The Harvard Business Review and a European conference site about the Drucker Forum are posting blogs by speakers to the Vienna conference taking place later this week, and I’m reviewing them. Back in May, Dambisa Moyo asked “Will Technology Support Global Growth?“. More specifically, Moyo asked if it would boost economic growth in developing countries, and points out two competing paradigms.
First, that transformation will transform livelihoods through info transfer, connectivity and communication leading to improvements in tech-enabled-health, education access, and expansion of use of mobile phones in gathering real-time market information.
Second, that transformation will also transform livelihoods through disruptive automation/robotics/AI leading to erosion of low-skilled jobs, reduced opportunities for young workers, and increased gaps in wages and between countries.
While those paradigms are well-argued, the conclusion is less clear i.e. that the private sector will already create new industries and opportunities on its own, so it is really public policy and government that need to pick up the pace to deal with the negative aspects of disruption.
I don’t have any real problems with the opening paradigms, but the jump from “private sector will do its part” for growth, and therefore government has to do its part to deal with the downside is extremely one-sided. Presumably private, public and not-for-profit sectors have a role to play on all the fronts. Great opening to the article, it just didn’t go anywhere interesting.