Difficult Choices, Smarter Debate

In 2014, the World faces difficult choices transcending energy, the environment, economics, resource development and politics.

1.3 billion people still have no access to electricity. There is a scientific consensus on climate change. We have already experienced radical economic and political upheaval. We must now make critical choices that will determine the very quality of life for all of us and our children into the future.

The potential consequences are far reaching, so we must make decisions based on logic and what is best on balance.

Yet some of the information being presented does not stand up to analysis, and it’s being repeated by well meaning people who haven’t checked their facts.

How should we develop our resources sustainably? How can we address the growing demand for energy? How will we agree a concerted global effort to tackle climate risk?

SmarterWorld.tv brings informed comment about the difficult choices we face, so that we can all come to our own informed, balanced conclusions.

The development of SmarterWorld.tv

SmarterWorld.tv has been developed by yBC.  Further information about why we are building this channel is in the final section of this page.

We’ve completed the first of many rounds of interviews – and because of the focus on Australia at present, we’ve started there.  You can see a full list of those who have shared their perspecitve with us on the contributors page.   Interviewees include representatives from trade unions, mining communities, electorates (urban and rural), mining associations, university academic staff, government agencies, political parties and more.  We’ll be publishing additional material from these experts on a regular basis.

This is an editorial journey for us, and our first round of interviews is just the beginning.  We’re already planning many further rounds of interviews and production to bring further information and perspective to the table.  In particular, we’ll start focussing in more closely on mining communities, business owners and people working in communities where mining actually takes place.  We’ll also be reviewing research, campaigns and news as it unfolds, and fact checking claims made about the industry.

Support and editorial independence

Since we started developing the channel, we’ve received support and encouragement from many quarters, including commentators, politicians, business people and industry associations.  As with all our channels, this includes financial support to cover the costs of growing the channel.  We are pleased to have good communication and support from the Australian Coal Associationthe New South Wales Minerals Council and the Queensland Resources Council in particular – as their connections within Australia have been invaluable in setting up initial interviews and gaining access to some of Australia’s foremost authorities on the economy and energy.

We couldn’t operate SmarterWorld.tv without this kind of support.  But it’s important to note that yBC maintains full editorial control of SmarterWorld.tv.  The channel is owned by yBC, and copyright is ours. The editorial scope and direction of the channel is driven by us, and our editorial point of view is one of understanding, investigating and communicating the very complex decisions we have to make around energy, development and the environment.  Specifically …

  • We make all editorial decisions, we devise our own questions, we approach people for interviews and arrange the shoots.
  • Generally, we do not have PR people in the room when interviews are being conducted, and the interviewees are completely responsible for their own answers.
  • We do not accept scripted corporate material, nor do we plan our programming before we’ve undertaken the interviews.
  • Our methodology is to ask respected experts, commentators, public figures and business people to share their perspectives, concerns and ideas.
  • Our aim is to make this all interesting and informative.
  • All social media/digital platforms representing the channel are controlled and operated by us, and we do not give access to third parties outside of our team.

Why has yBC formed SmarterWorld.tv?

Since 2007, yBC has developed channels and content, largely comprising high quality video and social media, around a myriad of issues.  Most yBC.tv channels have had a business focus centred around a certain industry, but often they’ve addressed wider issues such the economy, the changing face of retail, the transformation to digital technologies and more.

Our content has included interviews which look at dynamics in the UK, Europe, North America and Asia – and therefore the issues we focus on are often global.  Interviewees have included business leaders, highly specialised experts, academics, commentators, and politicians.  We’ve interviewed people representing well known brands (like Skype, Google, PwC, HSBC and Marriott), and even business celebrities (like Sir Richard Branson and Martha Lane Fox).  Our interview clips (across all channels) number in the thousands.  We’ve had over 1.8 million views on YouTube alone.

Increasingly since the global financial crisis, we’ve become editorially focussed on some of the more complex and challenging issues facing the world.  These are issues which perhaps not everyone is thinking about, but at the same time, they’re issues which have the potential to affect us all – sometimes profoundly.  Our aim has been to raise awareness and promote discussion.

Given our focus on a myriad of issues and our expertise in digital publishing, we’re often asked to present at conferences and forums.  In 2012, yBC was invited to a global mining conference to speak about digital platforms and online conversations.  We did some in-depth analysis and spoke to key people from the industry.  What was very clear even before we presented at the conference was that the conversations taking place about mining (impacts positive and negative, role of, and future of) and energy generally appeared extremely partisan and not well informed.  This surprised us.

As we looked at this more closely, we swiftly honed in on Australia – as it offered a “perfect storm” of an emotive discussion, an upcoming election, strong economic performance largely on the back of mining, people concerned about maintaining their standard of living, and the appearance that many people are ill-informed about the facts surrounding the debate.  It was pretty clear that the coal mining industry, in particular, is under attack.  It was also clear that many of those attacking – or supporting the attack – were either not aware of, or not wanting to highlight to others, the real and serious implications of “bringing down the coal industry”.  Our view is that if people understand the full picture, they’ll make better informed decisions about what’s best for their own nation,and the World.

It’s now 2014, and we are committed to expanding this channel to encompass the myriad of issues which we are all facing in every region around the world.  As we’re a lean/modest organisation, we’re building this carefully and at a sustainable pace – with the aim being to bring more balanced information to people when they need it most