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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    Mar 3 2013: I believe that technology has helped getting closer to finding the solution for these problems, but it is not concentrated and planned enough to actually solve anything.

    Maybe because we have these embedded thoughts that big problems need big minds and big abilities and it is impossible to be achieved by regular people. So we are reducing the chance for answers to be found out. I really don't know.

    I think we need to empower people to be their own solutions. Education can be one of the ways.

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