Technology Salon

New York

Sponsored by

a discussion at the intersection of technology and development

Technology Salon NYC (TSNYC) was started by Linda Raftree in 2011. TSNYC brings together a diverse and experienced group of national and international NGO practitioners and managers, foundation representatives, academic researchers, evaluators, UN agencies, technology creators, design firms, media professionals and social entrepreneurs.

We tackle tough topics in a safe space that sparks opportunities for cross-sectoral learning and development of contacts and partnerships. Salons also serve as sounding board and focus group discussion opportunities for emerging topics in ICT4D and social media for social change.

Our sessions are always overbooked, so be sure to sign up to get invited and RSVP quickly to ensure you’ll have a spot! Contact Linda to suggest a topic or lead discussant for a future meeting, or if you’d like to support TSNYC.


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  • How to Build Better Partnerships for Global Health

    New York | By on October 19, 2017 | Comments Off on How to Build Better Partnerships for Global Health

    For our Technology Salon on How Can Partnerships Improve the Digital Health Ecosystem?, we discussed partnerships and interoperability in global health systems. The room housed a wide range of perspectives, from small to large non-governmental organizations to donors and funders to software developers to designers to healthcare professionals to students. Our lead discussants were: Josh…

  • How Partnerships Improve the Digital Health Ecosystem

    New York | By on October 16, 2017 | Comments Off on How Partnerships Improve the Digital Health Ecosystem

    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…

  • Can Microwork and Impact Sourcing Improve Youth Employment?

    New York | By on April 18, 2017 | Comments Off on Can Microwork and Impact Sourcing Improve Youth Employment?

    Our Technology Salon on Thursday March 9th focused on the potential of Microwork to support youth economic empowerment. Joining us as lead discussants were: Lis Meyers, Banyan Global Saul Miller, Samasource Elena Matsui, The Rockefeller Foundation Banyan Global recently completed a report on “The Nexus of Microwork and Impact Sourcing: Implications for Youth Employment,” supported…

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  • How the Internet of Things Can Contribute to Global Development

    New York | By on April 12, 2016 | Comments Off on How the Internet of Things Can Contribute to Global Development

    Our March 18th Technology Salon NYC covered the Internet of Things and Global Development with three experienced discussants: John Garrity, Global Technology Policy Advisor at CISCO and co-author of Harnessing the Internet of Things for Global Development; Sylvia Cadena, Community Partnerships Specialist, Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) and the Asia Information Society Innovation Fund (ISIF); and Andy McWilliams,…

  • How to Approach Digital Safety, Security and Privacy for Vulnerable Girls

    New York | By on January 8, 2016 | Comments Off on How to Approach Digital Safety, Security and Privacy for Vulnerable Girls

    Our December 2015 Technology Salon discussion in NYC focused on approaches to girls’ digital privacy, safety and security. By extension, the discussion included ways to reduce risk for other vulnerable populations. Our lead discussants were Ximena Benavente, Girl Effect Mobile (GEM) and Jonathan McKay, Praekelt Foundation. I also shared a draft Girls’ Digital Privacy, Safety and Security Policy and Toolkit…

  • Insights on Developing an Organizational ICT4D Strategy

    New York | By on November 30, 2015 | Comments Off on Insights on Developing an Organizational ICT4D Strategy

    At our November 18thTechnology Salon, we discussed how different organizations are developing their ICT for development (ICT4D) strategies. We shared learning on strategy development and buy-in, talked about whether organizations should create special teams or labs for ICT- and innovation-related work or mainstream the ICT4D function, and thought about how organizations can define and find…

  • The Role of Big Data in Development Evaluations

    New York | By on November 23, 2015 | Comments Off on The Role of Big Data in Development Evaluations

    Traditional development evaluation has been characterized as ‘backward looking’ rather than forward looking and too focused on proving over improving. Some believe applying an ‘agile’ approach in development would be more useful — the assumption being that if you design a program properly and iterate rapidly and constantly based on user feedback and data analytics, you are more likely…

  • Pros and Cons of Technology for Public Consultation

    New York | By on July 24, 2015 | Comments Off on Pros and Cons of Technology for Public Consultation

    The July 7th Technology Salon in New York City focused on the role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in Public Consultation. Our lead discussants were Tiago Peixoto, Team Lead, World Bank Digital Engagement Unit; Michele Brandt, Interpeace’s Director of Constitution-Making for Peace; and Ravi Karkara, Co-Chair, Policy Strategy Group, World We Want Post-2015 Consultation….

  • 13 Tips for Creating Data Dashboards for Decision-Making

    New York | By on June 9, 2015 | Comments Off on 13 Tips for Creating Data Dashboards for Decision-Making

    The private sector has been using dashboards for quite some time, but international development organizations face challenges when it comes to identifying the right data dashboards and accompanying systems for decision-making. Our May 29th, 2015, Technology Salon (sponsored by The Rockefeller Foundation) explored data dashboards and data visualization for improved decision making with lead discussants…

  • An Understanding of LGBTQI Rights and Technology for Development

    New York | By on May 4, 2015 | Comments Off on An Understanding of LGBTQI Rights and Technology for Development

    Our April 21st NYC Technology Salon focused on issues related to the LGBT ICT4D community, including how LGBTQI issues are addressed in the context of stakeholders and ICT4D staff. We examined specific concerns that ICT4D practitioners who identify as LGBTQI have, as well as how LGBTQI stakeholders are (or are not) incorporated into ICT4D projects,…

  • How Games Can Improve Development Outcomes

    New York | By on April 7, 2015 | Comments Off on How Games Can Improve Development Outcomes

    Our Technology Salon in New York City on Oct 7 focused on the potential of games and gamification in international development work. Joining us as lead discussants were Asi Burak (Games for Change), Nick Martin (TechChange), and Craig Savel and Stan Mierzwa (Population Council). TechChange is a social enterprise that uses principles of gamification on…

  • Ethical Data and Design for our Wearable Sensor Future

    New York | By on April 7, 2015 | Comments Off on Ethical Data and Design for our Wearable Sensor Future

    On March 31, 2015, nearly 40 participants, joined by lead discussants Robert Fabricant, Dalberg Design Team; Despina Papadopoulos, Principled Design; and Roop Pal, PicoSatellite eXploration Lab; came together for Technology Salon New York City where we discussed the future of wearables in international development. As follows is a summary of our discussion. While the future of wearables is…

  • Do Girl Ads Detract From Girls Empowerment?

    New York | By on February 22, 2015 | Comments Off on Do Girl Ads Detract From Girls Empowerment?

    Our August Technology Salon in New York City (TSNYC) was a stimulating and deep discussion on whether ‘girl advertising’ detracts from girls empowerment. The topic surfaced after a Facebook conversation about the rise in commercials about girls and women’s empowerment such as Always’ “Like a Girl,” Verizon’s “Inspire her Mind,” and Pantene’s “Stop Saying Sorry.” There…

  • 7 Technology Salon Aspirations for Better ICT4D in 2015

    New York | By on February 3, 2015 | Comments Off on 7 Technology Salon Aspirations for Better ICT4D in 2015

    Technology Salon NYC had another banner year of great discussions. To cap it off and start the 2015 series of events, we had a unique Salon. We shared our hopes and fears for 2015, with three amazing lead discussants to guide the conversation: Felicity Ruby, long-time activist and currently ThoughtWorks’ Director of Global Internet Policy;…

  • ZunZuneo and Ethics in Technology for Democracy

    New York | By on May 29, 2014 | Comments Off on ZunZuneo and Ethics in Technology for Democracy

    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…

  • Encouraging Innovation in Development Organizations

    New York | By on May 22, 2014 | Comments Off on Encouraging Innovation in Development Organizations

    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…

  • How We Helped Small Organizations Be More Competitive in Grant Challenges

    New York | By on May 20, 2014 | Comments Off on How We Helped Small Organizations Be More Competitive in Grant Challenges

    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…

  • Bigger, Better Data and Resilience: What’s the Link?

    New York | By on May 15, 2014 | Comments Off on Bigger, Better Data and Resilience: What’s the Link?

    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…

  • Youth Financial Inclusion Via Mobiles: Long on Enthusiasm, Short on Examples?

    New York | By on May 8, 2014 | Comments Off on Youth Financial Inclusion Via Mobiles: Long on Enthusiasm, Short on Examples?

    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…

  • Tech Salon Summary: Children, Youth, Migration and ICT

    New York | By on February 11, 2014 | Comments Off on Tech Salon Summary: Children, Youth, Migration and ICT

    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…