Social networks foster sustainable development

My attention on internet development finds new perspective related to sustainable development. I thought there’s a complex relation between internet and sustainable development.  People who develop internet are engineers and people who engage with sustainable development issues mostly decision makers, NGO activism and social scientists.  I guess there are limited collaboration researches  joining  both internet and sustainable development.

Then I have chance to explore Jeffery D Sachs newest book of Common Wealth: Economics for a crowded planet (2008). Sachs, according to Edward o Wilson in its foreword, has written a state of the world report of immediate and enormous practical value.

Sachs describes latest world’s situation in various numbers and charts. He says information and communication technology boosts human capacity for effective global cooperation and provision of public goods.  Then, he counts eight significant contribution of information and communication technology (ICT) to sustainable development:

  • Connectivity
  • Division of labor
  • Scale
  • Replication
  • Accountability
  • Matching
  • Building communities of interest
  • Education and training

Through internet people who have same interest could join and do collaboration activities. Social networking allows us to collect ideas, sharing experiences from different countries and build strong networking.  More people engage in their interest and build coalition with thousands though out  the world.  The good news is  this network building can be done days or even hours.  Imagine years ago, this work could takes weeks and months.

I notice social network roles on public awareness of various issues such poverty alleviation, climate change mitigation and others.  Several NGO’s officially create account in most popular social network sites as their effort of spreading information and linking with their target audience.   I put WWF and Greanpeace as sample of NGO have fit into social network.

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