On 28 March I participated in a round table organised by the Paris District Rotary Club in the main amphitheatre at the HEC Business School South of Paris.

It was a moving morning, with speakers from the Pasteur Institute and UNICEF testifying of how the donations from the 1660 Rotary district had helped thousands. In one instance, a collection of €100k enabled over two hundred thousand people in South Asia to be vaccinated against Polio in the Rotary’s project to eliminate Polio, working with UNICEF.

At the round table we discussed the threats and opportunities presented by the internet in the context of ethics. Our key message was that it is for us to be fully actors in this new virtual world, and not let it be taken over by terrorists, crooks, or people simple out to make a quick buck.

I spoke of technology as a key tool to help us reduce our carbon footprint, for example by avoiding travel when we can call or videoconference. It is also a key enabler for the circular economy that we are moving to, where instead of taking, using, and throwing away what we use, we recycle. Designing re-use into products, and then tracking the lives of product parts using RFID technology, can help us reduce our waste significantly. My colleagues spoke of how to protect ourselves against cyber-criminality, and the exciting future of medicine enabled by our mobile phones constantly keeping a watch on our metabolism, and letting our doctors know how we are… along with the danger of Big Brother tracking our every movement.