This is sort of a mathematical challenge (for those used to syllogisms): IF e-Inclusion, THEN some win some lose. The very prospect of being true added dramatism to yesterday's plenary Q&A session. The question was addressed to Mr. Craig R. Barrett (Chairman of Intel Board Corporation) and referred specifically to using ITC in aging well programmes. Who might lose out if e-Inclusion is successful in elderly care? Who might be the opponents? After a short pause, as if needing time to answer, Mr. Barret granted the premise. (I really thought he would be tempted to say everyone was a winner with e-Inclusion). But he admitted that there are losers and therefore e-Inclusion will have opposition. In this particular example, the people who lose out (both in Europe and USA) are hospitals and elderly people homes. But, he said, we have to look at the benefits ITC brings to the individual not the business or institutions.

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Comment by Adrian Popa on December 2, 2008 at 12:36
Maria, I appreciate your comment. Somebody is listening, and that is a good thing. I believe on one hand we have to be realsitic about e-Inclusion. Craig Barrett was. IF elderly people are cared for and remotely diagnosed from home, if new technology is employed to improve their security, mobility and well being without going to a state run or private institution, if geographical sepration of the elderly from extended family is bridged by Internet communication, etc., THEN somebody does lose some income (i.e., the care home, the hospital). But Mr. Barrett's point, as you well picked up, was "so what"? What really matters is the benefit e-Inclusion brings to the elderly people themselves.
Comment by Maria Garrido on December 1, 2008 at 19:33
Adrian, this is such an interesting conversation for us!! Speaking from personal experience, I always tend to refer to e-Inclusion initiative as a win-win situation. It really never hit me that there are losers as well from these initiatives and we don't hear much who they are. I would hope that Barrett's answer would be a bit more candid because this conversation is not only relevant but absolutely necessary in our work. The idea that we need to concentrate on the benefits of ICT at the individual level, doesn't suffice for me. It really doesn't add much to the conversation on who the losers are, where is the opposition to e-Inclusion coming from, and how this opposition may affect the ability of organizations, and even individuals, to really benefit for the initiatives. I hope somebody else at Vienna takes this issue head on and provides a more thorough explanation. Great post

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