Technology Futures

The future of the world is pretty unknown.
When I say that I mean in terms of technology, how the world will look in the future is unknown, while there are people who are predicting various things based on trends.

                In my mind there is one area that will benefit greatly from the change and improvements in the technology in the future; and that is to be found in the developing world. Already you can see the impact that technology is having in the developing world. If you have recently been to Africa as an example, nearly everyone you pass will have a mobile phone. The change in technology is allowing some of the poorest people access to modern medicine and doctors that may be 100’s of kilometers away without having to leave their village.

         The future of technology is not just being driven by people working in ICT, but by people who are passionate about improving the world. Recently Eyenaemia represented Australia at the Imagine Cup Globally and won! The team is comprised of two medical students who are enthusiastic about changing the world. The app allows for users to take a selfie and, by analyzing the conjunctiva and also calculates the risk of anemia. This change is facilitating a rise in entrepreneurship, which is being demonstrated all over the world. Entrepreneurship is allowing everyday people that are most familiar with the issues look for the best way to solve them and use technology that is at their fingertips.

        One of the ways in which the world is working together to solve these problems is through the use of Hackathons. An event aimed at creating a solution to a problem by bringing together people from all sections of the community. One of these aimed at helping solve humanity issues is Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK). 

       While we are looking at ways to improve the world through technology and ensure everyone has a positive future there are also negative aspects that we need to consider. If technology is being distributed around the countries, ensuring an even distribution across urban and rural locations will be a challenge. If not addressed it may lead to a change in socioeconomic classes being formed which may widen the gap for various places.

         There will also be a change in the demand for skilled workers with a greater level of education which the countries may not be able to provide overall. One thing the developed world must ensure is that we take the time to understand the issues and impacts of passing the technology onto the developing world. The environments they live in is different and being mindful of that is essential. 

           The development of technology in a global context will be trial and error, what works in the developed world may not work, while everyone countries less fortunate than ours we need to be respectful and allow the technology to fit into their culture. Technology is bringing together people from around the world to help improve the world we all live in and to try and close the gap between the poorest and richest countries in the world. The future of technology will help to provide assistance to those in need. However we also have a responsibility to ensure we balance the use of technology and the negative aspects of it to ensure there is a positive change.

          As a sub theme of this year’s Youth Festival of ICT, Change Futures will be explored in a number of ways encouraging delegates to start to think about how they may view the future of ICT and the role they can play in it. We have a number of great speakers lined up, including Adam Spencer, Ross Dawson, Naomi Henn and Jodie Fox.