What ICT does for sustainable development

Jeffrey Sachs counts “eight distinct contributions of ICT to sustainable development.” From Chapter 13 of his 2008 book, Common Wealth:

  1. Connectivity: “Regions once separated from the flow of information are now instantly connected.”
  2. Division of labor: “Connectivity to information means the ability to participate in finely divided production chains.”
  3. Scale: “Messages go out over vast networks.”
  4. Replication: “Standardized processes can reach distant outlets instantaneously.”
  5. Accountability: “A technical platform for auditing, monitoring & evaluation.”
  6. Matching: “Bringing together remote buyers and sellers.”
  7. Bringing together communities of interest: “Group activities, social activism, coalition building and peer monitoring unimaginable just a few years ago.”
  8. Education & training: “Distance learning is now ubiquitous in countless informal ways, and will become the standard for much formal education and training as well.”

And he hasn’t even specifically referenced the smart grid stuff here yet.

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