Tom Friedman would ask GOP presidential candidates questions about smart cities, big data & broadband. Given the opportunity, so would I.
In an op-ed in today's New York Times, Friedman wonders why technology questions haven't entered the GOP debates, given how important that area has become to the nation's future.
Here's his peroration: "Therefore, the critical questions for America today have to be how we deploy more ultra-high-speed networks and applications in university towns to invent more high-value-added services and manufactured goods and how we educate more workers to do these jobs — the only way we can maintain a middle class. I just don’t remember any candidate being asked in those really entertaining G.O.P. debates: “How do you think smart cities can become the job engines of the future, and what is your plan to ensure that America has a strategic bandwidth advantage?”
Friedman's piece reminded me of something +Abhi Nemani
wrote over the holidays, after a short exchange of tweets prompted him to think about a "Gov 2.0 presidential debate":http://www.abhinemani.com/2011/12/25/a-gov20-presidential-debate/
Here's what he would ask the candidates:
"*Do you think the “Stop Online Piracy Act” will hinder innovation and creativity on the internet?
*The Obama Administration created two C-Level tech-focused position: CIO and CTO. Do you think those roles are necessary and would you keep them in your administration?
*We’ve seen that advances in modern technology have enabled companies in the private sector to grow and cut costs. How would you use technology to bring down the deficit?
*Why shouldn’t every document or record created by the government be immediately accessible online?
*In cities, throughout the country, local governments are turning the government as a service provider model on its head, and asking citizens to solve the local problems themselves. How would you apply this thinking to the federal government?
*What would you do to boost entreprenuership in this country?
*Would you change immigration laws?
*Provide government seed funding?
*Over 50 countries have joined the Open Government Partnership. Has it produced any real results and can/will it affect foreign policy?"+Nick Judd
(*See comment below*) suggested asking a question about the issues raised in his article about Gig.U, the broadband/telco initiative headed up by Blair Levin that Friedman referenced in his op-ed:http://techpresident.com/blog-entry/gigu-asks-universites-and-telcos-work-together-internet-future
Good questions, all.
I don't expect to be given an opportunity to moderate such a debate this year, unfortunately, so my ability to ask +Mitt Romney +Ron Paul +Rick Perry
, +Newt Gingrich
or Rick Santorum what their policies would be is a bit limited. (Their campaigns are, of course, welcome to comment here!). There are, however, plenty of primary debates left:http://www.2012presidentialelectionnews.com/2012-debate-schedule/2011-2012-primary-debate-schedule/
....with media partners at +NBC News +ABC News +Fox News
and +CNN International
. Given how important technology and innovation has become to the nation's future, I can't help but hope that a producer at one of those outlets comes across this post and decides to suggest to the moderators that they ask questions about a topic that's deeply relevant to the nation's future.