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Do Tech Hubs and Innovation Spaces Really Work? - January Salon in DC

Of course you've heard of the iHub in Nairobi, but did you know there are at least 91 tech hubs across Africa now? An amazing wellspring of grassroots efforts to catalyze development through ICT that mirrors the collaborative workspace trend in developed countries - even in Washington DC.

ICT HubsAnd do you know that the World Bank has a €12.9 million program to encourage innovation and competitiveness via innovation spaces or the Gates Foundation's Beyond Access Initiative is showing how libraries power development? Last but not least, USAID is even sponsoring a $7.5 million Social Innovation Lab in Cambodia.

So there is serious money now flowing into tech hubs and innovation spaces around the world. But is this a good thing? Are tech-focused collaborative workspaces and incubation centers really effective in spurring innovation and accelerating development? And is donor money, and the rules it brings, enhancing or constraining the organic development and expansion of centers, hubs, and labs?

Please join three noted thought leaders on innovation centers at the January Technology Salon in Washington DC:
  • Christine Prefontaine is an advocate of innovation spaces, an advisor to Beyond Access and the Global Impact Study at the University of Washington Information School.
  • Toni Eliasz co-founded and headed two successful hubs in South Africa and now is the Task Manager for the World Bank Mobile Applications for Development program
  • Stephen Davenport co-founded the OpenGov Hub here in DC to combine the transparency/accountability and technology for development communities
We'll have hot coffee and donuts for a morning rush, but seating is limited at IREX's headquarters. So RSVP ASAP to be confirmed for attendance - once we reach our 25-person capacity there will be a waitlist.

   Tech Hubs for Development
   January DC Technology Salon
   8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
   Wednesday, January 16th, 2012
   IREX Conference Room
   2121 K Street NW
   Washington, DC (map)

Congrats to the iPad Mini Winner!

Woohoo!Thanks for your feedback on how to make the Technology Salon better and more responsive to your needs. We received over 100 responses and we've read and thought about each one. You'll see your suggestions appearing in our Salons in Washington DC, New York City, San Francisco, Nairobi, and soon, London.

And congrats to Jake Watson, the winner of the iPad Mini grand prize for those that responded. As you can see, he is one happy Salon participant!

Note that there is still time to complete the Salon survey - we are always open to your feedback.

Save The Date: Fail Faire UK in March

Fail Faire UK

Projects succeed, projects fail. The successes are always reported on, the failures are often filed away – pushed under the proverbial rug. Well, its time to bring out the failures, with a sense of humor and with an honest look at ourselves for the 2nd annual Fail Faire UK in downtown London the week of March 18th.

You will need to RSVP to attend, so sign up to get invited and be quick to respond. We will sell out – fast!

About the Technology Salon™

subscribersThe Technology Salon™ 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 25 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!

You're receiving this email via your interest in the Technology Salon. I do hope you find it of value.

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