One liner summary: If you are interested in applying drone/UAV technology (or are already doing so) to humanitarian/social/conservation related problems, and you live in the UK. then get in touch.
I have worked with drones quite extensively in thepast, including some work with the BBC, and still do in various ways now. I have to say, though, that I dislike the term drone and much prefer to use the term UAV or UAS. But that’s a different story.
Inspired by the recent DroneConference in the US, a coffee with the founder of ShadowView, and the enthusiasm of the UAV guy at Doctors Without Borders, I am now looking to reach out to similar minded people and see if maybe we can set up a Drone User Group chapter here in the UK? Founded in the US by Timothy Reuter, their tagline is: Promoting the Use of Civilian Drone Technology for the Benefit of Humanity. They also recently announced a drone social impact award. I contacted Timothy and he was very supportive of the idea.
We were already honoured to be selected as one of the 10 finalists and the news that we were also one of the 3 final winners was fabulous. Congratulations for those of the team that put in all the hard work to get us here. Congratulations also to the two other grand finalists: mSchool and SunClean. Members of each of the three teams were given tours around Silicon Valley last week.
So great news for Taarfia and its nice to feel the momentum. The road ahead is still long and challenging but its been amazing to see how much has been achieved already.
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”.
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.