Technology Salon

Global Sponsor

a discussion at the intersection of technology and development

Meeting Synopsis

  • Internet access, in particular via mobile technology, gives citizens a medium through which to exercise their political voice. It can be used to challenge preexisting power systems and is a potential game-changer in countries with undemocratic regimes. As we’ve seen with the Arab Spring, citizens can use Internet tools to place the fates of governments…

  • unnamed

    Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and development organizations need each other, but few preexisting partnerships have yielded success stories worth boasting about. MNOs offer scale and an established structure for services, while development organizations offer unique insight and connections to “untapped” markets such as rural populations and women.

  • ICT4Ag

    “ICT is not the silver bullet. Find what works and do that.” This idea came out of the Tech Salon “What Can We Learn from ICT4Ag in Ethiopia” held last week, where ICT4Ag leaders discussed some of the current initiatives aimed at feeding 92 million people in Ethiopia.

Get Invited to Future Salons Mailing List Signup

 
  • burma-ict

    Myanmar will be going online fast in the next 2 years. Right now it has the same mobile phone usage as North Korea, Eritrea, and Cuba – less than 10% – yet with Teleno, Ooredoo, and Myanmar Post and Telecommunication set to race each other to get all Burmese a mobile phone, expect the country…

  • Last week’s Technology Salon New York City touched on ethics in technology for democracy initiatives. We heard from lead discussants Malavika Jayaram, Berkman Center for Internet and Society; Ivan Sigal, Global Voices; and Amilcar Priestley, Afrolatin@ Project. Though the topic was catalyzed by the Associated Press’ article on ‘Zunzuneo’ (a.k.a. ‘Cuban Twitter’) and subsequent discussions in the press and elsewhere, we aimed to cover some of the wider…

  • Could future Community Health Workers use drones to bring needed supplies to the point of care? What about Bitcoin vouchers to incentivize behavior or subsidize care? Or digital health records to track all of their community members’ health over time? At the recent Nairobi Technology Salon exploring “How are Community Health Workers using ICT?“, we…

  • mika

    Our February 6th Technology Salon in New York City focused on the organizational challenges that development organizations face when trying to innovate or integrate ICTs into their programs and operations. We looked at the idea of “innovation” and different ways to approach it. We asked what “innovation” really means and why “technology” and “innovation” seem…

  • Narkunski

    This is a guest post from Jamie Narkunski, who works as a UX consultant at ThoughtWorks NYC. I recently attended a Tech Salon where the subject of grant applications came up. Part of the conversation revolved around the issue that the complexity, format, and investment required in the traditional grant application process acts as a…

  • big_data.2

    The NYC Technology Salon on February 28th examined the connection between bigger, better data and resilience. We held morning and afternoon Salons due to the high response rate for the topic. Jake Porway, DataKind; Emmanuel Letouzé, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative; and Elizabeth Eagen, Open Society Foundations; were our lead discussants for the morning. Max Shron, Data…

  • 3D_printing

    Just as the Internet changed the communications world in the 1990s, 3D Printing is the set to change the physical world. This new technology is revolutionizing the way that we make products, by bringing the factory into the community and allowing computers and the Internet to become the new conduit for skills, innovation and creativity…

  • mpesa_woman

    We looked at the role of mobiles in youth financial inclusion at our March 11th Technology Salon in New York City. Tim Nourse, Making Cents; Peter Goldstein, Intermedia; and Jamie Zimmerman, Bankable Frontier Associates; joined as lead discussants. Though mobile financial services are seen by many as inevitable, some Salon participants felt that, like in…

  • Tweet Tweet

    On April 4, the Associated Press released a story about the ICT project in Cuba, reporting that the pseudo-Twitter platform, ZunZuneo, was a covert program created with the intention to ‘stir unrest’. USAID maintains the platform was created to facilitate conversation between Cuban citizens, and approved by the Government Accountability Office. (USAID refutes eight facts…

  • olpc_boys

    May 21st Toronto Salon – RSVP Now We have all seen the pretty pictures of children playing with fancy new gadgets, and while the photos are uplifting, do they really signify progress? Does the introduction of new technology, specifically information and communication technologies like mobile phones, computers, and the Internet really accelerate the social and…

  • Dataviz

    Geodata is popping up everywhere. Companies, agencies and organizations now dazzle audiences with beautiful graphics that are supposed to represent what’s happening in a given industry, geographic area etc. Uber, the car service has maps that show the location of every Uber driver across the world, in what they call “God View.” At the February…

  • local_content

    At the December Technology Salon, the word “Local Content” emerged as multifaceted term that has different definitions across development organizations and sectors. Priya Jaisinghani and Jonathan Dolan of USAID, and John Garrity of Cisco, led the discussion about what orgs are doing in regards to Local Content. Participants’ definitions of Local Content ranged from news,…

  • mandedatacyclefunky_thumb

    33,000 stores, 61 years of business, and more than 1 billion served. Can you guess which organization these numbers are associated with? McDonald’s. Imagine if development organizations had these kinds of statistics. Imagine if they could track results to this degree. Would programs save money? Be more efficient? What would it take to harness data…

  • migrating_youth

    Migration is central to the current political debate as well as to the development discussion, especially in conversations about the “post 2015” agenda, the ‘youth bulge’, and youth employment. Prevention work is not likely to end migration, regardless of the organizations and governments working to improve the well-being of children and youth in their home…

  • cash-money

    The salon style conversation featured Columbia University and popular aid blogger Chris Blattman, GiveDirectly co-founder and UCSD researcher Paul Neihaus and Plan USA CEO Tessie San Martin. The ensuing discussion, operating under the Chatham House Rules of no attribution, featured representatives from large NGOs, microfinance organizations and UN agencies. Research from Kenya, Uganda and Liberia show both the promise and shortcomings of cash transfers.

  • ict-report

    How We Can Use ICTs to Engage Adolescent Girls

    New York | By on December 14, 2013 | Comments Off

    At the November 8th Technology Salon in New York City, we looked at the role of ICTs in communication for development (C4D) initiatives with marginalized adolescent girls. Lead discussants Kerida McDonald and Katarzyna Pawelczyk discussed recent UNICEF reports related to the topic, and John Zoltner spoke about FHI360’s C4D work in practice. To begin, it…

  • Kicukiro2

    The Technology Salon on “How is ICT Impacting Education in Rwanda?” in Washington, DC featured lead discussants David Rurangirwa, ICT/Education Specialist for USAID/Rwanda, who described the Rwanda Education Commons and Jacques Murinda, Executive Director, OLE Rwanda, who explained initiatives that OLE is implementing using TeacherMates and OLPC XO-1 laptops.