Monday, January 28, 2008

Davos as a moment of reflection

The World Economic Forum was held in Davos, Switerland, from 23 to 27 January. It was a meeting of political and business heavyweights as well as influential figures such as Al Gore and Bono. This year's WEF took on a new dimension as Google, through YouTube, posed "The Davos Question" to web users worldwide. Google even set up a "YouTube Room" fitted with five computers (with digital cameras) for attendees to respond to the Davos Question.

For many bloggers, the YouTube room was a "silicon valley moment" in the making. Perhaps, the defining bit was not the two cents worth of the attendees, but the culture of participation that has pervaded the web and social computing. The room was also an arena which saw bloggers utilise web services such as flickr, twitter and qik alike, to democratize information.

It would have been hard to imagine all these happening a year ago.

If viewed a decade from now, Davos will be an insignificant speck of dust on the pages of history. However, Davos is just a case in point. The confluence of technology can only offer so much, but the adoption of technology, especially in third-world counties, is going to make the world an even better place in 2008.

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