Using Open Data to crowdsource better governance
Tony Blair, then UK Prime Minister, described the Public Access to Information act he had just signed as his worst mistake. "You idiot. You naive, foolish, irresponsible nincompoop. There is really no description of stupidity, no matter how vivid, that is adequate. I quake at the imbecility of it."
His concern was that citizens would use the information as a mallet to hit politicians like him over the head.
Affordable luxuries, new-world artisans and the maker economy
When a raging forest fire becomes a racing conflagration, sweeping destructive fury and leaving devastation in its wake, the mighty fall. That which had looked so certain is laid waste; that which so permanent is lost.
We mourn the death of old trees even as we enjoy the birth of new green shoots thrusting from the earth. In time, all that is devastated will return to verdant life.
Mechanisation and the danger of setting minimum wages in agriculture
Imagine that engineers never invented automatic telephone exchanges. Imagine real people on real mechanical switch-boards manually connecting millions of telephone calls made every day across South Africa.
If a person could switch 10 calls a minute, they could only switch around 3,500 calls a day. If 30 million South Africans make two calls per day each then 17,000 switch-board operators must take up the load.
Office space, transport and wages for those people, even if paid only R70 a day, would be about R600 million a year and imply an impossibly high cost for connecting your phone call.
In the aftermath of Sandy, bucket brigades for the city that never sleeps
Twenty-five people, headlamps lighting their way, worked through the night on October 30th. They lined the darkened stairwell of a building at 17 Broad Street. Up 18 floor they ferried buckets, hand-to-hand, from the street to the roof.
The buckets contained fuel for diesel generators. For the next three days, round-the-clock, volunteers continued to ensure that diesel made its way to these generators.
The age of State Owned Enterprises ends with protectionism or bankruptcy
"The United States should view with suspicion the continued penetration of the U.S. telecommunications market by Chinese telecommunications companies," states the a special investigative report produced for the US government and released earlier in October.
The report is damning. "Private-sector entities in the United States are strongly encouraged to consider the long-term security risks associated with doing business with either ZTE or Huawei for equipment or services."
- 666 Words
"Frontier Markets" is an economic term coined by IFC’s Farida Khambata in 1992 and is used to describe countries which are investable but have lower market capitalisation and liquidity than the more developed emerging markets.
The world's largest and fastest growing economies are all emerging ones - the fortune at the bottom of the pyramid - and the most dynamic and competitive companies are the ones that have seen the value in this market and developed products that are appropriate for it. As they emerge into the developed world these companies have significant competitive advantages.
Whythawk offers companies, government programs and donor foundations the unique opportunity to dramatically improve the way in which they see themselves and their strategic focus on emerging markets. Whythawk offers high-level seminars on understanding the informal economy in emerging markets, as well as rating the risk in the trust relationships that are necessary to work in such an unstructured environment.
Read through our research into frontier markets:
Rhymes with Meeting
Sometimes the most useful aid to creativity is a bit of doodling...
Whythawk researches emerging trends in a wide range of industries; we search for opportunities for creative-destruction and game-changing strategies that will disrupt businesses or societies; then we produce a high-level analysis of these scenarios summarising our findings.
These reports are released once Whythawk has considered the opportunities unlocked by that disruption and developed a product to take advantage of that opportunity. If you are ready to ask the question, “So, now what?” contact Whythawk, and we will continue.
- Thoughts In Motion