Unleashing The Power Of Data And Technology To Rebalance The World

Caroline Anstey | The Atlantic | November 19, 2012

Developing countries have moved from being the site of development initiatives to the transmitter of development innovation.

In the 20th century, economic growth was driven by the ability to transport goods and people efficiently and economically - with automobiles, planes and ships. In the 21st century, it will be the ability to produce, capture, communicate and analyze information to drive new forms of growth and social development.

If you want to think of the speed of change possible in the decade ahead, just rewind 10 years. Thirty three percent of the global population is now internet users, a growth of over 500 percent over the last 10 years. In 2000, there were fewer than one billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide. Today there are over six billion, of which nearly five billion are in the developing world.

Just think of Kenya, where three out of four Kenyan adults pay bills and transfer money through a mobile phone, through a home grown innovation, M-Pesa. Or Rwanda, which won an innovation in technology award for one of the mobile applications for market commodity price information, eSoko, which is used by farmers, 60 percent of which are women...