What your CEO is reading

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  • Saturday, 16 Dec 2017

Bill Gates

EVERY week, CIO Journal offers a glimpse into the mind of the CEO, whose view of technology is shaped by stories in management journals, general interest magazines and, of course, in-flight publications.

The digital republic of Estonia. The tiny Baltic nation of Estonia, population 1.3 million, has found a way to truly digitize its society.  Everything from education and justice to health care, taxes and banking has been “digitally linked across one platform,” the New Yorker’s Nathan Heller writes. Every business connection and investment is searchable. “If everything is digital, and location-independent, you can run a borderless country,” Taavi Kotka, Estonia’s former CIO says. Many of the issues surrounding citizenship plaguing the U.S. don’t exist in Estonia. “Polling-place intimidation is a non-issue if people can vote—and then change their votes, up to the deadline—at home, online,” Mr. Heller writes. “In a borderless society, a resident need not even have visited Estonia in order to work and pay taxes under its dominion.”

Nine big design trends for 2018. A wide range of designers — from systems thinkers and industrial designers to AI specialists, political activists, and chocolatiers, talk to Fast Company about the trends and forces they think will shape the coming year. Not only did they offer a slew of industry shifts to watch out for; all of them shared that they feel an urge to make 2018 a better year than the last.

All about the numbers. Private institutions supporting basic science research, a domain typically handled by universities or the government, have tracked with Silicon Valley’s rise. Often these research labs mirror the personal enthusiasms of their billionaire founders. The Flatiron Institute in New York is one such place. But because its founder, Renaissance Technologies‘s Jim Simons, is an alpha-quant–his math “became a building block of string theory, quantum computing, and condensed-matter physics”–the focus is on numbers. More specifically the lab is focused on providing scientific researchers with “bespoke algorithms that can detect even the faintest tune in the digital cacophony,” the New Yorker’s D.T. Max writes. - WSJ

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