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Dan Herman

The dishwasher and the Internet

SITRA, the Finnish Innovation agency, is a Helsinki-based partner organization of ours that thinks about how new innovations, investment choices and models of governance can help promote the welfare of Finnish society and Finnish competitiveness.

They recently hosted nGenera Chairman Don Tapscott and Cambridge economist Ha-Joon Chang (both of whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with) for a conversation about the Future of the Public Sector. You can view all the videos from this event, and many others, here. Unfortunately I haven’t figured out how to embed these particular presentations so you’ll actually have to go to Sitra’s site to view.

Nonetheless, here’s the lowdown: Don argues that the Net Generation and the Web 2.0 are ushering in a series of fundamental changes to the way governments operate; how they provide services and create policy; how they structure the workplace; and how they increasingly look to citizens to play a role in all of those areas.

Dr. Chang on the other hand takes a more cautious approach noting that the most visible and seemingly revolutionary ideas aren’t always the real change agents. He introduces an interesting question of whether the Internet was in fact the most revolutionary technology of the 20th century, or whether it was in fact the dishwasher for its role in changing tradiotional gender-specific roles and facilitating female entry into the workforce.

Chicken vs. egg vs. omelette. You choose.

Tags: Guidelines for Educators


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