Sunday, 2 November 2014

The unconnected are shrinking...

I spent my Sunday morning poring over these slides from Benedict Evans from a presentation called 'Mobile is eating the world'. It's good, go have a look.

My favourite slide is slide number 6... The unconnected are shrinking.

Pretty soon close to 75% of the global population will have a smartphone. Which as it says in the slides is a supercomputer in your pocket. A portable connection to the internet should be a force for good. (Tinder & Candy Crush aside).

The world is shrinking or has shrunk. The internet, globalisation, air-travel and economic migration amongst other things mean that we are no longer defined by our national borders.

More people with smartphones means more people can connect across these borders.

Which means 'local' causes and protests can become international causes and protests in seconds. is a classic example of this. In seconds I can support a petition set up on the other side of the world and show my solidarity with people fighting back against corporations and governments who are doing bad things. In a previous world, I'd have to wait for some element of the media to tell me about it. And if they didn't know about it or more likely care about it - it would be unlikely that the many people could ever find out.

In the past few months I've....

Watched a stadium full of people turn their phones around to show they've made a donation to an international charity.

Watched as the protestors in Hong Kong make their smartphones part of the protest.

Watched (on my smartphone) live footage of the police reaction in Ferguson, Missouri to public protest. And then watched as the people of Gaza sent advice on how to deal with tear gas via their smartphones...

There are of course more examples of how mobile and social media have been the catalyst for change and protest, last year in Turkey, the Arab Spring and the whole Occupy movement.

It's all very exciting stuff for someone like me who gets inspired by acts solidarity. 

And inspiring for the day job which in part is to help the charities and campaigning organisations I work with make the most of the opportunity mobile phones offer.

We should connect people and causes all over the world. 

We should live stream the impact of donations to the people who make them. 

We should enable conversation between the people giving and those who are receiving support. 

We should make that conversation drive real change in behaviours everywhere.

The technology is here, its use is growing, so we just need to get on with it.

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