Sunday, 1 June 2008

Eradicating poverty and saving the climate at the same time

Attended a bilateral donor meeting in Geneva early this week with some of the more progressive donor countries. The theme was climate change, innovation, ICT and poverty. I presented some ideas about ICT and focused on the triangular approach (see Re-think Chinese outward investment flows for background or this new paper about “completing the triangle” for an overview). I’m surprised how easy the poverty work turns reactive and that the focus on ICT in relation to poverty tends to focus almost exclusively on adaptation. The need to move people rapidly out of poverty and use ICT to ensure a rapid and resource efficient development path is really not well explored.

I really would like to follow up on the work in “Sustainability at the speed of light” where the role of ICT and poverty was explored six years ago. With micro finance and much smarter ICT solutions as well as a more widespread understanding of the climate challenge the room for truly sustainable initiatives that deliver results should exist today.