The public sector has long operated in isolation, developing methods and solutions of its own. In recent decades, however, interactions with the private sector have increased, whether through the growing role of consulting firms or in the form of public-private partnerships. Today, this collaboration is taking on a whole new dimension by integrating other stakeholders, including the users of public services. The emergence of open innovation models is redefining the methods and spirit of public action. Government is reinventing itself as an innovation platform.
Rapid technological upgrades and commercial innovation, coupled with a slow legislative and regulatory process, have given rise to successive social issues and disputes: Should platforms like Uber be legalized or not? Should Apple’s encryption technology be restricted? Should search results be affected by keyword bidding? Such issues not only pose great challenges to state governance, but also arouse intense social debates and controversies.
The recent Directive on the protection of trade secrets sparked widespread criticism. Much has been said on this text, accused of having been written under the influence of multinational companies and of allowing prosecutions against journalists and whistleblowers. A careful reading of the text, however, can dispel most of the expressed concerns. The purpose of the Directive is not to organize the disguise of wrongdoing or unethical behavior. It is, however, aimed at protecting any information that would constitute a competitive advantage, without inducing intellectual property rights.
Mathematics and technology are increasingly used in decision-making. The current trend is even to replace human decisions by machine decisions. But in some experiences, technological innovation helps to reinvigorate the most human of all decision process: democracy. This is the purpose of the Democracy 2.1 experiment, launched by the Czech mathematician Karel Janeček: a radical innovation of the voting system, based on mathematical intuitions derived from game theory.
The Net neutrality has nothing to do with universal values. Its aim is to balance interests between Internet service providers and Internet content providers. This was the biggest stake in the U.S. Federal Communications Commission decision, in February. What did it say exactly? Can such a decision really provide the ICPs and public with a free and equal Internet accessibility without any costs?
The question addresses Europe, as well as emerging countries: how can we ever hope to have an influence on Internet governance if there is no strong, industrial power operating in the digital field?
The precautionary principle is frequently cited in major international statements. However, implementing it still stirs up a lot of debate: is it feasible, is it advisable? Today with hindsight, controversy and experience have enabled us to better frame a somewhat abstract idea that is still seeking its path forward. Two countries only, France and Ecuador have appended the principle to their respective Constitutions and in the former we see some emblematic examples of difficulties to be overcome in enforcing the Principle.
Institutions, and not only technology, are a driver for change. In India, a recent experience shows promising and somehow unexpected outcomes. The goal? Ensuring greater transparency and competition in the award of government contracts. The result? Greater transparency, indeed; but also a new, efficient tool for conflict resolution.
There are systematic reasons why elected officials make certain kinds of mistakes over and over. One thing political scientists have discovered by examining the political species is that it shares common characteristics picked up by adapting to its natural environment. One of the strongest motivating forces in this environment is the pressure for reelection. It is precisely this drive for reelection that introduces predictable biases into political decision-making and helps explain governments' paralysis in the face of some very serious problems.
The combined challenges of energy and environmental security pose important national security questions and risks that, with few exceptions, remain poorly formulated and understood today. This article, adapted from a keynote address given by Carol Dumaine at the 8th International Security Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, shines light on these issues and calls for a common security framework to strengthen our ability to cope with global change.
The last few decades have witnessed an extraordinary development in the sciences and techniques of risk control and crisis management. However, there is a gnawing doubt: what if our points of reference, our capabilities, are no longer good enough?
The more time goes by, the more staggering population statistics become: in 2050, people over the age of 65 will represent a quarter of the population in the most developed countries, against 16% today. The rise to power of the older generation disrupts companies, institutions, and policies. After publishing an interview of Francis Mer, former Minister of Economy and Finance of France, ParisTech Review continues its analysis of the upheavals caused by an aging population.
In all developed countries, the increase in life expectancy -almost three months a year at the current rate- coupled with the fall in the fertility rates has resulted in an inevitable demographic ageing. By the year 2050, a quarter of the French population, for example, will be over 65 years compared to 16 per cent today. The decline in the proportion of active population to inactive is a major economic challenge. Francis Mer, Minister for Economics and Finances of France from 2002 to 2004, analyses the consequences of an ageing population.