Institute for Business in the Global Context

Where the World of Business Meets the World

Category: Digital Planet

The “Smart Society” of the Future Doesn’t Look Like Science Fiction

by Bhaskar Chakravorti and Ravi Shankar Chaturvedi

What is a “smart” society? While flights of imagination from science-fiction writers, filmmakers, and techno-futurists involve things like flying cars and teleportation, in practice smart technology is making inroads in a piecemeal fashion, often in rather banal circumstances. In Chicago, for example, predictive analytics is improving health inspections schedules in restaurants, while in Boston city officials are collaborating with Waze, the traffic navigation app company, combining its data with inputs from street cameras and sensors to improve road conditions across the city. A city-state such as Singapore has a more holistic idea of a “smart nation,” where the vision includes initiatives from self-driving vehicles to cashless and contactless payments, robotics and assistive technologies, data-empowered urban environments, and technology-enabled homes.

More broadly, we might define a smart society as one where digital technology, thoughtfully deployed by governments, can improve on three broad outcomes: the well-being of citizens, the strength of the economy, and the effectiveness of institutions.

The potential for technologies to enable smart societies is rising. For example, internet-of-things sensor applications are envisioned to deliver a wide range of services, from smart water to industrial controls to e-health. The market for smart technologies is predicted to be worth up to $1.6 trillion by 2020, and $3.5 trillion by 2026. Surely, given the size of the opportunity, increasing interest among governments and policy makers, and the explosion of relevant technologies, we can start to understand what smart societies are  and establish standards and ideals to aim for.

Read the full piece in the Harvard Business Review

“Our Digital Planet: Technology’s Global Impact on Lives and Livelihoods”

Dean Bhaskar Chakravorti spoke on the Digital Planet as part of Tufts University’s “Tufts Talks NYC” in December 2016.

View the video on YouTube

Where is the digital economy is moving fastest? Which countries are poised for rapid changes? Where is digital progress slow or stalled?

Dean Bhaskar Chakravorti helped provide the answers to these questions and many more as part of his webinar with the Harvard Business Review. The one-hour session, moderated by HBR editor Angelia Herrin, built on our cutting edge research into the digital economy with the Digital Evolution Index, previously featured in HBR with further coverage on Europe’s digital recession and the need for benchmarking in digital growth.

The executive summary of the webinar can also be found online.

If the above video does not  work, you can view it on the HBR wesite.

Dean Bhaskar Chakravorti to Host HBR Webinar – “Where the Digital Economy is Moving Moving Fastest”

We are on our way to becoming a truly digital planet. But every country is at a different place in the journey of becoming a digital economy, progressing at a different pace.

So just where is the digital economy moving fastest? Join Dean Bhaskar Chakravorti for a live and interactive FREE webinar through the Harvard Business Review, tomorrow at 12PM EST, to examine this question and the Digital Evolution Index (DEI), assembled by the Planet eBiz team here in the Institute for Buiness in the Global Context at The Fletcher School.


March 9, 2016
12PM EST
hbr.org/webinars

Dean Chakravorti will share insights on where the digital economy is moving fastest, which countries are poised for rapid changes, and where the digital process is slow or stalled, all as part of this live webinar.


More on the DEI:

To better understand the status of 50 economically important countries in becoming a digital economy, the Fletcher School at Tufts University has created a Digital Evolution Index (DEI). This index shows how countries compare in readiness for becoming a digital economy.

In analyzing these 50 countries, they have been sorted into four trajectory zones:

  • Stand Out – High levels of digital development and an upward trajectory.
  • Stall Out – high levels of digital development but losing momentum.
  • Break Out – low levels of digital development but with the potential to develop strong digital economies.
  • Watch Out – countries with low level of digital development, and with significant opportunities and challenges. Some seem stuck while others may overcome challenges and break out.

Learn more and read the report

A new video from Harvard Business Review takes an in-depth look at some findings of the Digital Evolution Index (DEI) from our Planet eBiz team. Check it out below!

DEI - HBR Video

Watch Planet eBiz’s research animated by the Harvard Business Review

(clicking on image will take you to hbr.org and leave this site)

For more, read the February 2015 HBR piece on the DEI from Bhaskar Chakravorti, Rusty Tunnard and Ravi Chankar Chaturvedi

Research Fellow for Innovation and Change with our very own Planet eBiz, Ravi Shankar Chaturvedi (MIB ’12), joins Fletcher School Dean James Stavridis to discuss his experience as a co-author of the Digital Planet Report and associated Digital Evolution Index (DEI). This study, co-authored together with Senior Associate Dean of International Business and Finance Bhaskar Chakravorti and Professor of Practice of International Business Christopher Tunnard, takes a comprehensive look at digital growth around the world and ranks 50 countries in terms of their “readiness” for the digital economy.