“Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development"
[Source: The Rockefeller Foundation and Global Business Network, May 27, 2010
Imagining the Future: Technology and International Development
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.
To learn more, read the PDF of the report, published by the The Rockefeller Foundation and Global Business Network.
This report adds to a growing body of literature focusing on the relationship between
technology, development, and social systems. While not a comprehensive list, the following
readings offer additional insights on this topic.
• Caroline Wagner, The New Invisible College: Science for Development, 2008.
• Institute for the Future, Science and Technology Outlook: 2005-2055, 2006.
• RAND Corporation, The Global Technology Revolution 2020, In-Depth Analyses,
• World Bank, Science, Technology, and Innovation: Capacity Building for Sustainable
Growth and Poverty Reduction, 2008.
• UN Millennium Project, Task Force on Science, Technology, and Innovation,
Innovation: Applying Knowledge in Development, 2006.
• W. Brian Arthur, The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How It Evolves, 2009.
• STEPS Centre Working Papers, Innovation, Sustainability, Development: A New
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