Is Connectivity A Human Right?

via Facebook:

Today, only 2.7 billion people are online — a little more than one third of the world. That is growing by less than 9% a year, but that’s slow considering how early we are in the internet’s development. Even though projections show most people will get smartphones in the next decade, most people still won’t have data access because the cost of data remains much more expensive than the price of a smartphone.

Facebook has presented a “rough plan” for bringing access to 5 billion more people. I’m not sure about Facebook’s plan, but I do think connectivity introduces important access to information and growth opportunities to people (among many, many other things). In that sense, and in the same way that good health and healthcare is something that I consider a right (in addition to your standard food, clothing, and shelter), yes, connectivity is a right.

What do you think; is connectivity a right? And how do Facebook’s argument and plan hold up?

Is Connectivity A Human Right?

It’s hard to believe cellular phones have been around for 40 years. They’ve really changed the way we keep in touch, do business, and communicate on whole. I wonder where the next 40 years will take our talking devices…

After four and a half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon, I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding – I was fired today. If you’re wondering why… you haven’t been paying attention. From controversial metrics in our S1 to our material weakness to two quarters of missing our own expectations and a stock price that’s hovering around one quarter of our listing price, the events of the last year and a half speak for themselves. As CEO, I am accountable.

Andrew Mason, former CEO, Groupon, upon being fired in an email to employees.

Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2013

Lucy Bernholz, a leading philanthropy scholar who writes one of my favorite philanthropy-related blogs, has released her fourth annual industry forecast through GrantCraft. And, for the first time, it’s free to download!

Her predictions for 2013 are intriguing; I agree with most and can’t wait to see how they play out. I really love being a part of the philanthropy sector as technology is increasing its role and the government is making it just a little bit tougher for nonprofits to be successful. There’s so much opportunity for thoughtful strategies and impact, and I am optimistic about the ability of most foundations to capitalize on this exciting time.

Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2013

A working gun has been made using a 3-D printer.

I saw this article and was not surprised at all; I’ve been fearing this for months.

via halphillips:

I really think this is something we’re going to hear a LOT more about over the next few years. It is now possible to buy a printer that will let you make your own guns. This is not theoretical; it exists.

This changes everything about guns, gun laws, gun control. Every person with an opinion about guns is going to have to figure out what to think about this.

At a time when we can’t even well-control violence with guns that are known about and obtained ‘over the counter’, do we really want more guns in circulation that are not known about? What sort of regulations can we fairly put on them, and subsequently enforce? And, (human nature prove me wrong, please!) will people actually print guns given the ability?

There are so many exciting possibilities with 3-D printers; let’s hope innovation can continue on a positive trajectory rather than one that perpetuates violence.

A working gun has been made using a 3-D printer.

We’re working with Social Media leaders from all walks of the federal government to identify and solve our toughest challenges, and unmistakably improve the services and cost savings all our agencies critically need.

Justin Herman, the General Service Administration’s (GSA) social media manager

Glad to see this sort of thinking and creativity in government. It can be challenging in such an established bureaucracy system to change communication patterns and integrate new tools, but he has done some incredible work in this position. Among the social media accomplishments:

  • Created the first federal-wide Social Media Community of Practice, which brings together more than 200 federal practitioners from over 40 agencies and offices for an exchange of ideas and information.
  • Played a major role in GSA’s recent signing of the first federal agreement with Google+.
  • Leading the government’s side of the online Federal Social Media Directory. Agencies have been required to start loading their information since May but it’s been slow. The directory is expected to go public later this year and will spell out what every agency is doing on Social Media and what’s on the drawing board.
  • Implemented a regular Social Media Census for agencies to report their metrics and progress, which had never been tracked. That includes traffic numbers, what features are still to come and what they have learned from their customers who are able to comment at any time about the service.
  • Created a Wiki for all federal agencies to share their best practices and see what others were doing. It’s better for agencies to share apps ideas than create silos of them, he said.

For more accomplishments and information about social media + the feds, check out this article. My cousin Andy is also quoted!

The rise of the info-state is about not only money and technology, but also loyalty and collective identity. As the Canadian scholar Daniel Bell argues, we are entering an age of “civic-ism,” in which pride in one’s city supersedes national patriotism. The “city-zen” is the new citizen. We identify ourselves as much or more as New Yorkers as Americans—and so many expats and immigrants in New York feel the same way….The measure of success in the age of info-states isn’t wealth or security alone but also Technik, the capacity to harness emerging technologies for the benefit of the population.

‘Technik’ and the City: How Urban Centers Like New York and Tokyo Are Becoming Info-States