HP's Fiorina calls for governments to change policies

Describes a new renaissance caused by IT

WCIT 2000 Carly Fiorina, CEO of Hewlett Packard, today described changes caused by the Internet as creating a new renaissance, but said that world governments needed to change their policies to create "boundary-less and "border-less" states.

Fiorina said, quoting Charles Darwin, that survivors in this new renaissance would not necessarily be either the strongest or the most intelligent, but those who could adapt the quickest.

"I do believe that governments have recognised the benefits of IT," she said. "but they do not yet truly understand about the need to re-invent their own institutions. It is not because governments are obstinate, but because government power is rooted in things that IT now makes increasingly irrelevant."

She said that boundaries of time, space and geography are less and less relevant to both government and to industry. "Governments must now think about policies being compatible across the world," she said. "This is a problem that government has only just begun to recognise. There should be a recognition that public policy is more boundary-less and that industry and government must collaborate together in new and inventive ways.

"That is easier said than done because industry and government have traditionally regarded each other with suspicion," she said.

"I believe that we are entering the renaissance," she said. "Technology is now entering its transformational phase. It can touch human lives and transform everyone and everything. Internet infrastructure must be as available as oxygen and as reliable as the sun and the moon. This world is bringing forth a torrent of new creativity."

Fiorina said that HP had promoted efforts to admit both mainland China and Taiwan to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and that would ultimately promote better relations between the two countries, as well as fostering the welfare of their respective populations.

She declined to be drawn on the issue between Microsoft and the US government, saying: "I think what should guide policy with Microsoft is always that it should benefit consumers." ®

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