|Mobile World Congress 2014|
While in Barcelona I stayed at a hotel on Gutenberg street. Gutenberg street was named for Johannes Gutenberg who introduced printing to Europe. His invention of mechanical movable type printing started the printing revolution which is widely regarded as the most important event of the modern period. It played a key role in the development of the renaissance, reformation (Gutenberg Bibles), the Age of Enlightenment, and the scientific revolution and laid the material basis for the modern knowledge-based economy and the spread of learning to the masses (source Wikipedia).
There are a lot of similarities between mobile and Internet technologies and the Gutenberg Presses. They all enable information to cross borders, economic classes, religions, political divides and races. Today it is possible for the accumulated knowledge of the world to be accessible to all that have an Internet connection and a device able to connect.
The mobile technologies I witnessed at MWC14 are a transformational gift to humanity. No longer can despots rule through secrecy and the assumed disorder and ignorance of the masses. Mobile devices connected to social networking platforms have not only freed and democratized information and education, but also news, activities and events. Mobility is the death to censorship, secrecy and tyranny. It cannot improve the world without a good plan and organization to back it up, but it can certainly make the information necessary easier to access.
Mobile technologies and social networking platforms enable spontaneous swarming effects which can quickly bring order out of disorder, and at the same time disorder out of order. Events can change overnight with real-time information. It has forced governments and despots to recognize the practice of governing has changed forever and that information transparency reigns.
The power of information, real-time information, should not be underestimated. The ability to organize quickly for good has never been easier. The ability to directly engage with friends, family members and customers anywhere in the world has never been easier. Unleashed information changes the game forever.
We in the mobile industry are accustomed to focusing on the economic benefits of mobile technology - the ROIs - but I would encourage everyone to slow down once in a while and focus also on the societal benefits and the truly inspirational contributions mobile technology is bringing to humanity.
Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation Cognizant
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.