Technology Salon

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a discussion at the intersection of technology and development

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  • Last Thursday, we had the honor of getting together with many of our peers and partners in New York City to discuss How Can Partnerships Improve the Digital Health Ecosystem? The discussion was moderated by Linda Raftree of Tech Salon, sponsored by Medic Mobile and Praekelt, and hosted by Thoughtworks. The main discussants were: Josh…

  • 4 Barriers to Using Machine Learning to Support the SDGs

    Bangkok | By on February 7, 2017 | Comments Off on 4 Barriers to Using Machine Learning to Support the SDGs

    Born from the widest ever public consultation by the UN, the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) are a chance to ‘press the reset button on development’. Critically, the SDGs encourage countries to improve data analysis and to track progress with common indicators. Many of the goals are inter-related and influence each other. But with such…

  • How Technology Impacted Ghana’s Elections

    Accra | By on January 17, 2017 | Comments Off on How Technology Impacted Ghana’s Elections

    On December 7, 2016, Ghana passed yet another democratic test when it conducted what has been described as the best organized general elections in the country’s history. The elections was to choose a new President and 275 members of parliament. From the tech-based systems deployed by some media houses that enabled their collation and projections…

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  • What Technology is the Silver Bullet for International Development?

    Helsinki | By on December 22, 2016 | Comments Off on What Technology is the Silver Bullet for International Development?

        The third Technology Salon event hosted in Helsinki, Finland, brought together a room full of representatives from private sector, public sector, governments, startups, NGOs and universities from countries like Lebanon, Tanzania, Mozambique, Denmark, Finland, India, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Iran, United States, Belgium, France, South Africa, Egypt and Zambia – to name a few! This…

  • How to Use Digital Identity for Better Development

    Washington DC | By on November 15, 2016 | Comments Off on How to Use Digital Identity for Better Development

    An estimated 1.5 billion people do not have a government issued and recognized proof of their legal identity. Over 10 million people in the world, with millions of children, are stateless. Migrants are expected to increase significantly in the next 5 years, due to civil strife, climate change, and changing economic landscapes. To prepare for…

  • How Technology Volunteers Can Build Solutions for Refugees

    Amman | By on October 6, 2016 | Comments Off on How Technology Volunteers Can Build Solutions for Refugees

    Given the scale and profile of the current global refugee crisis, it’s no surprise that the technology community is increasingly exploring how technology can solve challenges faced by refugees and those involved in refugee response. Refugee and humanitarian communities should welcome the enthusiasm of the tech community alike, as it is clear that new ideas…

  • The Threats and Opportunities of Social Media and Elections in Ghana

    Accra | By on October 5, 2016 | Comments Off on The Threats and Opportunities of Social Media and Elections in Ghana

    From the provision of free advertisement, highlighting important advocacy works, making speeches and statements readily available to helping candidates to promote their campaign messages widely and freely, there is no denying of Social Media’s role in elections processes across the world and for millennials, it is a lifeline of information. These, among many other critical…

  • When, Where, and How to Use Drones for Development

    Washington DC | By on August 20, 2016 | Comments Off on When, Where, and How to Use Drones for Development

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones produce a visceral reaction, perceived in different ways through the eyes of the beholder. Is it a military weapon, hi-tech recreation, or a research tool? International development professionals have formed additional uses for this technology. UAVs conduct remote surveys, deliver test results or supplies, and provide surveillance. Yet, there…

  • IVR and FM Radio: Low-Tech Ways to Reach Everyone on Earth

    San Francisco | By on July 6, 2016 | Comments Off on IVR and FM Radio: Low-Tech Ways to Reach Everyone on Earth

    The title for the recent San Francisco Technology Salon, “The Low-Tech Way to Reach Everyone on Earth” suggests an enormously powerful statement – does the right technology exist today to reach everyone on earth? And what exactly is that technology? Thirty-three people from the Bay Area and around California attended the event to discuss the…

  • 5 Barriers to Building ICT4D Capacity of Development Organisations

    Bangkok | By on July 1, 2016 | Comments Off on 5 Barriers to Building ICT4D Capacity of Development Organisations

    Twenty development professionals recently met in Bangkok to ask, “How Can We Build the ICT4D Capacity of Development Organizations?“. They discussed the usage, implementation as well as the successes and challenges of building capacity of development organization to make use of ICT in their work. The lead discussant, Simon Gee from TechSoup Asia, started the…

  • Can Women and Girls’ Use of Technology Help Us Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals?

    Washington DC | By on June 30, 2016 | Comments Off on Can Women and Girls’ Use of Technology Help Us Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals?

    Of course! But, in the quest to include women and girls, don’t forget about the boys and men. Did you miss it? Last month, Tech Salon hosted a special session in celebration of the Copenhagen-based Women Deliver Conference. Taking place once every three years, Women Deliver is the world’s largest conference dedicated to the rights,…

  • The Promise and Pitfalls of Bitcoin and Blockchain for Development

    Washington DC | By on May 21, 2016 | Comments Off on The Promise and Pitfalls of Bitcoin and Blockchain for Development

    Bitcoins represent an opportunity that can democratize value, but can never be truly democratic in and of itself

  • 3 Questions on Using Sensors and the Internet of Things for Global Development

    Denver | By on April 24, 2016 | Comments Off on 3 Questions on Using Sensors and the Internet of Things for Global Development

    The Posner Center for International Development convened a Denver Tech Salon earlier in April to host a conversation on Sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT). The lead discussants were: Gordon Lau, an Information Systems Architect working for International Development Enterprises (iDE). Karam Saab, an attorney with Kilpatrick Townsend offering legal counsel to the tech…

  • How is the Asia-Pacific Region Moving Forward in ICT?

    San Francisco | By on April 21, 2016 | Comments Off on How is the Asia-Pacific Region Moving Forward in ICT?

    What does it mean to be “connected” in Asia, the world’s most populous region? From hyper-connected Hong Kong and Singapore to disconnected North Korea, several billion people have several billion difference Internet experiences. Hence the San Francisco Technology Salon question: Is the Asia-Pacific Region Leading in Internet Connectivity? The conversation mainly focused on regions that…

  • The Opportunities and Challenges of Engaging Youth in Asia-Pacific Region

    Washington DC | By on April 20, 2016 | Comments Off on The Opportunities and Challenges of Engaging Youth in Asia-Pacific Region

    Many would regard the Asia-Pacific as one of the fasting growing regions for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). With Bangladeshi telecenters, Chinese manufacturing hubs, and the popularity of social media in Indonesia, it seems like Asian tech progress is a foregone conclusion. Especially since 717 million young people aged 15 to 24, 60% of the…

  • The Internet of Things vs. Low Tech or No Tech for Development

    Washington DC | By on April 11, 2016 | Comments Off on The Internet of Things vs. Low Tech or No Tech for Development

    The Bay Area community is deeply engaged and interested in the Internet of Things, and the lively conversation from the March Technology Salon San Francisco on “How Can Sensors and the Internt of Things Improve International Development Outcomes?” proved it. I am Jana Melpolder and I joined forty participants gathered to cover the exciting future…

  • Technology for Women’s Empowerment: Failures, Solutions, and Strategies

    San Francisco | By on April 10, 2016 | Comments Off on Technology for Women’s Empowerment: Failures, Solutions, and Strategies

    The special focus of women’s use of technology has been a part of ICT projects for decades. Whether it’s focus groups, particular reports, or special training programs, the fact is that women are often a central point within ICT4D projects. But looking even further, what has all that work achieved for women’s empowerment? The San…

  • 3 Ways Technology Could Support Education for Displaced Children

    Amman | By on April 7, 2016 | Comments Off on 3 Ways Technology Could Support Education for Displaced Children

    Currently it is estimated that there are 4.6 million Syrian refugees; 6.6 million displaced persons inside Syria. Of these, half are children. In March, Technology Salon Amman brought together people working in education and technology to discuss how technology can support education throughout a Syrian child’s journey. As was noted throughout the discussion, war and…

  • 4 Ways We Can Better Engage Smallholder Farmers Using ICT

    Washington DC | By on March 22, 2016 | Comments Off on 4 Ways We Can Better Engage Smallholder Farmers Using ICT

    An essential component for successfully engaging smallholder farmers using technology comes from providing a voice, a dialogue, with the farmers themselves. This coupling of human engagement to information and communication technologies was a core idea debated at the Technology Salon on How Can We Better Engage with Smallholder Farmers? Over 30 thought leaders exchanged perspectives…

  • Why Silicon Savannah is Unsustainable and What to Do About It

    Washington DC | By on March 15, 2016 | Comments Off on Why Silicon Savannah is Unsustainable and What to Do About It

    Since early in this decade, we’ve seen speculation that applications and other tech development and programming could create and jump start private sectors and local economies, a world of hype, enthusiasm and investments (from venture capital to public and donor money) appears to be funneling towards app development and mobile hubs around the world. Apps4D…