Published since 1983, Australia’s first telecommunications and new media newslettercovers national and international business strategies and government policies in relation to fixed and wireless broadband and other smart infrastructure, the digital economy, digital and mobile media, smart grids, e-health and e-education.
Editorial:- Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
It is sometimes a bit daunting when we stand in the thick of things facing the various problems at hand, personally in our work environments, and also nationally and internationally. And, of course, many of these issues are interwoven.
The world population has already more than doubled in my lifetime and it will be tripled by 2050. This increase is mindboggling, and simply coping with it is a massive challenge in itself. With many such macro-developments the problems are only identified when critical stretching points are reached.
But, on the positive side, despite this massive increase there is now less poverty than there was 30 or 50 years ago; and there are also fewer wars, although many people may not believe this, and it sometimes does not necessarily seem to be the case.
Looking back it becomes slightly easier to put current problems and developments into perspective. For as long as there have been humans – let’s say for the last 70,000 years – we have been able to overcome climate change (Ice Ages), wars (people in medieval times lived in a permanent state of war, with just the occasional period of peace), and diseases (Black Death wiped out a third of the population).
So why would WE not be able to tackle the problems of OUR times?
Issues such as the GFC and climate change make everybody think about the broader picture and most people agree that these crises require changes to the way we live. The support for a greening of our society, the enormous growth in solar panels, the understanding that smart meters can assist in saving energy and the rapid adaptation of new technology tools in and around the internet (smartphones, tablets, broadband) all show that people are adaptive and flexible enough to face challenges and address them in a positive way.
This will mean a slowdown in some economic sectors, different growth scenarios in other areas, and perhaps even a reversal in others – nothing is linear.
Throughout the ages tools have been a hallmark of human development. They have made it possible for us to move forward – stone axes, pottery, bronze objects, iron weapons, ploughs, wheels, the advent of literacy, books, printing, bookkeeping, scientific developments, electricity, telephony, medicine, the internet and so on.
But with all of these developments it is essential that we use the tools wisely, and this is occasionally a problem that creates an economic or societal set back. But then, amazingly, we learn to improve the way we use our tools and progress continues.
Our ICT industries is crucial in tool development and while this industry cannot, on its own, solve any of the problems ahead of us but there are very few areas where structural problems can’t be solved with the use of ICT tools. It is therefore fascinating to be part of an industry that plays such a pivotal role in the future of society. At the same time it is also the responsibility of the ICT industry to make sure that we develop these tools for the benefit of all – ‘all’ as in our own individual societies but also ‘all’ as in global societies.
All of us at BuddeComm wish you an exciting new year with lots of new tools on the horizon and an increasing understanding from the broader community that these can be shared across societies and economies.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year