__Asking new questions and listening to voices yet unheard…
What is the biggest development challenge your own nation will face in the next 20 years, and what are you doing about it NOW? Let’s talk! As I mentioned in my last post, I was recently invited by Melinda Gates (co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) to serve as a co-chair of her new Pathways for Prosperity initiative, along with Indonesia’s dynamic Minister of Finance, Hon. Sri Mulyani Indrawati.
Last week’s Goalkeepers Conference in New York, organized by the Gates Foundation, shows how this new Initiative can bring new energy, voices and approaches to development. At the conference, Trevor Noah (the famous South African comedian), Stephen Fry (another famous British comedian) and Malala Yousafzai (a Nobel Peace Prize laureate) all gave their unique perspectives.
At the same event, Canada’s President Justin Trudeau and President Obama shared thoughts about some of the progress being made in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and especially what more we can and must do…
Now most of you know that I sit on several boards and have been thinking about key development questions for a long time:
# If economic growth in many nations isn’t creating opportunity for everyone, especially the poorest of the poor, what exactly can and must be done better? What role can business play?
# What and where are the best practices in the world?
# How will new technologies impact the framing of the above questions, and many more?
# Who are the world’s top development experts who really focus on such matters today?
Now it was this last question that inspired Melinda to initiate “Pathways for Prosperity,” with which I’m really honored to take part.
__First announced last week and still in its formative stages, we see this as becoming a thinking, innovating, inclusive space where new ideas and policy options are not just imagined, researched, and debated by a few top international experts in various traditional fields, but by many new voices, too.
As most of you know, I’m particularly interested in the impact of technology on the future of jobs in all sectors, from agriculture to manufacturing, especially on the African continent. Technology like artificial intelligence is already changing the workplace everywhere in the world. By this I mean, how we do our work, with what skills, and with which tools…
Young courageous women like Malala, comedians like Trevor Noah, global luminaries like Obama, and just as important, YOU, all have valuable contributions to make, going forward. Don’t be shy because you think you’re not a development expert. New voices from new places may be the exact ones we can learn from most.
So back to my earlier question: What is the biggest development challenge your country will face in the next 20 years? Think…
# Smart (technologies)
# Job and skills transformations (in agriculture, education, health, manufacturing, the list goes on).
# Best practices.
# Innovation, and more innovation.
## New pathways for new prosperity…
What new questions should we be asking? Please don’t write me long essays. One brief paragraph will be sufficient today. Your new voices are part of the new solutions!