Gordon Brown’s big speech at Google’s Zeitgeist conference this morning saw the unveiling of a new initiative involving the MetOffice, British Antarctic Survey and Google Earth to visualise the (potential) effects of climate change worldwide. It’s quite nice, but ultimately you’ll load it up and go ‘hmmph’.
More interesting perhaps was his citing of the lessons learned from the growth of Google’s industry for ‘how we build not simply a successful global economy but a global society’ – openness, non-protectionism, flexibility, inclusion.
He paints an optimistic vision of the future, based on a campaign in favour of globalisation. We get a few familiar tales of empowerment through technology, including yet another reference to crime mapping. And references to overturning protectionist monopolies will have gone down well with the Googlers in the audience, no doubt. 🙂
It’s interesting to compare Brown’s words with David Cameron’s remarks to the very same conference, two years ago. Both reflect on the positive side to globalisation, but whilst Cameron’s focus is more domestic, Brown is talking (again) about the global economics of it all. ‘Zeitgeist’ is certainly the word.