The Limits of Crowdsourcing: At the Bottom of the Pyramid
Director of Product, SwiftRiver, Ushahidi
Moderator: VIJAY VAITHEESWARAN
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.
Jonathan Gosier is a designer, software developer, and serial entrepreneur. He formerly served as director of SwiftRiver at Ushahidi, building an open-source platform for making sense of realtime data. SwiftRiver's mission was to filter streaming social content to enable users to discover relevant messages from social media sources during times of crisis. Gosier founded the African tech firm Appfrica in 2008.
Premal Shah serves as the President of Kiva Microfunds. Prior to Kiva.org, Mr. Shah served as a Principal Product Manager at PayPal, an eBay company. Prior to PayPal, Mr. Shah was a Strategy Consultant at Mercer Management Consulting in New York. Mr. Shah co-founded the Silicon Valley Microfinance Network and spent two months in India working to refine validate Kiva.org's model. Mr. Shah serves as a Director of Kiva Microfunds. He serves as a Member of Technology Advisory Board of RelayRides.
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.
Kiva.org president Premal Shah envisions that the future of microfinance loans will occur directly between borrowers and lenders via mobile phone technology, thus driving down the cost of providing loans to the developing world.