sponsored links
TEDGlobal 2012

Jamie Drummond: Let's crowdsource the world's goals

June 27, 2012

In 2000, the UN laid out 8 goals to make the world better by reducing poverty and disease -- with a deadline of 2015. As that deadline approaches, Jamie Drummond of ONE.org runs down the surprising successes of the 8 Millennium Development Goals, and suggests a crowdsourced reboot for the next 15 years.

Jamie Drummond - Anti-poverty activist
Jamie Drummond co-founded the advocacy organization ONE, whose central themes are ending extreme poverty and fighting the AIDS pandemic. Full bio

sponsored links
Double-click the English subtitles below to play the video.
So let me start by taking you back,
00:16
back into the mists of your memory
00:19
to perhaps the most anticipated year in your life,
00:21
but certainly the most anticipated year
00:25
in all human history:
00:28
the year 2000. Remember that?
00:30
Y2K, the dotcom bubble,
00:32
stressing about whose party you're going to go to
00:36
as the clock strikes midnight,
00:38
before the champagne goes flat,
00:41
and then there's that inchoate yearning
00:43
that was felt, I think, by many, that the millennium,
00:46
that the year 2000, should mean more,
00:49
more than just a two and some zeroes.
00:52
Well, amazingly, for once, our world leaders
00:55
actually lived up to that millennium moment
00:59
and back in 2000 agreed to some
01:01
pretty extraordinary stuff:
01:04
visionary, measurable, long-term targets
01:06
called the Millennium Development Goals.
01:09
Now, I'm sure you all keep a copy of the goals
01:12
under your pillow, or by the bedside table,
01:14
but just in case you don't,
01:17
and your memory needs some jogging,
01:19
the deal agreed then goes like this:
01:21
developing countries promised to at least halve
01:24
extreme poverty, hunger and deaths from disease,
01:26
alongside some other targets, by 2015,
01:30
and developed nations promised to help them
01:32
get that done by dropping debts,
01:35
increasing smart aid, and trade reform.
01:38
Well, we're approaching 2015,
01:40
so we'd better assess, how are we doing on these goals?
01:43
But we've also got to decide, do we like such global goals?
01:45
Some people don't. And if we like them, we've got to decide
01:49
what we want to do on these goals going forward.
01:52
What does the world want to do together?
01:56
We've got to decide a process by which we decide.
01:58
Well, I definitely think these goals are worth building on
02:00
and seeing through, and here's just a few reasons why.
02:03
Incredible partnerships between the private sector,
02:07
political leaders, philanthropists
02:10
and amazing grassroots activists
02:12
across the developing world,
02:14
but also 250,000 people marched in the streets
02:16
of Edinburgh outside this very building
02:21
for Make Poverty History.
02:23
All together, they achieved these results:
02:24
increased the number of people on anti-retrovirals,
02:27
life-saving anti-AIDS drugs;
02:30
nearly halved deaths from malaria;
02:32
vaccinated so many that 5.4 million lives will be saved.
02:35
And combined, this is going to result
02:40
in two million fewer children dying every year,
02:42
last year, than in the year 2000.
02:45
That's 5,000 fewer kids dying every day,
02:47
ten times you lot not dead every day,
02:50
because of all of these partnerships.
02:54
So I think this is amazing living proof of progress
02:56
that more people should know about,
02:59
but the challenge of communicating this kind of good news
03:01
is probably the subject of a different TEDTalk.
03:03
Anyway, for now, anyone involved in getting these results,
03:06
thank you. I think this proved these goals are worth it.
03:09
But there's still a lot of unfinished business.
03:12
Still, 7.6 million children die every year of preventable,
03:15
treatable diseases,
03:19
and 178 million kids are malnourished
03:21
to the point of stunting, a horrible term
03:24
which means physical and cognitive lifelong impairment.
03:25
So there's plainly a lot more to do on the goals we've got.
03:29
But then, a lot of people think there are things
03:32
that should have been in the original package
03:35
that weren't agreed back then that should now be included,
03:37
like sustainable development targets,
03:39
natural resource governance targets,
03:42
access to opportunity, to knowledge,
03:44
equity, fighting corruption.
03:46
All of this is measurable and could be in the new goals.
03:48
But the key thing here is,
03:51
what do you think should be in the new goals?
03:53
What do you want?
03:55
Are you annoyed that I didn't talk about gender equality
03:57
or education?
03:59
Should those be in the new package of goals?
04:01
And quite frankly, that's a good question,
04:03
but there's going to be some tough tradeoffs
04:05
and choices here, so you want to hope
04:07
that the process by which the world decides
04:09
these new goals is going to be legitimate, right?
04:11
Well, as we gather here in Edinburgh,
04:14
technocrats appointed by the U.N. and certain governments,
04:16
with the best intentions, are busying themselves
04:19
designing a new package of goals,
04:22
and currently they're doing that through pretty much the same old
04:24
late-20th-century, top-down, elite, closed process.
04:28
But, of course, since then, the Web and mobile telephony,
04:31
along with ubiquitous reality TV formats
04:35
have spread all around the world.
04:38
So what we'd like to propose is that we use them
04:40
to involve people from all around the world
04:43
in an historic first: the world's first truly global
04:46
poll and consultation, where everyone everywhere
04:50
has an equal voice for the very first time.
04:53
I mean, wouldn't it be a huge historic missed opportunity
04:56
not to do this, given that we can?
05:00
There's hundreds of billions of your aid dollars at stake,
05:03
tens of millions of lives, or deaths, at stake,
05:08
and, I'd argue, the security and future
05:12
of you and your family is also at stake.
05:14
So, if you're with me, I'd say there's three essential steps
05:16
in this crowdsourcing campaign:
05:20
collecting, connecting and committing.
05:22
So first of all, we've got to ground this campaign
05:25
in core polling data.
05:27
Let's go into every country that will let us in,
05:29
ask 1,001 people what they want
05:32
the new goals to be, making special efforts
05:34
to reach the poorest, those without access
05:36
to modern technology, and let's make sure that their views
05:38
are at the center of the goals going forward.
05:42
Then, we've got to commission a baseline survey
05:44
to make sure we can monitor and progress the goals
05:48
going forward. The original goals didn't really have
05:50
good baseline survey data,
05:52
and we're going to need the help of big data through all of this process to make sure
05:54
we can really monitor the progress.
05:58
And then we've got to connect with the big crowd.
06:00
Now here, we see the role for an unprecedented coalition
06:03
of social media giants and upstarts,
06:06
telecoms companies, reality TV show formats,
06:09
gaming companies, telecoms, all of them together
06:13
in kind of their "We Are The World" moment.
06:17
Could they come together and help
06:20
the Millennium Development Goals get rebranded
06:22
into the Millennial Generation's Goals?
06:25
And if just five percent of the five billion plus
06:28
who are currently connected made a comment,
06:31
and that comment turned into a commitment,
06:34
we could crowdsource a force of 300 million people
06:37
around the world to help see these goals through.
06:40
If we have this collected data, and this connected crowd,
06:43
based upon our experience of campaigning
06:47
and getting world leaders to commit,
06:48
I think world leaders will commit
06:50
to most of the crowdsourced recommendations.
06:52
But the question really is, through this process
06:54
will we all have become committed?
06:57
And if we are, are we ready to iterate, monitor
06:59
and provide feedback, make sure these promises
07:02
are really delivering results?
07:04
Well, there's some fantastic examples here to scale up,
07:06
mostly piloted within Africa, actually.
07:10
There's Open Data Kenya, which geocodes
07:12
and crowdsources information about where projects are,
07:15
are they delivering results.
07:17
Often, they're not in the right place.
07:19
And Ushahidi, which means "witness" in Swahili,
07:20
which geocodes and crowdsources information
07:24
in complex emergencies to help target responses.
07:26
This is some of the most exciting stuff
07:30
in development and democracy,
07:34
where citizens on the edge of a network
07:35
are helping to force open the process
07:37
to make sure that the big global aid promises
07:39
and vague stuff up at the top really delivers for people
07:42
at a grassroots level and inverts that pyramid.
07:46
This openness, this forcing openness, is key,
07:50
and if it wasn't entirely transparent already,
07:53
I should be open: I've got a completely transparent agenda.
07:56
Long-term trends suggest that this century
08:01
is going to be a tough place to live,
08:03
with population increases, consumption patterns increasing,
08:06
and conflict over scarce natural resources.
08:09
And look at the state of global politics today.
08:13
Look at the Rio Earth Summit that happened just last week,
08:16
or the Mexican G20, also last week.
08:20
Both, if we're honest, a bust.
08:22
Our world leaders, our global politics,
08:25
currently can't get it done.
08:27
They need our help. They need the cavalry,
08:30
and the cavalry's not going to come from Mars.
08:33
It's got to come from us, and I see this process
08:35
of deciding democratically in a bottom-up fashion
08:39
what the world wants to work on together
08:41
as one vital means by which we can crowdsource
08:44
the force to really build that constituency
08:47
that's going to reinvigorate global governance
08:51
in the 21st century.
08:53
I started in 2000. Let me finish in 2030.
08:55
Many people made fun of a big campaign a few years ago
09:00
we had called Make Poverty History.
09:04
It was a naive thought in many people's minds,
09:06
and it's true, it was just a t-shirt slogan
09:09
that worked for the moment. But look.
09:12
The empirical condition of living under a dollar and 25
09:15
is trending down, and look where it gets to by 2030.
09:19
It's getting near zero.
09:22
Now sure, progress in China and India
09:25
and poverty reduction there was key to that,
09:27
but recently also in Africa, poverty rates are being reduced.
09:29
It will get harder as we get towards zero,
09:32
as the poor will be increasingly located
09:35
in post-conflict, fragile states,
09:37
or maybe in middle income states
09:40
where they don't really care about the marginalized.
09:42
But I'm confident, with the right kind of political campaigning
09:44
and creative and technological innovation combined
09:48
working together more and more as one,
09:51
I think we can get this and other goals done.
09:54
Thank you. (Applause)
09:57
(Applause)
10:00
Chris Anderson: Jamie, here's the puzzle to me.
10:05
If there was an incident today where a hundred kids
10:07
died in some tragedy or where, say, a hundred kids
10:11
were kidnapped and then rescued by special forces,
10:15
I mean, it would be all over the news for a week, right?
10:18
You just put up, just as one of your numbers there,
10:21
that 5,000 -- is that the number?
10:24
Jamie Drummond: Fewer children every day.
10:27
CA: Five thousand fewer children dying every day.
10:29
I mean, it dwarfs, dwarfs everything
10:30
that is actually on our news agenda, and it's invisible.
10:34
This must drive you crazy.
10:37
JD: It does, and we're having a huge debate in this country
10:39
about aid levels, for example, and aid alone is not
10:42
the whole solution. Nobody thinks it is.
10:44
But, you know, if people saw the results of this smart aid,
10:46
I mean, they'd be going crazy for it.
10:51
I wish the 250,000 people who really did march
10:53
outside this very building knew these results.
10:57
Right now they don't, and it would be great to find a way
11:00
to better communicate it, because we have not.
11:03
Creatively, we've failed to communicate this success so far.
11:06
If those kinds of efforts just could multiply their voice
11:09
and amplify it at the key moments, I know for a fact
11:12
we'd get better policy.
11:15
The Mexican G20 need not have been a bust.
11:17
Rio, if anyone cares about the environment,
11:19
need not have been a bust, okay?
11:22
But these conferences are going on,
11:24
and I know people get skeptical and cynical
11:26
about the big global summits and the promises
11:27
and their never being kept, but actually,
11:29
the bits that are, are making a difference,
11:31
and what the politicians need
11:33
is more permission from the public.
11:35
CA: But you haven't fully worked out the Web mechanisms, etc.
11:37
by which this might happen.
11:39
I mean, if the people here who've had experience
11:41
using open platforms, you're interested to talk with them
11:43
this week and try to take this forward.
11:46
JD: Absolutely. CA: All right, well I must say,
11:48
if this conference led in some way
11:50
to advancing that idea, that's a huge idea,
11:52
and if you carry that forward, that is really awesome,
11:55
so thank you. JD: I'd love your help.
11:58
CA: Thank you, thank you.
11:59
(Applause)
12:01
Translator:Joseph Geni
Reviewer:Morton Bast

sponsored links

Jamie Drummond - Anti-poverty activist
Jamie Drummond co-founded the advocacy organization ONE, whose central themes are ending extreme poverty and fighting the AIDS pandemic.

Why you should listen

ONE (whose co-founders include rock star Bono) advocates for aid, trade, debt cancellation, investment and governance reform to help the citizens of emerging countries drive and determine their own destiny. Right now, the group's focus is the UN's Millennium Development Goals, eight benchmarks for health, justice and well-being announced in 2000 and targeted to be achieved in 2015. ONE is working to accelerate attention on the MDGs in the last four years of the challenge.

The original video is available on TED.com
sponsored links

If you need translations, you can install "Google Translate" extension into your Chrome Browser.
Furthermore, you can change playback rate by installing "Video Speed Controller" extension.

Data provided by TED.

This website is owned and operated by Tokyo English Network.
The developer's blog is here.