In April of 2008, Wayan Vota started the Technology Salon™ as a forum where technology and development professionals could share their opinions on emerging trends in ICT and international development in an intimate and informal discussion around
- technology’s impact on donor-sponsored technical assistance delivery, and
- private enterprise driven economic development, facilitated by technology.
By focusing on high-value discussions between knowledgeable experts in an intimate, in-person, and off-the-record setting, the Technology Salon has grown in both size and stature, becoming a preeminent community of international development and technology practitioners.
The Technology Salon is now a global network of professionals who share a common passion for expanding the role of ICT in empowering development. Through regular discussions on relevant topics, we are improving our knowledge and expertise in the ICT4D field, networking across sectors and domains, and moving beyond talk, and into action.
If you are interested in convening a Salon in your city, please see the Start page.
Technology Salon Key Attributes
The Technology Salon is a global network of professionals who share a common passion for expanding the role of ICT in empowering development. Through regular discussions on relevant topics, we are improving our knowledge and expertise in the ICT4D field, networking across sectors and domains, and moving beyond talk, and into action.
The Technology Salon has achieved this success and growth through four key attributes:
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- Conversation, not presentation
The Technology Salon is primarily a forum for discussion, so presentations are discouraged and Power Point is generally banned. Lead discussants have only 5-10 minutes at the beginning to present their ideas and activities, before participants are free to ask questions, share their own experiences, and drive the conversation in a direction that interests them. This both brings forth the group’s knowledge and keeps participants engaged for the full meeting.
- Intimacy of participants:
The Technology Salon attendance is capped at 30 people to make sure each participant has the opportunity to speak and share their experience. Participation is in-person only – no open conference lines to distract or deter sharing – with quality pre-and post-event networking to deepen professional connections.
- Quality of participants:
Technology Salon lead discussants are primary thought leaders and decision makers key to the chosen topic and participants are curated to include a rotating list of development and technology experts. This ensures that discussions are high-value and on-topic, with practical outcomes that can be implemented immediately.
- Confidentiality of opinions:
The Technology Salon employs the Chatham House Rule – what is said in its discussions can only be attributed to the Salon itself, not to any specific participant. At the same time, the Salon is not recorded nor the discussion transmitted outside its meeting place. These precautions allow participants to speak their opinions freely, thoughts that would not be shared if participants worried about attribution or out-of-context quoting.
Now that you know more about it, sign up to get invited to future Salons.
- From 2009 to 20011, the Technology Salon was sponsored by the UN Foundation’s Technology Partnership with the Vodafone Foundation.
- In 2012, the Technology Salon was sponsored by Inveneo in collaboration with a consortium of partners.
- In 2013, the Technology Salon became an independent nonprofit organization, with member organizations convening Salons around the world in Washington, DC, San Francisco, CA, New York, NY, London, UK, and Nairobi, KE.
- In 2014, we expanded to Bangkok, TH, Helsinki, FI, and Toronto, CA.
- In 2015, we added Accra, GH, Amman, JO, Denver, CO, and Lusaka, ZM.
The Technology Salon™ is an independent nonprofit organization with member organizations convening Salons in multiple cities around the world.
Wayan Vota is the Executive Director of the Technology Salon and can be reached on email@example.com.
Technology Salons in each of the cities are organized by their respective conveners – contact them directly to suggest future Salon topics.