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UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown sees modern communication technology as a part of the answer to addressing world problems. A surprise speaker last month at a TED conference in the UK, Prime Minister Brown said that the ability to communicate across the world instantaneously is a tool that can link moral obligations, especially with pictures.

“What we see unlocks what we cannot see,” he said at the conference. "What we see unlocks the invisible ties and bonds of sympathy that bring us together to become a human community. We do feel the pain of others, however distantly. We do believe in something bigger than ourselves.

“There is a moral sense across all religions, across all faiths, across all continents – a moral sense that not only do we share the pain of others and believe in something bigger than ourselves, but we have a duty to act when we see things that are wrong that need righted, see injuries that need to be corrected, see problems that need to be rectified.”

Modern technology allows that a common ground can be found with people anywhere in the world that will never even meet, yet can still organize and take collective action to deal with whatever the issue is that brought them together electronically. Brown calls this a new, real Global Society.

“Take… the power of our moral sense, allied to the power of modern communications and our ability to organise internationally. That in my view gives us the first opportunity as a community to fundamentally change the world. Foreign policy can never be the same again. It cannot be run by elites, it’s got to be run by listening to the public opinions of peoples who are blogging, who are communicating with each other around the world.”

With today’s global issues, such as climate change, the financial crisis, security and terrorism, and human rights and development, all problems that cannot be solved without global involvement, Brown says we’re the first generation to be able to address them, together, and we should be creating the global institutions to do it.

“We should be marching towards a global society.”

You can see his whole speech here

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