected to promote innovations that stimulate social, political and economic change. In pursuit of innovation potential, open datahas expanded to wider environment involving government, business and citizens. The US government recently launched such collaboration through a smart data policy supporting energy efficiency called Green Button. This paper explores the implementation of Green Button and identifies motivations and success factors facilitating successful collaboration between public and private organizations to support smart disclosure policy. Analyzing qualitative data from semi-structured interviews with experts involved in Green Button initiation and implementation, this paper presents some key findings. The success of Green Button can be attributed to the interaction between internal and external factors. The external factors consist of both market and non-market drivers: economic factors, technology related factors, regulatory contexts and policy incentives, and some factors that stimulate imitative behavior among the adopters. The external factors create the necessary institutional environment for the Green Button implementation. On the other hand, the acceptance and adoption of Green Button itself is influenced by the fit of Green Button capability to the strategic mission of energy and utility companies in providing energy efficiency programs. We also identify the different roles of government during the different stages of Green Button implementation.”
[Recipient of Best Management/Policy Paper Award, dgo2013]
ICANN PressRelease: “During today’s opening ceremony of ICANN 47 in Durban, South Africa, President and CEO Fadi Chehadé announced the creation of five new ICANN Strategy Panels that will serve as an integral part of a framework for cross-community dialogue on strategic matters. The ICANN Strategy Panels will convene subject matter experts, thought leaders and industry practitioners to support development of ICANN‘s strategic and operational plans, in coordination with many other global players, and will be comprised of up to seven members including the chair for an anticipated one-year timeframe…
In its fourteen-year history, ICANN has grown to reflect a changing landscape of continued innovation, interconnectedness, and unprecedented growth in the DNS ecosystem, one that transcends groups and borders to serve the public interest. Yet, the Internet is at a critical inflection point as billions of new people are expected to join the global network in the next few years and as the nature of its usage matures dramatically. With this in mind, the ICANN Strategy Panels are expected to help catalyze transformation and advance ICANN‘s role in the context of a dynamic, increasingly complex global environment.”
See also Learning by Doing: The GovLab’s Living Labs
Martin Tisné, Director of Policy at Omidyar Network, in The Telegraph: “Trust in government has rarely been at a lower ebb. Citizens in developed and developing countries alike feel increasingly disconnected from the political process and their political leaders. They complain of having too little influence over decisions, too little access to government information and too little control over their own data.
In such an environment, suspicion and anger can erupt as we have seen across the world, most recently in Istanbul’s Taksim square.
At the same time, governments are operating in very challenging circumstances. They have to meet rising expectations from their citizens with, thanks to the impact of the global financial crisis, often severely reduced revenues. They also face a whole range of pressures which will make bridging this gap ever more difficult. There has never been a greater need for open and honest dialogue.
There is no single answer to these concerns. But it is clear that opening up government data must be a major element of the answer. Open data has enormous potential to drive economic growth and spread prosperity. It improves accountability, strengthens governance, builds trust and drives innovation in both the private sector and the delivery of key public services.
There are already many examples from around the world that these benefits are already being delivered. In the UK, Mastodon C
, a start-up incubated by the Open Data Institute
, used open data on prescriptions by GPs to show that the NHS could have saved over £200 million by prescribing generic drugs instead of their more expensive patented equivalents.
In India, the technology platform I Paid A Bribe enables citizens to publicly log whenever they have been shaken down for a bribe. In Mexico, Compara Tu Escuela (Check Your School) empowers parents by providing them directly with information on school performance.
We all benefit as citizens and consumers, as economies and societies, if we get this right. It is why the expected decision by the G8 countries to adopt an Open Data Charter at the G8 summit in Lough Erne is so important.”
Ethan Zuckerman in Slate: “As the historian and technology scholar Langdon Winner suggests, “The arrival of any new technology that has significant power and practical potential always brings with it a wave of visionary enthusiasm that anticipates the rise of a utopian social order.” Technologies that connect individuals to one another—like the airplane, the telegraph, and the radio—appear particularly powerful at helping us imagine a smaller, more connected world. Seen through this lens, the Internet’s underlying architecture—it is no more and no less than a network that connects networks—and the sheer amount written about it in the past decade guaranteed that the network would be placed at the center of visions for a world made better through connection. These visions are so abundant that they’ve even spawned a neologism: “cyberutopianism.”
The term “cyberutopian” tends to be used only in the context of critique. Calling someone a cyberutopian implies that he or she has an unrealistic and naïvely overinflated sense of what technology makes possible and an insufficient understanding of the forces that govern societies. Curiously, the commonly used term for an opposite stance, a belief that Internet technologies are weakening society, coarsening discourse, and hastening conflict is described with a less weighted term: “cyberskepticism.” Whether or not either of these terms adequately serves us in this debate, we should consider cyberutopianism’s appeal, and its merits….
If we reject the notion that technology makes certain changes inevitable, but accept that the aspirations of the “cyberutopians” are worthy ones, we are left with a challenge: How do we rewire the tools we’ve built to maximize our impact on an interconnected world? Accepting the shortcomings of the systems we’ve built as inevitable and unchangeable is lazy. As Benjamin Disraeli observed in Vivian Grey
, “Man is not the creature of circumstances, circumstances are the creatures of men. We are free agents, and man is more powerful than matter.” And, as Rheingold suggests, believing that people can use technology to build a world that’s more just, fair, and inclusive isn’t merely defensible. It’s practically a moral imperative.
Excerpted from Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection by Ethan Zuckerman.”
Emma Hutchings at PSFK: “The Smart Citizen Kit is a crowdsourced environmental monitoring platform. By scattering devices around the world, the creators hope to build a global network of sensors that report local environmental conditions like CO and NO2 levels, light, noise, temperature and humidity.
Organized by the Fab Lab at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, a team of scientists, architects, and engineers are paving the way to humanize environmental monitoring. The open-source platform consists of arduino-compatible hardware, data visualization web API and a mobile app. Users are invited to take part in the interactive global environmental database, visualizing their data and comparing it with others around the world.”
Jeff Schumacher, Simon MacGibbon, and Sean Collins in Strategy + Business: “What does it mean to become digital? Companies in all industries are building online businesses, enabling new customer experiences, experimenting with “big data,” and seeking advantage in a digitally enabled business environment. They have tried reengineering their practices; they have set up new technological platforms for customer engagement and back-office efficiency. But these efforts have not yet had the impact that they should. Instead of reengineering, they need reimagining. They need to conceive of their business freshly, in line with the capabilities that digital and business technologies can give them, connecting to customers in ways that have not been possible before….
The third principle of digitization involves taking the long view, even as you build for today. You can no longer succeed with a digital strategy based only on today’s technology and competitive environment. Nor is it enough to merely ideate about future developments. Companies must take actions now that prepare them for the disruptive opportunities and evolving platforms of the next few years. What technologies might be available then? How will customers be using digital in their lives? Where will your industry be, for example, in terms of responsive use of data, digital fabrication (parts and devices made on the fly), cloud-based interoperability, or new forms of supply chain coordination? Do you have the capabilities now to make use of those technologies in creating new customer experiences? And what new capabilities will you need once those technologies become reality?…
The fourth principle recognizes that becoming digital isn’t just a matter of rearranging the lines and boxes on your org chart. It involves fostering a startup’s way of working through new structures and teams, and changing your incentives, rules, and decision rights accordingly. Just as important as these formal mechanisms are their informal counterparts—the personal networks, communities of interest, information flows, and behavioral norms—that link the people in your company who can imagine and build new digital capabilities.”