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Artificial Intelligence Authors: Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White

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Drummond Report calls for ‘Social Impact Cloud Computing’

For the workshop we’re organizing for the Drummond Report project, it’s going to be held at the Social Innovation Centre in Toronto.

This is very apt because one headline theme of this report is ‘Social Impact Bonds’, the biggest and most radical idea in the world of social innovation right now. They’re still very new so we’ll be providing a simple introductory learning exercise about them.

With the central thesis of our campaign being to link the business value of Cloud Computing to major government initiatives like the Drummond Report, then it’s essential that we can describe the relationship between new technology models like Cloud and these equally new policy models.

In one way that is the main link, ie. they’re both equally new and radical ideas, ideal companions in that respect alone.

This may seem a flippant connection but actually it’s quite substantial and relevant when you consider that the nature of the primary challenge Canada faces is one of aging systems, both in terms of policy as well as technology. In 2010 the Auditor General of Canada found major agencies at risk due to aging IT systems, and equally as this G&M article reports the current programs to help those in social need are also long out of date and entirely inadequate.

In short Canada is running old ideas on old software – These are the policy programs invented in the 70′s and still running on the mainframes bought at the time to implement them. This seems tied to and also compounded by the surrounding baby boomer crisis, where as the bulk of the population has aged and begins retiring so the rate of innovation progress has slowed with them.

By considering and adopting new policy programs like Social Impact Bonds and applying them to key areas like welfare support, better economic innovation at poverty levels etc. is therefore not only a new and expansive mindset to bring to politics but it also requires a new generation of IT to implement it too.

Hence hand in hand they’d offer ‘Social Impact Cloud Computing‘ – A breath of fresh air modernity that could be applied to political systems to better engage the youth most critically needed to revitalize these programs.


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