Technology Salon

Washington DC

Sponsored by

a discussion at the intersection of technology and development

Technology Salon DC was founded in 2007 by Wayan Vota and it is the largest Salon, with over 3,000 members that span the gamut of development and technology disciplines.

Salons serve as sounding board and focus group discussions for emerging topics in ICT for social change. We tackle tough topics in a safe space that sparks cross-sectoral learning. Our monthly meetings are driving policy and implementation decisions across international development. Be sure to sign up to get invited and RSVP quickly – we always have a wait list.

You can contact Wayan to suggest a topic or lead discussant for a future meeting.


  • No categories
  • Bridging the Gender Gap in Technology by Putting Women’s and Girls’ Access to Technology First

    Washington DC | By on July 23, 2015 | Comments Off on Bridging the Gender Gap in Technology by Putting Women’s and Girls’ Access to Technology First

    At the “How Can We Bridge Gender Gaps and Increase Women and Girls Access to Technology?” Technology Salon in Washington, D.C., leaders in various fields came together to discuss data and initiatives aimed to bridge the gender gaps in technology, with lead discussants Shireen Santosham, Revi Sterling, and Elise Young. I was fortunate enough to…

  • Can Zero-Rating Support Ecosystems To Bring the Next Billion Online?

    Washington DC | By on June 9, 2015 | Comments Off on Can Zero-Rating Support Ecosystems To Bring the Next Billion Online?

    Tech lovers can be guilty of techtopia. We imagine that technology makes life better for anyone, regardless of socioeconomic status or access to basic resources. With 4.4 billion people in the world still not online, the tech community is deliberating over how we will get the next billion online. Will it be through policies like…

  • The Number 1 Reason Why You Do Not Encrypt Email

    Washington DC | By on June 2, 2015 | Comments Off on The Number 1 Reason Why You Do Not Encrypt Email

    Two new Pew Research Center studies are very enlightening around the American public’s perception of privacy, security, and surveillance. While both reports are worth a read, there are two contradictory statements that really stand out: The surveys find that Americans feel privacy is important in their daily lives in a number of essential ways. Yet,…

Get Invited to Future Salons

SUBSCRIBE NOW
Mailing List Signup
 
  • 4 Challenges to Using Design Thinking in ICT4D

    Washington DC | By on May 20, 2015 | Comments Off on 4 Challenges to Using Design Thinking in ICT4D

    On project teams, everyone envisions a solution or product. When everyone leaves the room, most imagine a “piece of an animal” or even “the whole animal” in completely different ways. When teams have designers, some of these barriers are eliminated because designers create testable prototypes of “the whole animal”. Prototypes present ideas in a tangible…

  • ICT in Cuba: Economic Driver or Casualty of Complicated Political Realities?

    Washington DC | By on May 19, 2015 | Comments Off on ICT in Cuba: Economic Driver or Casualty of Complicated Political Realities?

    In December 2014, United States President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced an agreement to restore diplomatic ties between the two historically adversarial countries. As Cuba becomes a more open country, especially in relation to the United States, how will they welcome NGOs, businesses, or government activities in the formerly cloistered country? And…

  • AirBnB: A New Model for Growth of ICT in Cuba

    Washington DC | By on May 14, 2015 | Comments Off on AirBnB: A New Model for Growth of ICT in Cuba

    At the recent Technology Salon on ICT for Cuba, experts came together to discuss the role of ICT in growing the Cuban economy and how the United States government, private industry and nonprofit organizations could help. The main takeaway I got from the event was the uniqueness of the Cuban system and that any company…

  • 5 Unanswered Questions on Digital Economies in Developing Countries

    Washington DC | By on February 26, 2015 | Comments Off on 5 Unanswered Questions on Digital Economies in Developing Countries

    Recently, the Technology Salon in Washington DC asked if Digital Economies Will Empower or Enslave the Next 4 Billion Mobile Users? While there was a general recognition of the lack of digital literacy, and the disadvantages people face when trying to understand the costs and benefits of having an online presence, opinions were split on…

  • Is ICT4D Slowly Dying or Slowly Changing?

    Washington DC | By on February 24, 2015 | Comments Off on Is ICT4D Slowly Dying or Slowly Changing?

    At the September 23 Technology Salon, attendees faced a question: Is ICT4D slowly dying or slowly changing? Earlier this year, James BonTempo, Director of ICT and Innovation at Johns Hopkins CCP wrote that ICT4D is slowly dying. ICT4D enthusiasts had a lot to say in response (don’t miss Part II of BonTempo’s blog post). While…

  • 7 Key Insights in Using ICT to Improve Ebola Response

    Washington DC | By on February 17, 2015 | Comments Off on 7 Key Insights in Using ICT to Improve Ebola Response

    Recently, we had the 175th Technology Salon in Washington, DC, this one focused on How Can ICTs Improve Our Ebola Response? Be sure to sign up to get invited to our next event. In the lively morning-long discussion with 35 key thought leaders and decision makers from across the technology and development sectors, we came…

  • Know Your Customer is the Secret to MNO Negotiations

    Washington DC | By on February 10, 2015 | Comments Off on Know Your Customer is the Secret to MNO Negotiations

    NGOs and social service organizations are increasingly turning to mobile technology as a tool for designing and delivering services to the poor, whether in health, education or any other sector. And of course a major element of these services is often the delivery of cash transfers, for which mobile money can play a critical role….

  • Can ICTs Improve Democracy and Governance in Myanmar?

    Washington DC | By on September 3, 2014 | Comments Off on Can ICTs Improve Democracy and Governance in Myanmar?

    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…

  • How Can We Successfully Partner with Mobile Network Operators?

    Washington DC | By on July 29, 2014 | Comments Off on How Can We Successfully Partner with Mobile Network Operators?

    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 in Ethiopia: The Three S’s

    Washington DC | By on July 1, 2014 | Comments Off on ICT4Ag in Ethiopia: The Three S’s

    “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.

  • 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…

  • Tweet Tweet! Cuban Twitter and its Implications for ICT4D

    Washington DC | By on May 6, 2014 | Comments Off on Tweet Tweet! Cuban Twitter and its Implications for ICT4D

    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…

  • Maps-R-Us? Geodata and Moving Beyond Data Visualization

    Washington DC | By on February 11, 2014 | Comments Off on Maps-R-Us? Geodata and Moving Beyond Data Visualization

    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: Needed to Connect With Communities

    Washington DC | By on February 11, 2014 | Comments Off on Local Content: Needed to Connect With Communities

    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,…

  • Who Does Monitoring and Evaluation and Uses the F-Word?

    Washington DC | By on February 11, 2014 | Comments Off on Who Does Monitoring and Evaluation and Uses the F-Word?

    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…

  • How 3 Technology Initiatives Are Improving Education in Rwanda

    Washington DC | By on December 3, 2013 | Comments Off on How 3 Technology Initiatives Are Improving Education in Rwanda

    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.

  • 7 Considerations for Mobile Money Cash Grants to Change Development

    Washington DC | By on December 3, 2013 | Comments Off on 7 Considerations for Mobile Money Cash Grants to Change Development

    Let us start with the classic (borderline cliché) development proverb: if you give a man a fish, he eats for a day, but if he is taught how to fish, he will eat for a lifetime. It was this analogy that got conversation started at the latest Technology Salon, “Are Mobile Money Cash Transfers the…