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Three Things Parents Must Learn From Kids About Tech
Oct31

Three Things Parents Must Learn From Kids About Tech

In his interview with Yahoo!, Don Tapscott gives practical three-step advice on how parents can learn not to be afraid of their children’s use of technology, but rather to embrace it. Building on his own experience of raising children in the digital age, the advice helps parents understand how to parent children who are products of this digital...

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The New Interdependence: Four Pillars of Society
Aug08

The New Interdependence: Four Pillars of Society

The “networked” approaches to public value and new models of global problem solving are enabled in part by the evolution of global society and the growth of an interdependent world. The digital revolution changes the way we organize capability in society to innovate, and create wealth and public value. There are now four pillars of society that increasingly rely on each other for success and even survival. 1. Most agree that governments continue to be important, perhaps even more so than before. Especially since 9/11 polls show that the vast majority of citizens believe there is a critical role for the state in achieving security and prosperity, and achieving harmonization, fairness and justice. The days of “the best government is no government” are over. Further, despite the challenges of nation-states in solving global problems, they are the primary form of geopolitical organization for the foreseeable future. 2. Second, around the world we have all chosen the private sector and corporations as the dominant institution for the creation of wealth. We understand that markets are important. Other approaches such as a fully planned economy, anarchy or some kind of free agent nation have proven to be unworkable. 3. In recent years the civil society has emerged as a new and critical pillar. When the discussions of Bretton woods the led to our current crop of global institutions like the United Nations, there were only a few dozen NGOs in the entire world. And they sure didn’t have a seat at the table. Now the not-for-profit sector is a massive part of the economy, employing 10 million people in the United States alone. According to one report it is “a US $1.1 trillion industry, the world’s eighth largest economy, with more employees than the largest private business in each country.” Add in the tens of millions of Americans who are active in some organization attempting to “do good” in society and you have a force to be reckoned with. 4. Finally there is a new kid on the global block, courtesy of the Internet, the individual citizen. Because of the web, individuals from every walk of life can have an extraordinary effect on achieving social change. A web site for a murdered Egyptian set up by a Google employee started a revolution. In Macrowikinomics, Anthony D. Williams and I describe how two youngsters in Boston used the Ushahidi network to find a 7 year old girl buried in the post-earthquake rubble in Haiti and save her life—helping solve a global problem (as the Haitian earthquake surely was). To learn more about the drivers for a new model of global problem solving,...

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Technology Push for Change
Jul28

Technology Push for Change

Over the past 30 years, the digital revolution and specifically the Internet have evolved and grown in ways no one could have imagined. The Internet continues to fundamentally transform how business is conducted, how government operates and how individuals interact. It has become one of the greatest catalysts of economic and societal development of all time. What the Internet pioneers created as an open platform for sharing data is now a game-changing medium used by more than two billion people around the globe. At the heart of this amazing growth – and what distinguished the Internet from other communication mediums – is its openness, global reach, and its multi-stakeholder model of development and management. As evidenced by the 300 million people on Twitter, one billion people on Facebook and two billion people with Internet access on mobile devices, the digital revolution continues unabated. The Net has evolved from a network of websites that enabled organizations to present information, to a computing platform in its own right. Computer processing and software and be spread out across the Internet and seamlessly combined as necessary. The Internet is becoming a giant computer that everyone can program, providing a global infrastructure for creativity, participation, sharing and self-organization. And with the explosion of mobile devices, computing is pervasive, enabling us to collaborate 24/7. The net result is that this new paradigm in technology is radically dropping transaction and collaboration costs and collaboration that used to be glacial, can now occur real-time and on a massive scale. This is now enabling us to devise new ways of collaborating to address global problems that are very different from the traditional state-based institutions. To learn more about the drivers for a new model of global problem solving, read Don’s report Introducing: Global Solution...

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Demand Pull For Change
Jul24

Demand Pull For Change

Throughout the twentieth century nation-states cooperated to build global institutions to facilitate joint action and address global problems. Many of these organizations were created in the aftermath of WWII. In 1944, 44 Allied nations gathered in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, to develop a series of commercial and financial relationships for the industrial world. This led to the creation of the International Monetary Fund, The World Bank, and ultimately to the United Nations (1945), The G8 (1975), The World Trade Organization (1995) and numerous other organizations based on nation-states. Some of these are formal institutions addressing many issues; some are global initiatives designed to solve a problem, such as the Copenhagen conference on Climate Change. But from our inability to come to agreements on everything from how to stop warlords like Joseph Kony to climate change, fighting poverty, Palestinian statehood or how to govern the global financial system, many people are questioning why existing approaches have proven so inadequate to fixing a broken world. For decades, large international institutions like the United Nations and The World Bank have wrestled with some of the world’s more intractable problems – the kind of problems that don’t fit neatly into departmental pigeonholes. The global economy has made territory less of an issue and shifted the competitive battleground away from physical assets and borders. Increasingly, the national government agenda is full of items that require international response – or are beyond any one country’s true power to resolve. Are today’s global problems simply too hard to solve? Or, do the institutions and mechanisms deployed at the international level need to be supplemented with fresh new collaborative models to meet the need of today’s realities? Arguably, the international institutions set up after World War II, while necessary, are insufficient. More often than not, national self-interests take priority when today’s challenges demand solutions that transcend the traditional boundaries of the nation-state. They make little room for the inclusion of authentic citizen voices despite the fact that self-organized civic networks are congealing around every major issue and challenge on the international agenda. And while only 18% of the world’s population lives in North America and Western Europe, these two regions possess overwhelming influence thanks to the weight of their economic markets and grandfathered status as the world’s powerbrokers. Meanwhile, there are all these other perspectives and points of view that don’t get represented. What we need is a new collaborative model – and that’s the first driver, a demand-pull for a whole new approach to solving problems in the world. To learn more about the drivers for a new model of global problem solving, read Don’s report...

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New Solutions for a Connected Planet
Jul21

New Solutions for a Connected Planet

Don Tapscott receives a standing ovation from a full house at Radio City Music Hall in New York for the World Business Forum.

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Trent University Convocation Speech
Jun06

Trent University Convocation Speech

Convocation 2014: Address by Chancellor of Trent University Dr. Don Tapscott. “It’s my belief that with your Trent University education you have been uniquely equipped and prepared for the exciting future and the challenging future that lies ahead.”

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