It's a smart world: The promise and perils of open government
Chief Executive Officer, World Wide Web Foundation
Lieutenant Governor, State of California
Global Correspondent, The Economist
The era of big data presents incredible opportunities -- smarter cities, stronger companies, faster medicine -- but just as many challenges. Storage is scarce, systems overloaded, governments and businesses know too much. The world now contains unimaginably vast amounts of digital information, which is growing exponentially. Managed well, this data can be used to engineer new engines of economic value, unlock scientific breakthroughs, and hold politicians accountable. Managed poorly, it can cause great harm.
The financial crisis showed that complex models that analyze large quantities of data do not always reflect financial risk in the real world. The financial crisis was sparked by big data -- and there will be others. But the data deluge will also generate millions of new ideas for how to solve big problems, build new markets, and expand existing ones. Ideas Economy: Information is a fresh look at knowledge management for the information age.
The Economist will bring together theorists, strategists, and innovators who understand how to harness data to create value and advance individual, corporate, and social good. We will sift through the vast quantities of current thinking on data to uncover the best ways forward. And we will apply the lessons of the Ideas Economy, about innovation, human capital, and intelligent infrastructure, to uncover new sources of growth and accelerate human progress across the globe.
Steve Bratt became the first Chief Executive Officer of the World Wide Web Foundation in September 2008. He is leading the launch of the Foundation, and working to fund and start high-impact initiatives to advance both the Web itself and its ability to empower all people on the planet.
Bratt has held leadership and research positions within for-profit and not-for-profit, international organizations. His previous position was as CEO of the World Wide Web Consortium -- the standards organization responsible for the technologies that make the Web work.
From 1997 through 2001, Bratt served as the first Coordinator of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty International Data Centre in Vienna, Austria. There he was responsible for establishing the data center, global communications infrastructure, and standards for data exchange between more than 300 world-wide sensors and 170 nations.
From 1984 to 1997, Bratt led research initiatives -- first at Science Applications International Corporation and then as a program manager at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency -- to develop advanced concepts for real-time sensor monitoring, intelligent analysis and international data communications.
Since 1993, Web technologies have played the central role in support of the sharing of data, information and knowledge within the complex systems that he has designed and deployed.
Gavin Newsom was elected as the 49th Lieutenant Governor of the State of California on November 2, 2010. His top priorities are economic development and job creation, improving access to higher education, and maintaining California's environmental leadership. Prior to being elected Lieutenant Governor, he served two-terms as Mayor of San Francisco. Under his leadership, the economy grew and jobs were created. The City became a center for biotech and clean tech. He initiated a plan to bring universal health care to all of the City's uninsured residents. And Newsom aggressively pursued local solutions to global climate change. In the final days of his second term as Mayor, Newsom led a historic drive to host the 2013 America's Cup, one of the largest and most prestigious sporting events in the world, which is expected to generate roughly 8,000 jobs and $1.2 billion for the local and state economy.
Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran
Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran is an award-winning journalist, author, and public speaker. The Financial Times recently proclaimed him to be “a writer to whom it is worth paying attention.” A 20-year veteran of The Economist, he is currently the magazine’s China business and finance editor. Kirkus Reviews has called Need, Speed, and Greed, Vaitheeswaran’s new book on global innovation, “the perfect primer for the postindustrial age.” He is a life member at the Council on Foreign Relations and advisor to the World Economic Forum. His commentaries have appeared on NPR and the BBC, and in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
Steven Bratt, CEO of the World Wide Web Foundation, and Gavin Newsom, Lieutenant Governor of California, discuss the benefits of releasing civic data online. Newsom champions the "limitless" opportunity posed by the development of government iPad applications by droves of citizen hackers, stating that applications like crime maps can be built efficiently and at no cost to the taxpayer.