Public Sector Summit Day 2 – Stockholm

Having a very interesting second day at this event which has 450 delegates drawn from 45 countries.

Some of the highlights for me were:
Deputy Mayor of Stockholm
Capital of Sweden is made up of 14 islands.
There are 1.9m inhabitants in the region and 800k in the city itself (similar to greater Glasgow and the city itself?).
Stockholm has 1,000 parks and broadband penetration rate is an impressive 98% (need to check if this is the same as broadband usage).
It is also the home of the Nobel Prize.
The city is using technology to become greener and safer with a focus on improving public services, including more people and becoming more prosperous. (Sounds good to me)
Stockholm aims to become Europe’s most accessible capital by 2010 (a fantastic aspiration).

Simon Willis, CISCO VP, Public Sector Sales European Market
A very wide ranging talk covering the beginnings of human civilisation around the river deltas of the middle east to the development of the Mediterranean as a commons used to connect people, facilitate trade.

He argued that there is a need to better connect government & public sector with the private sector and others including NGOs and universities.

IT has some tools to contribute that support connectivity & collaboration. He characterised the internet as a new river delta, a new commons.

Prof Carlota Perez
Roles of Markets & States in Shaping a Sustainable Global Golden Age

Really interesting talk from an academic who it would appear has a model that predicted the current financial crisis. But unlike pretty much every other commentator she is hopeful for a positive outcome and in her terms ‘a golden age.’

She cites 5 technology revolutiuons
1771 – Industrial
1829 – Steam, coal, iron & railways
1875 – Steel & heavy engineering
1908 – Age of the automobile
1971 – Age of IT & telcoms
(Next one – Age of biotech, nanotech)

She claims that it takes 40-60 years for each revolution to spread & reach maturity. They transform the whole economy and society as well as the key industries and their underlying paradigms. Transforming opportunity, distance, ways of working, communication and living. Each brings a new set of life shaping goods and services at affordable prices (to some?).

The current shift from 1971 (microprocessor) was from the logic of cheap energy to the logic of cheap information and an increased preference for intangible value.

Each paradigm opens new routes for private profit and the marketing of ‘new’ desirable lifestyles.

She argued that the potential paradigm shift enable by ICT not yet been fully realised (fabrication of products, process industries, product profile, personal transport, freight, energy, urban development etc). This is in part because the new paradigm is still wrapped in the old paradigm . In 1990s we had cheap oil ($7 a barrel) & cheap asian labour – which allowed us to stretch the old paradigm. But we need 7 planets to sustain the model of natural resource consumption that underpins current practice.

So will the new paradigm prevail? Yes but only if a positive sum game can be established between business and society, ie sustainability must create economic opportunities and improve the quality of life at the same time.

She argued that each tech rev propagates in two different periods
1. Installation – Creative destruction (where we have been)
Led by casino capital

Turning point (where we are now with the financial and social crisis)

2. Deployment – Creative construction (where we go next – hopefully!)
Led by production capital

So the pattern is bubble prosperities, recessions followed by golden ages. For each of the revolutions a golden age follows a big financial collapse.

Food for thought…

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