Tokyo Olympic Games: The character of technology governance – Chris Uwaje
How long would it take Nigeria to consolidate the technology skill sets and know how to effectively host the prestigious Olympic Games of Nations – 10, 20, 30, 50 years?
The answer resides in our ability, character, and resilience to master Science, Technology and Innovation competences and related digital governance.
The Tokyo Olympic Games has come and gone; but will forever be remembered as a remarkable moment of human development; as well as hope for managing the complex future propelled by technological innovation that stirs us in the face. However, if you have expected me to delve into the visual aspects and associated smiles of the games itself, I am sorry to disappoint you!
The focus of this piece is on ‘the character of technology infusion, management and governance’ which represents the hallmark of the success of the Olympic Games. This focus becomes deeply significant, at a time like this, when the Covid-19 Pandemic has almost summersaulted and crippled major aspects of human activities, productivity, and development. But alas, the audacity and intervention of technology innovation, intrinsic design, meticulous planning, coherent management, resilience, trustworthiness. and strategic governance came to the awesome and commendable rescue.
The invaluable contribution of technology innovation to the overall success of the Tokyo Olympic games 2020 (staged in 2021) can therefore not be overlooked. The economic reality of today, within the context of the future of work, is that national development cannot succeed nor become sustainable without intensive infusion of great measure of robust innovation in ICT and STEM at all significant levels.
Therefore, a deep interrogation of this character of technology innovation, infusion, management, and governance deserves the special attention for a developing nation as Nigeria – for many reasons. First is the background of the knowledge architecture embedded in its design, planning, contractual requirement selection process by the Olympics Committee and sub-committees, complex technical reviews of embedded contradictions and updated features of the multi-layered implementation processes and trustworthiness. Above all, the seamless delivery of the event by the local and international organisers at all levels are worthy of recognition of the power of superior collaboration.
Secondly, how can a developing nation like Nigeria attain such a lofty height in tech without concerted efforts in developing and promoting a merit-first and STEM-intensive society? A lot of knowledge-centric discipline is required and mandatory – and most importantly, they are critical metrics for the successes attained in the implementation layers. Those layers are the epicenters of the governance apparatus of progressive nations. Nations who have uncompromisingly adopted Science, Technology and Innovation and the mandatory strategy and imperatives for their survivability. Thirdly, lessons learned from the just concluded Olympics go beyond that of winning medals, fame, and money. Most of the processes leading to the time-centric decisions in delivering the smiles, joy and benefits of the Games to humanity cannot be determined by the concept of muzzle-economy and wishful thinking approach. Rather the mission must be consciously defined and structured and focused on invigorated technology innovation and creativity cycles – all required to earn the help and fruits of technology preparedness and rewards.
Another critical lesson is the imperatives and significance of time measurement as a potential platform and mechanism for successful governance and essentials of time management in overall national development. For example, when we measure the quantum of time we orally/manually apply to aspects of our national development -deficient of technology infusion, we would clearly realize how incredibly backwards we have come in terms of global competitiveness in nation building! A litmus test of the preceding statement is to imagine that the opportunities and challenges of the Tokyo Olympic Games were approved for Nigeria to host, manage, and deliver? The calamity of outcome of such a challenge would perhaps be unimaginable.
Taking the experiences of the role of Information Technology and Innovation of the Tokyo Olympic Games into context, side-by-side with the recently proposed amendment Bill on the NITDA Act.2007 – even to a lay man, will reveal that the proposed Bill will retard the gains of IT Nigeria and plunge it into perhaps an irreconcilable state of stagnation of digital innovation and prolonged depression. Expectations are that an Executive Bill is for it to be audaciously comprehensive, progressive, and foresighted – far into the global competitive challenges of the digital future.
Assessment and evaluations from relevant sources explored within the context of this writeup reveal the extent and intensity of technology infusion into the preparation and success of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The followings are pre-analytics on expectations of the preparedness of the Organisers of the Games – considered relevant to this presentation:
“But amidst all available records, do you know that the adoption of new advanced technologies is playing a much crucial role; in the effective organization of Tokyo Olympics 2021; and to make the Olympic Games experiences more innovative, interactive, and immersive for everyone. The dominance of Japan in technology and innovation is known to everyone and alike past; this time also were going to see this in Tokyo Olympics 2021; as theyre ready to come up and launch numerous fascinating and advanced technologies at the global stage. So, lets get to know about some of these advanced technologies that are being used by Japan; for Tokyo Olympics 2021 (or you can say 2020 Tokyo Olympics) There are five noticeable key revelations: 1. Self-Driving Vehicles: The Self-Driving Vehicles will be used in the Tokyo Olympics 2021 to run on the defined routes related to the Olympics including from the airport to the Olympic village and around different Olympic venues in Tokyo. As per the reports, the government has planned to have nearly 100 self-driving vehicles in service; during this particular period. However, the move to use this tech advancement is not only taken by Japan just for the reason of catering to the transport needs of athletes and other concerned persons but it is being done to set up a foundation for the next-gen public transport network, to minimize road fatalities, to avoid traffic congestion, etc.
2. Facial Recognition Systems. The Facial Recognition technology is going to be used at Tokyo Olympics 2021 venues; for security screening-related tasks of athletes, staff members & other individuals; and it will not only speed up the entire process but will give better security results; by restricting unauthorized access and prevent spoofing at the venues. Though originally planned for security purposes, after the worldwide covid-19 outbreak; this touchless security screening process by facial recognition; would be helpful and worthwhile in preventing the spread of the coronavirus. The facial recognition cameras would allow the security personnel or other officials; to record allowed spectators and athletes faces and movements at Games venues; that will further help them to pinpoint possible COVID-19 carriers and take actions accordingly. For example, if someone at the venue is found infected, officials can conveniently trace his/her route; and thus can find those who were in close contact.
3. Robot Assistance or Guidance: Tokyo Olympics 2021 also featured various robots; that will assist and guide individuals and perform various tasks. For instance, there were robots that attended to the accredited visitors; guiding them with the direction; carrying the luggage; providing event information, etc. These robots were designed in such a way; that they act as the representatives for Tokyo Olympics 2021. Similarly, some of these robots are designed to carry things; (or you can say sports equipment like javelins, discusses, etc) on the ground thrown by the participants. Available reports show that, there were about 10 types of robots overall; to make things smoother, convenient, and efficient at the Olympic Games 2021.
4. Immersive Live Viewing. Tokyo Olympics 2021, trilled viewers to immersive virtual-reality experiences; that allows them to enjoy the event in a more engaging manner. The viewers were captivated with enjoyment by the magic of the Opening Ceremony of Tokyo Olympics 2021. Same can be said to convey the impressions of participants on matches, gymnastics, etc. in such a way that it would really feel like you’re sitting right there at the venue or in front of the athletes. Moreover, the broadcasting of Olympics 2021 with 8K resolution imaging technology; helped to leverage the individuals with a sharper, smoother, and worthwhile watching experience.
5. Instant Language Translators. To avoid any kind of language barrier at such a renowned global event; Olympics 2021 involving individuals from all over the world; Japan delivered a new state-of-the-art instant translation technology. This sort of real-time translation system can be installed on smartphones or other compatible devices; and the user can freely select the target language, speak into the device; and subsequently, the device will translate and convert the spoken words in the targeted language. Finally, suffice to state that behind all these technologies-enabled magic; is the dynamism and resilience of collaborative innovation and inclusive management strategies and foresighted governance. Nigeria can learn abundantly from that technology development and management experience. Afterall, technology is about people.
Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer.
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