Managing technological revolutions poses challenges. Certain innovations and discoveries will raise fraught bio-ethical issues, as genetic modification of food crops and cloning of human embryos has already done.
The most remarkable breakthroughs will come from the interaction of insights and applications arising when these technologies converge.
The combination of computers and the Internet, and mobile devices and the “cloud”, has transformed human experience, empowering individuals through access to knowledge and markets, changing the relationship between citizens and those in authority, as well as allowing new communities to emerge in virtual worlds that span the globe.
According to the United Nations International Telecommunications Union (UN-ITU), by the end of 2010 there were an estimated 5.3 billion mobile cellular subscriptions worldwide, including 940 million subscriptions to 3g services.
However, the continued and equitable expansion of Information Communication Technology (ICT) depends on electricity.
The real divide over the next 20 years will be between those who have access to reliable electricity to power these devices and those who do not.