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The fight for digital sovereignty: industrial factors

Society June 30th, 2014, Nicolas Colin & Henri Verdier / Co-founder & Partner, TheFamily & Director, Etalab

The question addresses Europe, as well as emerging countries: how can we ever hope to have an influence on Internet governance if there is no strong, industrial power operating in the digital field?

Is there any business model for MOOCs?

Society May 28th, 2014, Pierre Dubuc / Cofounder, OpenClassrooms

The sudden and widespread advent of Massive Online Open Courses took universities by surprise and could potentially bring in-depth changes in the Higher Education scene. Still, major questions remain unsolved, such as: what business models are adapted to the new educational actors? Have the major American platforms already won the day, or is there still room for outsiders?

The cybersecurity challenge

Business April 25th, 2014, Hervé Guillou / Chairman, Trust and Security Industries Council (France)

Cyber-threats are now becoming systemic in the world economy. Concern of all actors involved is rising, to the extent that it may lead to a global counter move against digitisation that would consequently have a huge negative economic impact. Notwithstanding progress in cloud computing and big data with, according to McKinsey, a generated annual income of between 9,600 and 21,600 billion dollars in the global economy. If the sophistication of cyber-attacks were to submerge the defensive capacity of States and organizations, we could fear more stringent regulations and policies that would in fact slow down innovation and growth.

For the world's economy to get full value from technological innovation, it must have a robust, coordinated approach to cybersecurity. A new report from the World Economic Forum and McKinsey looks at how that could happen.

Businesses are increasingly the victims of cyber attacks. These crimes are not only costly for the companies, but can also put their very existence at risk and may provoke significant externalities for third parties. The pace of innovation is escalating rapidly among threat sources, helped by an acceleration in the global proliferation of cyber expertise. Sharing information is a solution. What about insurance?

Quantified Self: a craze for measurement

Society October 31st, 2013, Emmanuel Gadenne / Consultant in digital practices for Sopra Consulting

With the latest generation of connected objects, the collection of data related to our daily life has taken a new dimension. Covering surprisingly varied practices and objectives, from wellbeing to productivity and health, the notion of quantified self refers to the principles and tools developed to monitor, analyze and share these data. Another social thing? Call it a market.

With massive open online courses, university is the latest facility to be overwhelmed by a digital tsunami. Online learning is not new. But MOOCs take it to a unprecedented extent, and it's for free. Is there a trick? Strategies, prospects, impact, one should have a look at the entire landscape to get an idea of what is going on.

Intention Economy: from the fringes to mainstream?

Business May 22nd, 2013, Doc Searls / Alumnus fellow with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University

Vendor relationship management is on the rise. Though for the last ten years a powerful trend has driven marketers to trap consumers and collect their personal data in order to anticipate their wishes to the point the very idea of choice was questioned, disruptive ways of managing this relationship are emerging. Will consumers recover their freedom?

As the recent successful campaign to fund a movie based on the television show Veronica Mars proves, crowdfunding is now recognized as a reliable funding avenue for both start-ups and established firms. But the growth of the sector also creates more regulatory challenges and raises questions about the risks that funders take when they put their money behind a project.

Big Data marked a break in the evolution of information systems from three points of view: the explosion of available data, the increasing variety of these data and their constant renewal. Processing these data demands more than just computing power. It requires a complete break from Cartesian logic. It calls for the non-scientific part of human thought: inductive reasoning.

They are between 15 and 34 years old. Nicknamed the “digital natives”, they are the first generation of individuals who have always lived with the new technologies. They eat, read, inform themselves differently, and their cultural practices are shaking up the media landscape. Between traditional media and emerging players, two models are competing. Will the latecomers displace older lions? What options do traditional media have to counter their decline?

Entrepreneurs, investors and gurus are on the lookout for the next Facebook, the next killer app that will draw in one billion users before anybody has even started to grasp its potential. It's difficult to foretell the name of the player who will hit the jackpot, but the playing field is almost certainly determined: the technologies of happiness and wellbeing.

Cloud computing is a much hyped but often misunderstood technology that is gaining traction in different industries around the world. Businesses are integrating the cloud into countless systems, from HR to finance. Full adoption and acceptance of cloud computing, however, are still far away. A recent global survey by Knowledge@Wharton and SAP's Performance Benchmarking team reveals that while the hype and excitement surrounding cloud computing is reaching a fever pitch, many businesses are still expressing concerns over cloud security and IT integration issues. While many people agree that the cloud is revolutionizing business, they still do not fully understand how it works. How will these tensions be resolved? How will the cloud transform businesses in the future? What kinds of benefits will it bring, and is it worthy of the current hype? Knowledge@Wharton discussed those questions and the survey results with David Spencer, vice president at SAP, and Don Huesman, managing director at the Wharton Innovation Group.

Think big: challenges and debates over the Big Data

Society November 16th, 2012, Henri Verdier / Managing Director, Etalab

Big Data are all over the news. Some fear a new Big Brother, others celebrate new, astonishing possibilities in fields like marketing, epidemiology, city management, and Chris Anderson prophesies a science without theory. Obviously we are on the verge of a revolution. But, by the way, what are we talking about?

The Allure of Big Data

Society November 16th, 2012, Jannis Kallinikos / Professor of Information Systems, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

A vivid public interest has recently arisen over the issue of Big Data and its social and economic implications. Statesmen and politicians, economists, businessmen, activists, scientists, even artists declare the timely nature and relevance of the phenomenon. Is there anything of real importance, beyond the obvious buzz? And why now at this historical moment? The answer most probably lies in the distinct habitat of the contemporary digital communicative ecosystem of which the Internet is an important part and the data availability it affords.

The economics of the multitude

Society June 7th, 2012, Nicolas Colin & Henri Verdier / Co-founder & Partner, TheFamily & Director, Etalab

The digital revolution is not only a matter of technologies. The players involved can be described as radical innovators, whose work has a direct impact on social exchanges - from friendship to trade. The shock wave is gradually spilling out of our screens and hitting the rest of the economy. The concept of multitude helps us grasp what is at stake.

Does the Internet empower consumers? Or does it make them more vulnerable to manipulation? While both statements might be correct, the balance tilts definitely toward the latter, says Joseph Turow, a professor of communication at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School. The advertising industry has launched one of history's most massive stealth efforts in social profiling. The result is an increase in intrusive practices that are eroding publishing ethics. Does the solution lie in greater self-regulation or more aggressive oversight by the government?

Digital mutations and cognitive mutations, 1. The writing revolution

Society March 23rd, 2012, Jean-Louis Missika / Professor, chair of economy and management of digital industries and new media, CNAM (Paris)

The emergence of a cognitive technology disrupts and rearranges the deliberative processes that govern the practices of a given community or society. Such a disruption can have an impact on the architecture of deliberation networks, on the organizations and individuals who participate in deliberations, or on the standards and conventions that structure them. Or it can have an impact on all at once. As for the current digital revolution, one can understand it better considering the previous great historical mutations, paying a special attention to the debates and criticism they have ignited in their day.

Digital mutations and cognitive mutations, 2. From Gutenberg to social networks

Society March 23rd, 2012, Jean-Louis Missika / Professor, chair of economy and management of digital industries and new media, CNAM (Paris)

After the crucial passage from orality to writing, the invention of the printing press brought about an unprecedented reconfiguration of the circulation of information. The construction of scientific knowledge and political discussion was thereby disrupted, with a progressive expansion of reflection circles. Is the Internet but a new stage?

The video game industry is full of paradoxes. The sector is booming and prospects have never been better. However, companies live in a state of constant stress. Faced with the extreme volatility of consumer habits, their competition is merciless. To wage these commercial wars, they are developing business strategies that are as inventive as their most popular games' scenarios.

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