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Geoff Mulgan wants us to rethink how to use AI technology

Date added

10 August 2018


Start Network has been looking into digital capacity, and blockchain solutions as part of its potential to solve structural problems within the humanitarian sector.
Currently the system is overly centralised, funding is often slow and reactive, and the capacity to change is limited due to risk averse operating models. Start Network is embracing new ways of working that are locally driven, proactive and innovative. More recently the Network recently completed a series of pilots with Fintech startup Disberse and looked at using a blockchain based platform to make aid flows fully traceable, non-corruptible, fast and cost-effective.

Read more about the learning from the first pilot, that was driven by Start Network member Dorcas. 



Listen to the podcast

The following podcast featured by the International Rescue Committee discusses how humans and AI are working together to solve some of the world’s biggest problems and ways on how to make them work even better. 


Ensuring that refugees are resettled in places where they will be most likely to get a job, predicting the onset of conflicts and epidemics, and measuring the cumulative impact of local development interventions are tough humanitarian challenges that have started to look a lot easier to solve, thanks to advances in artificial intelligence. But Geoff Mulgan says that unless we rethink how humans harness the capacity of those new technologies, we won’t be much better off.

Mulgan is the current head of the UK innovation hub Nesta and a former policy head in Tony Blair’s government. He’s also the co-founder with the Dalai Lama of Action for Happiness, holds a Ph.D. in telecommunications, and studied to be a Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka as a teenager.

Listen to the podcast