TED Conversations

Jason Pontin

Editor in Chief/Publisher, MIT's Technology Review


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"Why Can't We Solve Big Problems?"

I'll be giving a TED U Talk in Longbeach at the end of the month. I'll be asking "Why Can't We Solve Big Problems?" I think that blithe optimism about technology’s powers has evaporated as big problems that people had imagined technology would solve, such as hunger, poverty, malaria, climate change, cancer, and the diseases of old age, have come to seem intractably hard.

I'd love to know what the TED Community thinks our difficulties are - or, even if the idea is true at all.

Here's a URL to the story I wrote in MIT Technology Review on the subject: http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/429690/why-we-cant-solve-big-problems/


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  • Feb 17 2013: I thing tecnology is a good tool to help us find a solution to big problems. With technology is possible to collect information, meet people with the same ideas, understand how this problem is affecting other people, countries... But technology is a tool, not a solution. The big problems were and are created by humans, and only the humans can solve their. The solution depends the type of problem, but, it is importante to understand that if the humans are not engaged to find a solution and implement this solution, the problem, big or small, will not be solved.

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