Are Start-Ups an answer to ending world poverty? / Hong Kong Radio 3

aust 1% of the worlds population owns and has more than the remaining 99%, is only 1 of the many findings in a recently released report exposing the growing face of world poverty.

europe africa sth_america america_rich_and_poor russia

HK3’s Phil Whelan and I used our weekly on-air chat to work through the why’s and what might be’s of some of the regions and countries exploring their current standing and hypothesising on the likelihood of it changing and the catalysts that may bring it about.

My end of the argument starts and ends with people, but it relies heavily on technology being an enabler allowing people across the planet to access to a digital world and marketplace and is based on 48% of the world’s population currently having access to the internet rising to 80% by 2020.

This digital world has already begun to alter what it means to be human, to have, to consume and to be aware of and has moved possibility beyond geography to allow those not in close proximity with each other to interact and engage.

This growing transparency and contentedness also brings it with the obligation to shine a light on poverty poor, to bring the need for equity  to the attention of those on behalf of those that can not yet speak for themselves.

In this same space small business, entrepreneurs, solopreneuers, brilliant ideas, remote workers, underutilised assets are all connected to marketplaces, thinking, resources and each other, and although this will not in itself stop poverty it will help to remove the physical geographic borders and the lack of access to goods, services, advice and information that has historically hindered growth.

This led Phil to ask whether one of the ways to even-up global wealth distribution may be for us all to adopt a start-up mindset that allows us to take the best of who we are, the best of where we are, question all the old paradigms and assumptions and seek out new ways to twist and bend the physical and digital worlds together to better serve our future needs.

I’m fairly sure this on-air chat hasn’t solved world poverty, but I am confident that the more of these discussions we all have; the more we continue to speak for those that can’t yet; the more we demand an end to poverty and insist on equity and access for all, the sooner we can change the colour on the poverty maps above from blood red to neon green.

A fascinating chat, listen now (14 minutes 50 seconds), share it around and add your voice to this challenge.


Technology is taking over our lives

tv is evilI got a call this morning from Steve Mills host of Perth’s 6PR breakfast show about a recent study that concluded that people fear that in 80 years we will have lost all human interaction and instead will be tethered hypnotically and blindly to a computer, or whatever technology becomes or is called by then.

OK, my first reaction, is step slowly away from the ledge and hide all the sharp instruments.

Do we really have so little faith in the human race that we buy all this sci fi doom and gloom scare mongering?

We have survived for millenniums and have never melded with machines before and it’s fairly safe that we won’t in the next 80 years.

The line between human and machine blurred many years ago, with every medical and scientific advancement we ever made including hearing aids, pacemakers, bionic ears and human implants, but we survive and are clearly still human.

People let’s give us some credit!

We are social, gregarious community oriented animals, who rely on each other to survive and thrive and even in our countless attempts to change and reshape human lives and society we keep reverting back to type.

Social media is a prime example of how we have been told that society as we know it has ended and with the advent of Facebook, Twitter, SMS, mobile phones, Skype and so many other on line rabble rouses we no longer have the need to physically meet one another.

This has never been more untrue, we statistically connect with each other more than we ever have before. Is it the same communication? NO. Is it better or worse? That’s the debate.

Let’s temper this debate though with the memory that nearly every form of technology that we have ever invented or innovated including Gutenberg press, radio and TV were all seen as the devils child in their formative years.

The good old days were rarely that good.

Time tends to diminish the emotion and angst we felt and instead leaves us with two dimensional memories safely preserved and packaged for all time as truths.

The future has not been written, these prophetic insights are not mandated.

The future can only be created in our hearts, souls and minds, so instead of invoking the worst outcomes let’s plan instead for a far more harmonious future, one in which we use our advancements to eradicate social injustices, we learn to tame and cure diseases and continue to remain vigilant about the the boundary’s between man and machine.

Now I’ll get off my soap box, let you have a listen to my far shorter on-air response and look out for your thoughts on how you see the next 80 years and beyond.