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Collaborative Solutions: Using Technological Innovation to Benefit Humanity

– Rockefeller Foundation

An overview of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 2018 Bellagio Center discussions on the potential for new technologies to be a driver of human progress

In June 2018, thought leaders gathered at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center to address how the overall impact of technological innovation can be perceived as a force for good, rather than bad.

This article from The Rockefeller Foundation’s Zia Khan and Matthew Bishop summarises the discussions, which centred on four big technological disruptions that are considered at a crossroads between good and bad:

  1. Scientific breakthroughs involving big data, plant-based meat substitutes and lab-grown meat have the potential to create a healthier population, but there is also the risk that such breakthroughs have the potential to cause harm.
  2. The potential for delivering education to impoverished communities, particularly through digital technology, which is yet to be realised.
  3. The need for investment of capital into technological breakthroughs that improve billions of lives, rather than make their creators rich. 
  4. The vast amount of data being created and used, and how that data should be used to create positive change for everybody.

The authors conclude that:

Advancing people’s well-being and ensuring that the benefits are shared by everyone would require system-wide transformations. These will only occur through coordinated action between civil society, government, technologists, and private companies

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