iSimulate from World Bank

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If you are interested in web 2.0 and its potential applications to the development sector, the latest issue of the MIT Press' Innovations makes for some interesting reading.

Take for example the article on climate change. The authors argue that "it is now possible to harness computer technology to facilitate 'collective intelligence' [...] to address systemic problems like climate change." They envisage a virtual Climate Coolaboratorium where global conversations with "high social return" replace "complex, cumbersome and slow" policy making process. A collaborative tool to co-create and compare climate change scenarios.

Their dream might have just come true thanks to two highly innovative World Bank colleagues who recently launched iSimulate @ World Bank, a very "web 2.0" platform that allows users to organize collaborative economic forecasts (the platform is still in beta version, but interested users can pre-register to get an account).

Another article that caught my attention talks about the Myelin Repair Foundation (MRF), a non-profit medical organization that has taken a collaborative approach to dramatically speed up the time it takes to discover new treatments for multiple sclerosis. Thanks to their "networked" innovation approach, the MRF identified 13 novel therapeutic targets and more than a dozen new research tools after only three years of research.

One is left to wonder what results could ensue if the same approach were to be consistently applied in the development sector. Finally, if predicting markets is your thing, you might want to take a look at the case study on the high profile failure by DARPA to establish the policy analysis market to forecast military and political instability around the world.

PS. If you are interested in finding out more about iSimulate, monitor its progress and share your thoughts on collaborative economic modelling, you can check the newly launched iSimulate blog.

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