• Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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Do we trust tech? How presidents and CEOs work on prosperity


GrowthView first asks, why is it we look up to our elders? And how can AI (artificial intelligence) build on the right knowledge to have a positive impact in our world? These questions are tied together as we start building new technologies.


Today’s article introduces Social Technologywhich is a natural continuation from our last article on inclusive trade. We discuss how mobile tech and social apps (WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook) achieve the UN SDG #8; where tech brings governments, people and revenue in one.


The motto “help me – help you” is the vast potential for our technology.


The social component of technology is that it links people together beautifully, in the palm of “our” own hand. It allows us to communicate, be connected, share memories and help our loved ones. Technology boomed at a rate unseen before – and we always trusted these new ideas.Has our trust changed today?


Why do we trust our elders? They have years of experience, knowledge and lived through changes in education, medicine and the evolving living standards – we may never see. So how can technology build on this knowledge or know-how?


Note: living standards -a socioeconomic measurement.


Corporates can look at older or predecessor firms to be sustainable in the future. Rather than compete towards achieving their monopoly they can learn from software such as IBM, Nokia in the mobile tech world.


Nokia 9000 communicator – how can we learn from the past, to move forward, sustainably? The smartphone was an innovation of the 1990s, specifically 1992 with IBM and then 1996 with Nokia, before even the iPhone was out. So, don’t shy away, learn how sustainable institutions do it. There is a reason why certain agencies have stood the test of time.


“Emerging technologies can build a more prosperous life for many. If done right, built on people, our trust and learning from governments on impact-driven logical frameworks.”



Let’s start with the basics.  the technology in itself, what makes it smart?Or, what makes it clever? Technology is in other words able to predict, support you in your daily basis – regardless of the different scenarios.


Being smart, does it start with how much we know?

We can still be clever and smart despite knowing little. We call this in some western cultures, being street smart, however it confirms that as human-beings and individuals are intelligent. We only decide to use our intelligence in different ways. To predict the scenarios effectively, we build frameworks, so we can categorise and make it simpler.


Intelligence is built overtime. This is why looking at your elders is the way to learn.


Collect |build your intelligence with know-how, data and historical trends.


Learn |how to use this information & intelligence, in ways that improves your life.


Predict |certain outcomes or scenarios. Use your knowledge in a smart way.


When a child eats an apple or learns the word “apple” – it often times learns that an “apple is red”,it builds its first sentence, with the word “apple” is connected to a “description” so the child next time, can smartly say “oh mummy, look I want that red apple”. When atoddler grows up, he learns new shapes and forms of apples, they can be green apple, bitter, sweet and varieties go on indefinitely. Nevertheless, the child knows how to identify the fruit.


Collect | this is how intelligence grows, first with information, collecting all the possible “variables” which in this case, are the colours, fruit, tastes.


Learn | we learn by looking at the full-picture, we look at the apple visually, we smell it, we hear how it crunches, how it tastes; to know these are the attributes of an apple.


Predict | we can then predict with these visual, audio and sensory “hints” to then decipher, what this object is. The next time we bite into an apple eyes closed.


On the same token, a “smart technology” builds these variables and scenarios, predicting for you the basics.This is only possible if we collect the right information. So how can we do that with social impact, prosperity and economic sustainability?These are values that are on a spectrum.


This is the purpose of the UN and the clearly defined UN SDGs. This is a framework, of a lifetime, for us to build technology that is “smart” and does “good” – where our values as individuals are part of this “smart framework”.


How can we incorporate values such as “helping your neighbour”, “bring food to your elderly parent”, “educating children in remote poor communities”, “giving electricity where there is no grid” – more simply put, how can technology help us, help others?


In the next GrowthView article, we will discuss in more details the role of SmartCities or Smart Technology that can help us be prosperous – we, as individuals, in our society can have our values heard in the next technology.

Key take-aways:


  1. Learn from the past
  2. Collect the right data
  3. Build smartly
  4. Make tech social
  5. Governments and software are linked


Wehbe is passionate about helping others and fighting poverty & injustice. She is the founder of GrowthView. She writes from Zurich, Switzerland.  [email protected]

Cell: +41 79 950 4760