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10 Jul

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Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development

July 10, 2010 | By |

The role of technological advances in alleviating poverty

This week’s pick is a valuable new publication available from The Rockefeller Foundation.  This venerable institution “supports work that expands opportunity and strengthens resilience to social, economic, health, and environmental challenges—affirming its pioneering philanthropic mission since 1913 to ‘promote the well-being’ of humanity.”

From their website:  “There is little doubt that technology will continue to drive change across the developing world. However, uncertainty exists about the role of technological advances in alleviating poverty. To uncover the range of possibilities that may emerge, novel approaches like scenario planning are essential.

Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development,” a new report, features four very different—yet very plausible—visions of how technology could profoundly alter how we address some of the most pressing challenges in the developing world.

Scenario planning – an innovative method of creating narratives about the future – is a powerful tool for assisting organizations in considering how complex problems could evolve and be solved over the long term. The scenario planning process helps to identify unique opportunities, rehearse important decisions by simulating their broader implications, and illuminate previously unexplored areas of intersection.”

A pdf of the full document is available to download free.

Also available on the Rockefeller website is the complete text of “Scaling Innovation“, an excellent speech delivered by Dr. Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, at the inaugural conference of the Social Impact Exchange, on June 17, 2010 in New York City.

I’m not expecting you to postpone your summer vacation in order to read both of these interesting documents right now.  But do take a peek, so you’ll know where to save these files for when you’re next awoken by a pesky midnight craving to learn more about planning and communication advances for action-oriented collaboration.