Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Telecom's Green Innovation

[Closing remarks at the Telecommunications conference held on October 11, 2011 at Ericsson offices in Tokyo, Japan]

Dear friends,

My mandate as Costa Rican ambassador is to establish links between my country and Japan to develop strong ties for green economic growth. I understand that green growth is where technology meets biodiversity and where business meets ethics.

It is evident in the world we live today that telecommunications play a fundamental role in the way societies coexist.

In this information age, it is still true that information is knowledge and knowledge is power. The difference is that, today, the information can be created by an unemployed person blogging from her house.

Some of you might not like Lady Gaga’s music, but she has almost 14 million twitter followers. Her power and influence are undisputed.

The Arab Spring was an historic social movement in which a critical mass of participants was contacted through social media platforms on mobile telecom devices.

The world has changed in part because we have faster access to more information. This empowers people.

Last year, as a public policy student at Carnegie Mellon, it became clear to me how the field of public policy is closely linked to technology and business. Developers are becoming more engaged in politics, managers require technology to remain effective, and politicians cannot survive anymore without keeping at least one eye open in social media.

Where this global movement is going, nobody knows. I do know it travels through telecommunications. Telecom determines the speed and volume of information being shared, and telecom innovation will determine what new dimensions of our social interaction will become a reality in the years to come.

Moreover, when technology becomes the mainstream, energy becomes the constraint. How we will generate the energy to operate billions of smart phones and tablets ten years from now is a critical question that relates to technology, but also to public policy and business.

It is well known today that some technology companies have become pioneers in the field of energy efficiency. Perhaps the new great revolution is how to make telecommunications self-sustainable in energy consumption.

Who the leaders of the future will be depends on each one of us, on the way we use our time and energy and the connections we generate online and offline. The next Steve Jobs might be sitting in this room right now. Or she could be in a university classroom developing greater skills in management, public policy or technology.

Thank you,

Alvaro Cedeno Molinari
Ambassador of Costa Rica
Tokyo, Japan
October 11, 2011

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