A fit-for purpose world

“It’s time for a new operating system. Not a 2.0 or a 3.0, but something built from the ground up. New code.” [-Peter Buffett](http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/27/opinion/the-charitable-industrial-complex.html "Peter Buffett") Most technology – and charity – is designed in the West, built in the East, and skips the middle. The computers that do reach the world’s bottom billion are often ignored or left on the shelf. And that includes cheap laptops, however pretty. For the past several decades, technological innovation has been taking place, by and large, inside the belljar.   Urbanization changes the game – see [Simon Kuznets](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuznets_curve). Large populations in data and power-connected cities are priming new regions with new technical knowhow. And by 2020, there will be over 5 billion people living in cities, connected to one another with over 24 billion computer devices. These may all be California-designed, mass-marketed, one-size-fits-all smartphones. Or — if simple, open tech hits the ground first — they may be fit-for-purpose communication and media devices, designed cheaply out of necessity, using open tools and simple software for maximum efficiency.  What’s unavoidable: a newly -connected, economically-reoriented world will need new operating systems. And it’s hard to imagine how they won’t be written and distributed by a true *majority* of the world’s new technologists.