A couple of months ago I was asked by somebody at the Global South Forum to give a talk about some technology related topic. My initial idea was to talk about Taarifa but after some thought I decided to open it up more and talk about the wider ICT4D field. In particular related to my own experiences and assumptions.
I have been wrestling with the whole concept of ICT4D for some time and thought it would be a good opportunity to engage with “the experts”.
My slides are below. Though they contain very little text the narrative should be clear from the pictures. As background reading I strongly suggest Can Technology end Poverty from Kentaro Toyama and The Subtle Condescension of “ICT4D” by Erik Hersman.
Today I was lucky enough to attend a seminar by Marlon Parker, founder of RLabs. I had never heard of either before but my interest was sparked by the mention of ICT4D (something I have been into for a while) and a cursory browse on the website.
Organized by the kind folks of the Global South Forum it was well worth attending. From the RLabs website:
Reconstructed Living Lab (RLabs) is a global movement and registered Social Enterprise that provides innovative solutions to address various complex problems. It creates an environment where people are empowered to make a difference in the lives of others. The RLabs “main hub” is in Athlone, Cape Town but have activity in the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and Central Africa with a goal of reaching all continents by 2012.
With the next Random Hacks of Kindness event looming and me organizing a satellite event here in Southampton, UK I found I have been writing a lot of similar emails and violating the DRY principle at every turn.
The purpose of this post is to put a stop to that. Eventually this should merge into an official FAQ on the rhok.org site (as far as I know there isn’t one currently).
Please let me know if there is stuff I should add/improve.
After the great success and feedback of the previous global RHoK event in Southampton I decided to organize the next one as well. This time around kindly helped out by Alejandro Saucedo from HackaSoton.
During the weekend of 1-2 December 2012, The University of Southampton will be one of the satellite cities as part of the global Random Hacks of Kindness Event!
Like in June it looks like we will be the only UK event so let that be an extra motivation!
Click here for the detailed programme
Twitter hashtag: #rhoksoton
In 30 minutes we have the #RHoKSoton pre-RHoK Event social gathering in a nearby pub. Tomorrow morning we will join 30 worldwide locations and 3000+ participants to work on a number of challenging problems for the good of humanity and the environment. This is the first time RHoK is organized in this part of the UK and we are the only event in the UK this round!
Its been a lot of work getting this organized and not everything will be perfect, but all I can say is….
The gist: RHoK is great, come present your problem, or come learn something new or come sponsor a prize. But above all, come have fun! (June 2-3).
Twitter hashtag: #RHoKSoton
In one of my previous posts I talked about bringing engineers and computer scientists together who were interested in helping to solve problems related to humanity and international development.
Well, we haven’t even had our first meeting yet (its this Thursday, 3pm @ UoS, Highfield campus, staffclub, if you want to come along) but Im already very happy and proud to say that we will be having our first event in 3 weeks time: During the weekend of 2-3 June 2012, Southampton University will be one of the satellite cities as part of the global Random Hacks of Kindness Event!
In my day job Im lucky and happy to be working on cool UAV technology for civilian applications, in particular our research focus is on search and rescue. While Im still not totally clear about what I want to do beyond my current contract I have always had an interest in helping to tackle humanitarian problems through engineering and technology (e.g., my recent RHOK event attendances). I was born in Burundi and grew up in various countries around East Africa. Experiences that have definitely left their mark and part of the reason I am writing this post.