The accelerating pace of technological change is a familiar experience for nearly everyone. More powerful computers, new communication possibilities, safer transportation alternatives, and space-age materials are commonplace today.
The growing power of technology follows a predictable pattern, named "Moore's Law" by Gordon Moore, founder of Intel. Moore discovered in 1965 that microchips were doubling in their capacity every 18 months. In the 38 years since then this has continued, today resulting in handheld computers that in 1965 would have occupied several rooms.
Unlike the acceleration of technology, which follows the geometric curve shown here, the diffusion of technology is an arithmetic process. The diffusion of technology to non-industrial regions cannot keep pace with the accelerating growth of technology in industrial and research centers. The result is an increasing gap between the technological sophistication of advanced regions and the technological challenges of the developing world. When systems such as aviation and advanced communication networks span both the advanced regions and the underdeveloped regions, this creates operational difficulties.
The Institute for Information Technology and Culture, working in cooperation with the Sorbonne in France and la Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico, has brought together a group of leading economists, anthropologists, and engineers, from industrial, emerging, and developing economic regions, to examine the challenges posed to peripheral regions by this increasing gap in technological capability. The collaboration will conduct a workshop in Mexico City in November, 2003, and at a subsequent workshop present its initial findings on mitigation strategies for technological gaps in aviation at an industry conference.