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What is your dream?

I recently attended the Dreamforce conference in San Francisco's Moscone Center along with 65,000 of my closest friends.  Reminiscent of the heady, pre-implosion dot.com days (remember how we were going to change "everything"?), Salesforce.com, the conference sponsor, has embraced "social mobility" (the tablet on the move) as the next big thing and a key ingredient of their future vision... and I agree!

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I recently attended the Dreamforce conference in San Francisco's Moscone Center along with 65,000 of my closest friends. Reminiscent of the heady, pre-implosion dot.com days (remember how we were going to change "everything"?), Salesforce.com, the conference sponsor, has embraced "social mobility" (the tablet on the move) as the next big thing and a key ingredient of their future vision... and I agree!


In the business to consumer space, the vision is impressive, and the value proposition is less about saving money and more about increasing engagement, trust and revenue.


Inside the conference, I was swept up into a mid 21st Century view of consumers that would pay premium prices for instant access to products, services and connections, but as I walked the four short blocks between Moscone West and the hotel where the technical conferences that I came to attend were being held, I was bombarded with early 21st Century homelessness, poverty and discouragement.


What is your dream of how technology will "change everything". How do you see us bridging the gap between the present and the promise of a future where everyone is connected and enabled by the devices they carry? What does the "cloud" mean for the aging and the poor?


I know the clich├ęs; charity starts at home, you are never too old to learn, as the top rises it will lift the bottom; but I am not hearing value based solutions and I am a bottom line type of guy. What are your thoughts? Solutions? Observations? How can technology become the equal playing field that it promises to be?

Please weigh in!

Comments

My dream is one day we will be able to solve the Big Problems - Game Theory Problems such as Prisoner's dilemma(which I believe is the root of many attitude and political issues), efficient use of Global Knowledge(Use 'Known Knowns' and explore 'Unknown Unknowns' to solve 'Known Unknowns')etc.

Stating the obvious - the basic necessities of life such as Food, water, Education, Health, Energy, Security(ending war) etc. needs more attention than the 'New iPad'or 'Hybrid Cloud'.

Sustainability and Steady-State Economic models are two areas which is worth exploring. Present model of Consumption, pollution & growth may come to an end.

We need to think how all people can be engaged in meaningful work where automation reduces the need of human labor everyday.

Any thoughts around immortality. Death is a big problem which we face.

I will end my views with a reference to a TED talk. The speaker was addressing really big problems and it just opened my eye. Have you ever experienced an wonderful heaven like feeling - First love, great music, view from a beach, great massage in a spa, reading a wow book or the taste of a great food? You must have similar experiences but the big problem is we have these experiences and feelings for a microscopic period of our human life. Most of our days are boring, filled with routine activities and no excitement. Can we change it one day when great feeling and excitement will be the norm?

Abhisek-

Thank you for your thoughtful and informative comment.

You mention, "We need to think how all people can be engaged in meaningful work where automation reduces the need of human labor everyday." points out the uneven stratification of the technical adoption patterns.

While at Dreamforce, I pedaled a stationary bike to charge my cell phone and I "packed a backpack" full of school supplies for inner city kids. I lept up and down with Tony Robbins and I sat enthralled at Sir Richard Branson.

When I think back at the room full of technolgy pioneers, it appears that most of us are living the dream. But, what about the segment of society that will not(or cannot) avail themselves of labor saving technology?

I wonder what others think? Please weigh in, if you see how technology will help the poorest strata of technology adopters. I'd love to "crowd source" these questions; How does technology work for the poor? Especially for the rural poor!

Hi James,

A very thoughtful and thought-provoking post. I noticed our local library is making iPads available, so that's a start. Of course, it doesn't help those who don't have an address. Or does it? Perhaps indirectly. 21st century social technology should be a source of innovation to benefit those who are (for now) living outside the dream. As we speak there are, I'm sure, many individuals and organizations dedicated to using social technology as a lever to expand access to the dream. You might share your post with fellow Infoscion Arnav Sharma, who is active in the Social Responsibility space within Infosys.

It's not the technology that will change everything. It's the people. I am a firm believer that you don't have to wait / look for futuristic technologies to solve real problems - business or social. You have to have a mindset and desire to solve problems with whatever technology is currently available. The answer, Jim, is people creating and implementing new business models that address the issues not only for the digitally active but for those for whom the cloud is way beyond reach. Do we really need iPads and cloud for solving problems of the poor? I don't think so. Lets not fall into the classic trap of "having the technology, looking for the problem to solve". Do check out Clinton's Global Initiative.

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