Young people today are connected, global and desire justice and authenticity

At least those are the findings of McCann Worldgroup’s global survey of 16-30 year-olds: The Truth About Youth.

‘What emerged from the findings was a view of the first truly global generation, fueled and empowered by technology and motivated by the same three fundamental needs: Commune (the need for connection, relationships, and community), Justice (the need for social or personal justice, to do what’s right, to be an activist), and Authenticity (the need to see things as they are). These motivations drive behaviors that transcend borders.’

McCann identified four areas from the research that were key for them to understanding this age group:
Continue reading → Young people today are connected, global and desire justice and authenticity

UK government must improve its use of technology

So concludes the RSA’s Technology in a Cold Climate Report, stating that, “Central government must dramatically improve its use of technology if it is to cut the public sector deficit”.

Given the forthcoming general election and the re-examination of budgets that will happen as a matter of course – who ever wins – the report suggests ways that technology might help the continuing delivery of services across the UK with less money in the pot.

Examples of how government can do this are given as:

* delivering more public services online to reduce costs and environmental impact
* learning from low-cost websites built by both third sector organisations and private companies
* using well-designed platforms to harness the knowledge and experience of large populations to democratically improve service provision.

The report is critical of procurement processes and also of the implementation of technology and innovative ideas:

“The UK considers itself an advanced-knowledge economy, but although it has some excellent innovation policies and mechanisms, it does not seem to have implemented these well, leading to lower levels of R&D investment and a poor record of exploiting knowledge to full advantage.
We suggest that the UK’s position is critically assessed, and that innovation policies are more proactively evaluated throughout their lifetime.”

In addition, the report calls on ministers to ensure that “everyone across the UK will benefit from the next generation of high-speed broadband as a platform for future growth and innovation”.

For anyone interested in economics, public policy, technology and innovation this is worth reading.

Click here to read the report in full.

Data centres emit 0.3% of world’s carbon dioxide emissions…

… which is about half the amount the airline industry currently emits per year, according to a recent report by McKinsey, entitled Revolutionizing Data Centre Efficiency.
They isolate the primary drivers of poor inefficiency as:

  • Poor demand and capacity planning within and across functions (business, IT, facilities)
  • Significant failings in asset management (6% average server utilization, 56% facility utilization)
  • Boards, CEOs, and CFOs are not holding CIOs accountable for critical data center facilities CapEx and data center operational efficiency

Their recomendations to improve the efficiency of data centres include transferring financial accountability of data center assets from Corporate Real Estate to the CIO and the appointment of an Energy Czar (presumably in the US).

In true McKinsey style there is a Power Point presentation (8mb) and an mp3 (22mb) that can be downloaded for those who would like further details.

UPDATE, 22/06/2009: For anyone interested in understanding the architecture and carbon footprint of data centres, this New York Times article is well worth reading.