Norman Macrae -The Economist pro-youth economist -bravo sir fazle abed & jack ma
|.The Economist 1984..
By 2005 the gap in income and expectations between the rich and poor nations was recognised to be man's most dangerous problem. Internet linked television channels in sixty-eight countries invited their viewers to participate in a computerised conference about it, in the form of a series of weekly programmes. Recommendations tapped in by viewers were tried out on a computer model of the world economy. If recommendations were shown by the model to be likely to make the world economic situation worse, they were to be discarded. If recommendations were reported by the model to make the economic situation in poor countries better, they were retained for 'ongoing computer analysis' in the next programme.
In 2024 it is easy to see this as a forerunner of the TC conferences which play so large a part in our lives today, both as pastime and principal innovative device in business. But the truth of this 2005 breakthrough tends to irk the highbrow. It succeeded because it was initially a rather downmarket network television programme. About 400 million people watched the first programme, and 3 million individuals or groups tapped in suggestions. Around 99 per cent of these were rejected by the computer as likely to increase the unhappiness of mankind. It became known that the rejects included suggestions submitted by the World Council of Churches and by many other pressure groups. This still left 31,000 suggestions that were accepted by the computer as worthy of ongoing analysis. As these were honed, and details were added to the most interesting, an exciting consensus began to emerge. Later programmes were watched by nearly a billion people as it became recognised that something important was being born.
These audiences were swollen by successful telegimmicks. The presenter of the first part of the first programme was a roly-poly professor who was that year's Nobel laureate in economics, and who proved a natural television personality. He explained that economists now agreed that aid programmes could sometimes help poor countries, but sometimes most definitely made their circumstances worse
.The Guardian 2013
..This week we published Social Enterprise UK's letter to the BBC which called for the Beeb to recognise social enterprise in it's programme scheduling, namely through The Apprentice.