Wim Elfrink gives a broad overview of the world that could come to pass as technology grows. The primary shift that will occur is an increase in globally provided services, ranging from marketed goods to health and education. In third world countries especially, a stronger network would allow for education online, creations of new industries, and access to health information. He addresses the likelihood, even now, of people in developing countries having access to cell phones and the Internet before having access to clean water—but, with a global network, both water and the Internet could be accessed.
Elfrink's theories about this future world do not focus exclusively on social good and developing countries. With a city or national infrastructure based on one network instead of seven, the use of energy and other resources can be more closely regulated, preventing gross inefficiency and disorganization. As the population increases and more people live in urban rather than rural areas, creating efficient, streamlined infrastructures will become an urgent necessity.
Presenting four central 'megatrends' that are transforming the world, Wim Elfrink discusses the challenges and possibilities of a growing and aging labor force, urbanization, and the economic potential of developing countries. With a focus on stronger national and international networks, Elfrink suggests, the possibilities become far more numerous than the challenges. In this talk, Elfrink presents his perspective on what will be relevant and how technology will fit in.
Wim Elfrink joined Cisco in 1997 as Vice President of Customer Advocacy in Europe. In November 2000 he was promoted to Senior Vice President, Customer Advocacy and took over global responsibility for the function, relocating to San Jose, California. Mr. Elfrink was appointed Chief Globalisation Officer in December 2006 and moved to Bangalore, India to establish Cisco’s "Globalisation Centre East." In August 2007 he was named Executive Vice President.
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