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Keen On

KeenON: A Conversation with International Rescue Committee CEO David Miliband

KeenON_Logo_FinalTechonomy is proud to present KeenON, a series of interviews by techonologist and author Andrew Keen that explores the intersection of tech, business, and culture.

David Miliband, best known as the Miliband sibling who lost the British Labour party to his brother Ed, has a new job. Miliband is now the CEO of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), the New York City based organization dedicated to helping victims of war, disease, and natural disasters.

Unfortunately, the IRC is in much demand. “We serve 15 million people each year,” Miliband dryly told me when we caught up at Techonomy 2014 in Half Moon Bay, Calif., where he also spoke on a panel with Jack Dorsey about the impact of technology on morality. So does every company, including the IRC, need to be a technology company? And if so, I asked Miliband, what kind of technologies does the IRC need to develop to improve it mission of improving the lives of the most unfortunate people in the world?

While he worries about the impact of networked technology on traditional societies, Miliband was unusually bullish about the impact of technology on social change, believing it to more benign than malign. Networked society is all about “bringing down walls,” he told me. Which is why he believes that the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989—the same year that Tim Berners-Lee invented the World-Wide Web, represents a triumphant validation of networked society.

This video was produced in partnership with genConnect.

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