This question encapsulates a new wave of thinking that has grown in the last 10 to 15 years. It is a question that is indicative of a distinct cultural wave, shaped by Web 2.0, open innovation, the power of networks, and the new-found optimism to build a new civilisation, as a consequence of the post-industrial technological revolution.
Colonel Randy George who led Brigade Combat Team Task Force Mountain Warrior from June 2009 to June 2010, and Dante Paradiso who was the Task Force Mountain Warrior Senior Civilian Representative argue the Case for a Wartime Chief Executive Officer who would command both the military and non-military agencies that work to achieve US political objectives.
In the city of Jalalabad, Afghanistan, a group of Afghan students and tech-wizards from MIT have created a wireless network using materials that have been discarded as rubbish from around the city.
The project is called FabLab, and it is designed to bring the benefits of technology to the developing world using materials that can be found locally.
The impact of communication technologies in the Arab Revolution has encouraged the Obama administration to heavily invest in developing communication technologies that will enhance the ability of the US to influence public opinion in repressive nations around the world. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said:
We see more and more people around the globe using the Internet, mobile phones and other technologies to make their voices heard as they protest against injustice and seek to realize their aspirations…There is a historic opportunity to effect positive change, change America supports…So we’re focused on helping them do that, on helping them talk to each other, to their communities, to their governments and to the world.
Jump Cut Productions, a film collective in Kabul, Afghanistan are featured in Qantara. They are an independent group of filmmakers who formed Jump Cut in May 2009. They represent a new generation of filmmakers that are emerging to create art that has impact.
Instead of cementing old prejudices, Jump Cut aims to break out of the stereotypes so often characterizing the films about Afghanistan shown at film festivals. “Most people in the West think of Afghans as ready to kill each other in the name of Islam at the drop of a hat,” says author and cameraman Ali Husseini, in response to the wide-spread cliché about his country. “Just look at any Hollywood film. We are always portrayed as terrorists with long beards.” By contrast, Jump Cut produces personal films dealing with real-life stories. “It could be a story about a family working and raising a family in Kabul – or about their expectations for the future,” says Husseini.