I’ve been reflecting recently on the remarkable (and ongoing) pace of technological change we’re seeing around the world. Linksbridge is currently working with a client on an engagement strategy to deliver educational content, curriculum, and training into difficult-to-reach communities in the developing world. Historically, there have been three major barriers to effectively delivering this type of content and material: limited access to electricity, limited access to broadband Internet connectivity, and the high cost of devices (e.g. computers, mobile phones, tablets).
As solar power technology continues to improve (and become increasingly affordable), as broadband access continues to proliferate, and as mobile phones continue to decrease in price while increasing in capability, those historical barriers to providing educational content, curriculum, and access to broader markets continue to erode. This represents a dramatic change for communities and individuals around the world, many of whom will soon have – within their reach or within a day’s walk – access to all three of the above (a device, power, and the Internet), and in turn, skills that can have a very real personal, familial, economic, and societal impact.
Many of us take for granted the ease with which we can dash off a quick e-mail or a text message, look up a restaurant review online, or be assisted in countless subtle ways by the devices that surround us in our homes, our automobiles, our bicycles, or our pockets. When I pause to consider the remarkable impact of technological innovation around me I am reminded that we are, in so many ways, living in the future. And that future, I believe, has the power to improve others’ futures as well.