Monthly Archives January 2013

On the Inauguration and the Future

The Inauguration of a President has long offered America its best chance to match leadership rhetoric with a grasp of the glorious fact that as surely as Presidents direct the present they lay the foundations for the future. There are many worthy, indeed estimable, statements in the 2013 Obama inaugural, yet whatever our political or broader allegiances it reads as a statement addressed to today and not tomorrow; a vision for a world locked in stasis rather than one driven, for better or worse, by the forces of exponential change.

Here’s the speech, in case you missed it. It bears careful reading.

As we have suggested, here are five themes that would have graced the speech and framed America’s address of the future.

It would have been good to have these five addressed in the Inauguration s...

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On the Death of Aaron Swartz

As many in the C-PET network will have learned by now, a young man named Aaron Swartz hanged himself in his New York apartment on Friday. While not quite a household name, within the internet community he was widely known and admired – and had been since his early teens.

His family has already pointed the finger at a federal prosecutor who had spent two years pressing multiple felony counts over his activist effort to make scholarly articles public – what others have dismissed as a stunt and on which the principal wronged party (JSTOR) had requested that no action be taken. The other wronged party was MIT, and its discomfort is evident; so much so that on Sunday the President established an investigation into the university’s role in the matter...

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Re-framing Washington’s Agenda: Global Strategic Risk and Five Emerging Issues

As we tread lightly into 2013, it’s increasingly clear to many of us that Washington’s #1 need is to think longer-term. The need is systemic, bipartisan, and strategic in its implications. This is one reason we founded C-PET – the other being that tech issues are far more important than the policy community realizes. The two go together.

Above all else, it is imperative to re-frame the conversation by re-stating the questions that drive it.

One key to such a re-frame lies in directly engaging the discussion of risk. In the commentary that follows, I offer five examples of risk questions that will help re-frame Washington’s conversation. This think-piece is meant to stimulate fresh discussion. Whether you find it provocative, na├»ve, seminal, or none of the above, please let us know...

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