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Who is a Digital Solutions Architect?

It is funded by a large grant from the European Union Research Council. She posits that it will inevitably be quite different from our much-admired classic texts on ethics, which hover safely above the inequities of daily life in a large city. An ethics of the city is perhaps inevitably a bit of an ugly-duckling ethics, an imperfect ethics. The working thesis is that it is an ethics where social justice, rather than a purer and more elevated notion of ethics, becomes as strong as all the forces aligned against it.

Cities are sites of inequality and indifference. Therein resides the challenge and the necessity to understand when do inequality and indifference become profoundly unjust and destructive of people, their efforts, and the city itself. She also continues her work in a large collective project, The Urban Age , focused on extreme urbanisms. The main funder over tenyears has been the Herrhausen Foundation Berlin.

All her edited books are based on larger collective research projects, sponsored by funding entities. She regularly writes for general audience publications. She was one of eight experts on the Mastercard Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index, a vast project involving 60 variables, from economic to social, covering 75 major and minor global cities around the world.

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She also studied Russian and Japanese. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Wednesday, September 25, Michele Cohen. Sheila Goloborotko. Andrei Farcasanu. Share on Facebook. Kemi Adeyemi. Roy Scranton. Simonetta Moro. Please enter your comment! Please enter your name here.


  1. Artificial Life: Borrowing from Biology: 4th Australian Conference, ACAL 2009, Melbourne, Australia, December 1-4, 2009. Proceedings!
  2. Saskia Sassen - Wikiwand.
  3. A Characterization of Alternating Groups;
  4. Saskia Sassen - Border Regions in Transition - Conférence BRIT XI - UNIGE?

The most obvious is the opportunity to make information systems intelligent. The key to this process is the ability of data producers to make constant both learning of techniques, strategies, and developments from other producers and observation of new occurrences and trends in their environment.

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Aspects of this type of aggregative dynamism are, in principle, built into the emerging automated GMS one finds especially in the environmental sector, where satellites or ground stations provide constant data feeds from around the world. However, such data networks do not allow for the learning capability that distributed human data production allows. A second thing at stake in distributive capacities is that they can serve as a wedge through which governance structures more generally might be transformed to reflect: 1.

What counts as environmental degradation?

Should data on financial derivative transactions between two financial firms occurring across national boundaries be made public especially if the monies involved are from public agencies like pension funds? How would privacy protection software be applied to databases on individual consumption habits that are kept by credit card companies?

Who should verify health care delivery reports by governments and how do you link locally generated data on mortality rates and survival rates with those reports? Should governments be required to collect and pool data on their surveillance activities? As monitoring capacities mature it is likely that global databases will increasingly become the basis of aid and the division of resources data already plays a significant role.

The recent announcement by the Bush Administration that USAID monies will be awarded based on data and assessments regarding the good governance capacities of countries portends the prospects ahead.

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Hints at how far this sort of use of data can go are suggested by the deep politics in the U. Finally, the politics of governance inherent in distributed monitoring capacities can help us think through new approaches to democracy at the global level. Typically, democracy is conceived in global terms according to various forms of representation across geographical local to global and functional from NGOs to associations spectrums Held, Instead of models of representative democracy, distributive capacities suggest that models of direct democracy might be more appropriate.

Wide participation in the production, distribution, and use of data would need to rest on a compelling articulation of the purposes of such data: that is, on making clear the links between monitoring and the governance of social and political life. Once monitoring obtains the salience it deserves, a second political dimension emerges around the issue of how to establish a direct democratic approach to the governance of global monitoring processes. Only then will it be plausible to anticipate that as GMS continue to develop a growing number of activists will seek to open up such systems to wider participation in order to ensure that they are constituted in just and effective ways.

Further analysis will need to address what the implications are for: 1 relations of power across public and private realms operating globally, regionally, nationally, and locally; and, 2 forms of conflict that might arise between constituencies well entrenched around monitoring and those constituencies that are just emerging.

At the same time, we need political theory and language to think through in new ways the relationship between knowledge, governance, and democracy along distributed lines. However much expanded participation is promoted, the political and social return on the investment in it will likely be limited without clear models that can be implemented to produce transparent and reliable data in GMS that are equitable and just.

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Such models will need to ensure that GMS are:. Data should be collected and organized according to varying scales from local and national to regional and global allowing for use in governance at those levels. The above set of core characteristics is only a starting point for identifying the many normative and organizational challenges that lie ahead in building just GMS. To the extent that GMS development favors the engagement of experts it sets up a divide that may well limit wider participation of organizations and communities that lacking what is viewed as expertise.

Similarly, the world of states cannot be treated homogeneously. Governments of developed and developing countries, as recent divisions over trade and economic integration show, can view governance and knowledge in quite different ways. Developing country governments will be quite naturally suspicious of any GMS that appear to be serving the interests of Northern governments. The call for more and better data can be used to prevent action as environmental activists have learned in dealing with U.

Another tension is between building social purpose into a system e. Also, while designers have to carefully craft models that create incentives across the monitoring chain for producers to incorporate the most valid and verifiable data, they will need to guard against the emergence of a single criterion of accuracy that might be used to prevent innovation in data production and thereby limit system openness and flexibility.

There is the question of how much governance should be incorporated directly into GMS. While, as argued above, knowledge has always been an essential dimension of governance, the nature and strength of such links depend on the lines of conflict and cooperation that exist around governance projects. On the other, they will have to seek out alliances and modes collaboration across the worlds of civil society, business, and government that may not come easily [ 8 ].

All of these challenges and tensions underscore that monitoring is not inherently a good.

Since such systems will emerge in one form or another it is imperative that norms of justice and fairness are applied to monitoring and that systems consistent with such norms are identified. After World War II advances in calculation, modeling, Earth Science, and satellite and computer technology allowed for sophisticated monitoring efforts Edwards, The recent effort of the U. Whereas the environmental sector has had the advantage of substantial participation by scientists, the security sector has been dominated by the efforts of intelligence agencies to spy worldwide.

Efforts are also underway by the U.

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Vast amounts of personal identity information are collected and processed including home addresses, physical attributes, biometrics such as fingerprints, health records, purchases, organizational memberships, Internet activity, and physical location via GPS data. This data is being organized not only for direct use by the collectors of this information, whether it be credit card or insurance companies, but for resale to other firms and governments. There are already two notable competing efforts underway to fully commercialize and standardize access to such data: one led by Microsoft, the other by Sun.

It is far from clear how individuals will be able to assert control over their personal information and digital identity or whether institutions can be constructed that enforce just and fair standards for identity data usage on the Internet. Concerns about such databases have been amplified after September 11 as individuals are increasingly confronted by challenges to privacy in the name of security.

In positive terms, there are possibilities for emerging civil society visions of digital identity that take advantage of these new technologies. While international financial institutions such as the IMF and World Bank have focused on increasing transparency and the reliability of national economic data supplied by governments through efforts such as the General Data Dissemination System , there has been no real effort to make available and transparent the specifics of transborder financial flows, even though it appears central bankers have such data.

Such data could aid developing countries in understanding better the patterns and structures of global flows and make transparent to public institutions and individuals how their monies are being used and to what risks they are subject. The publication of transborder financial data can also be used to help build support for the taxing of financial flows e. Like the environmental sector the fifth sector, public health, has a history reaching back a century with the founding of international organizations such as the International Sanitary Bureau in the Americas and the International Office of Public Hygiene in Europe.

After World War II the World Health Organization continued and expanded monitoring efforts, as it endeavored to expand the capacity of governments to track disease within their borders.

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It is quite likely that the development of such surveillance systems will continue. The question is whether they will incorporate the full range of factors relevant to public health, including the provision of and access to healthcare, patterns of success and failure in a variety of changing populations from migrants to local income households. And will they be able to take account of the important diversity of cultural contexts of disease and healthcare?

There are two assumptions at the core of this essay: that monitoring is central to governance in a range of sectors from the environment to public health; and that GMS can be designed that are effective, reliable, and just. Getting this work underway is urgent. Such urgency does not favor the luxury of decades of study. Innovative blueprints need to be developed now, based on knowledge and capabilities that currently exist or can be innovated over the near term.

Such blueprints will specify strategies and methods for data gathering, sets of standards that address the normative issues described above, techniques and logics for integrating and aggregating data and for its presentation and visualization. Strategic Plan for the U. Integrated Earth Observation System. Washington, D. Ulrich Beck, Risk society: Towards a new modernity. Translated by Mark Ritter.