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By GCN Staff

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When global IT leaders meet

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was roughly 17 minutes into addressing delegates at Microsoft's Government Leaders Forum here in suburban Washington, D.C., when she subtly addressed the elephant in the room.

In describing a study she'd been involved with that indicated the majority of people throughout the world actually liked globalization, she gracefully added, "And nearly everyone seemed to like cell phones." Because despite organizers' requests that people silence their phones, those buggers kept going off.

Albright this morning addressed a ballroom full of government leaders from the Americas at Microsoft's second regional forum. Last year Colin Powell and Bill Gates spoke to the crowd.

Her remarks were not IT-heavy (right off the bat, she joked that if someone tried to sell her on the technology merits of a new HP iPaq, she'd respond, "No thanks, I already have a car.") But she repeatedly made the point that new technologies were no substitute for good governance. For example, she said, "We don't know yet whether wireless technology is a breakthrough that will break down the walls of ignorance and intolerance, or whether it is simply the latest in a line of advances that have helped to modernize the world without doing much to civilize it." (And the cell phones rang on.)

This afternoon, an international panel will discuss issues of safety and security. Officials from the American Red Cross, the Toronto Police Service and Mexico's Public Security division are scheduled to talk. Tomorrow Martha Dorris of GSA's Office of Citizen Services will sit on a panel discussing service delivery, followed by Bill Gates himself.

Updates to come.

Posted by Brad Grimes

Posted by Brad Grimes, Joab Jackson on Mar 14, 2006 at 9:39 AM


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