Connectivity is Productivity

I’ve recently started watching TED Talks online. Like it says on the tin, TED talks are inspired talks by the world’s greatest thinkers and doers. I’m after watching a couple of videos from the ‘Africa: The Next Chapter‘ series and thought it would be worth highlighting Iqbal Quadir’s talk ‘The power of the mobile phone to end poverty‘.

Iqbal says that despite aid been sent to developing countries over the past sixty years, little has improved. He suggests another approach, empowering citizens in these countries with technology. He recalls an incident in his childhood when a younger sibling was sick. Iqbal was sent to the doctor by his mother and trekked for half a day only to find that the doctor was not in and had to spend the other half of his day returning home without the medicine he was sent for. He highlights the fact that if his village had a mobile phone, they could simply have called the doctor and not wasted an entire day. Looking back on this experience in later life, Iqbal realised that connectivity is productivity. To highlight this he argues that if you counted up the number of similar incidents that could have been prevented due to the lack of technology, you would see the vast amount of resources wasted.

While Quadir is talking about developing countries, the concept that connectivity is productivity applies worldwide. The evolution of the Internet and explosion in the number of bloggers underlines the benefits of the sharing of ideas online. So one would think bringing broadband to every home in Ireland would go some way to helping Ireland bridge the gap in its quest to become a knowledge based economy. Yet this notion of driving connectivity is being overlooked.

I find it funny viewing this video for the first time in the same week that Elton John came out and said that “the internet has stopped people from going out and being with each other, creating stuff.” If anything it’s the exact opposite and this video is proof of that.

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4 Responses to “Connectivity is Productivity”  

  1. 1 Ged

    I love the product demo of the multitouch screen from a few years ago, priceless. Probably up there with Steve Jobs intro of the Mac in terms of captivating an audience

  2. 2 Conall McDevitt

    Enjoy your blog and the video was great. Keep up the good work P.

  1. 1 Dialing out of the poor house - the role of productivity in combating poverty at Piaras Kelly PR - Irish Public Relations
  2. 2 Where will the $100 laptop will take us? at Piaras Kelly PR - Irish Public Relations


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