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Will Digital Economies Empower or Enslave the Next 4 Billion Mobile Users?


January 21st DC Salon - RSVP Now

We are in the throes of a shift from the industrial era to a digital one. There are 3 billion mobile phone subscribers, with 4 billion more to come online soon. Each will be a node in a new global digital economy.  Yet what will that network look like?

Will the techno-elite in Silicon Valley, Alley, or Roundabout covert the developing world's data into dollars, and become the next extractive industry to exploit the poor? Do we need enlightened entrepreneurs and strong regulators to find ways to build wealth while protecting potential patrons?

Better yet, could an emerging Silicon Savannah, Cape, and Lagoon produce counterweights and competitors that enfranchise the world's poor, and even enriched them, when they participate in a digital economy?

Finally, what is the role of development actors in this unfolding drama? How can we celebrate responsible digital entrepreneurship? Do we even know or agree on what that is? And who will help government and civil society create policy and social norms to enforce it?

Please RSVP now to join two esteemed thought leaders on the impact of digital economies on developing countries at the next Technology Salon DC:

We’ll have hot coffee and catered breakfast treats for a morning rush, but seating is limited, so please RSVP now to join in the discussion. Once we reach our 35-person capacity there will be a waiting list!

Digital Economies in Developing Countries
January Technology Salon DC
8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Wednesday, January 21st
Washington, DC


How Can Technology Address Structural Discrimination?

January 21st - New York City - RSVP Now

As 2014 wound to a close, and in the wake of decisions by two grand juries to exonerate white police officers for killing unarmed black men, the United States found itself in the midst of a growing movement protesting structural discrimination and institutional violence against African-Americans. These problems are not new to the US. They extend well beyond issues of police violence, and the public mass demonstrations are not the first or only form of protest addressing these issues.

Over the past several months, social media has continued to play a central role in coordination and expressions of solidarity. People around the world, often groups who share the experience of being targeted by state sanctioned violence and discrimination, expressed solidarity online with the movement.

Hashtags like #BlackLivesMatter #HandsUpDontShoot and #ICantBreathe arose, making Twitter a particularly prominent outlet for expressing anger and outrage. Other hashtags, Facebook pages and websites offered information on how to organize, the rights of protesters, and how to join individual protests or the movement overall.

As technology permeates our daily lives and is used increasingly in policing and protesting, the question arises: How can technology be better leveraged to address structural discrimination and institutional violence?

Please RSVP now to join these two thought leaders for the first Technology Salon of 2015:
  • Tynesha McHarris, Director of Community Leadership at the Brooklyn Community Foundation;
  • Courtney D. Cogburn, Assistant Professor of Social Work at Columbia University and Senior Advisor to the International Center for Advocates against Discrimination
We'll come together to discuss these key questions:
  • How is technology being effectively used to promote social movements? How is it shifting social, cultural and interpersonal aspects of society? How can social media and other technology support organization and rallying?
  • How effective is technology, such as police cameras and mobile apps to report harassment, in helping to reduce discrimination and when might it actually fuel greater discrimination?
  • What technologies and which data would help advocates to better identify, track and address institutional discrimination? How can social media help create empathy across racial and social groups?
  • Is there a role for new technology in addressing some of the root causes of poverty and exclusion identified in the Ferguson Action platform, and in supporting improved housing, employment and other services?
Please RSVP now to join Technology Salon NYC for a lively discussion! Be sure to arrive early to get a good seat, hot coffee, and morning snacks before we start.
Technology and Structural Discrimination in the US
January Technology Salon NYC
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
9:00-11:00 am
99 Madison Ave, 15th Floor (map)
New York, NY 10016

How Can ICTs Improve Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL)?


 London Salon on 29th January - RSVP Now

Technology is opening up new possibilities to improve our efforts in monitoring development programs; evaluating their impact, and learning from the results. In particular, data collection and analysis have seen enormous changes with more digital tools designed to collect more and better data, faster, and understand better what such data can tell us.  

But the field is crowded, and it is difficult to navigate the world of technology, vendors, donors and general hype to understand when technology should (or should not) be used and why, and which of the myriad of tools might be the best choice in different environments.

Please RSVP now to join the next Technology Salon with your peers and these two thought leaders on using digital tools for Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL or M&E) work in different organisations: Together, we will explore the practicalities and potential of ICT in M&E, with a focus on questions like the following:
  • What are the most common and recurring problems NGOs face when undertaking MEL and how might technological solutions be able to help?
  • How are different organisations using digital tools successfully in their MEL work and to what effect?
  • Is there sufficient research on the effectiveness of technology as a way to improve MEL or is more and better research needed?
  • What are the time/cost savings that technology can create when performing MEL and related reporting activities and for whom – what new opportunities might emerge out of this?
  • How can MEL data be used to support continuous reflection and learning?
  • Does introducing technology improve or limit opportunities for beneficiaries and field staff to engage meaningfully in the MEL process?
We’ll have hot coffee and a light breakfast. Seating is limited, so be sure to RSVP quickly to be confirmed for attendance. Once we reach our 30-person capacity there will be a waiting list.
How can ICTs help improve Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL)?
January Technology Salon London
9.00 – 11.00 a.m., Thursday January 29th 2015
Central London, UK
RSVP is required for attendance

About the Technology Salon

The Technology Salonâ„¢ is an intimate, informal, and in person, discussion between information and communication technology experts and international development professionals, with a focus on both:
  • technology's impact on donor-sponsored technical assistance delivery, and
  • private enterprise driven economic development, facilitated by technology.
Our meetings are lively conversations, not boring presentations. Attendance is capped at 30 people - and frank participation with ideas, opinions, and predictions is actively encouraged. 

It's also a great opportunity to meet others motivated to employ technology to solve vexing development problems. Join us today!
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