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How to Bring Blockchain to Your Programs?

RSVP Now for the next Technology Salon DC
Washington, DC - Nov 9 - RSVP Now
Blockchain is at the peak of inflated expectations. Since last year’s Tech Salon on Bitcoin, the hype cycle has eclipsed cryptocurrencies to focus the underlying distributed ledger technology. Just look at who is putting blockchain front and center: The decentralized digital ledger technology, originally a little understood aspect of Bitcoin, is now finding serious utility in dozens of non-financial applications. It's at operational capacity in Estonia and Georgia, and other nations are taking notice. Prototypes abound, even in the ICT4D space.

Yes, there are real use cases in land title registries, supply chains, and digital IDs, yet, who has made internal investments in exploring blockchain? What are the donors, multilaterals, and institutions learning from their labs and prototyping projects?
  • Why did they decide to organize dedicated teams to pursue blockchain?
  • How much investment in people, skills, and technology is needed?
  • What projects are they working on, and what is the scope?
  • Is a long term strategy for these initiatives starting to appear?
  • What are the barriers to mainstream blockchain programs?
Please RSVP now to join the next Technology Salon DC to explore these questions and more about blockchains and the institutions that love them. Our discussion will be guided by these thought leaders:
  • Stela Mocan, Manager, Technology & Innovation, Blockchain Lab, World Bank Group
  • Josh Leland, Director of Corporate Partnerships & Blockchain Solutions Lab Lead, Chemonics
  • TBD, USAID (gotta be respectful of those clearances)
We’ll have hot coffee and catered breakfast treats for a morning rush but seating is limited so please RSVP now.  Once we reach our 35-person capacity there will be a waiting list!
Blockchain for Development
Technology Salon DC
8.30 – 10.30am,
Thursday, November 9th, 2017
Downtown Washington, DC
RSVP is required for attendance

Can Chatbots Improve Humanitarian Response?

Amman - November 15 - RSVP Now
Surprise! You have probably interacted with a chatbot - conversational computer programs that help you check your finances, make travel reservations, order pizza, and even teach college classes.

Beyond novelty, what opportunities exist to use chatbots to assist humanitarians and development practitioners?
To start with, we can use chatbots to improve constituent services. We can now leverage the rise of mobile messaging services like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Line, Kik, and others, to make custom chatbots, for social services, like FoodBot and Bolsa Familia.
Next, we can go beyond services to actual program delivery. Initiatives like Wysa, which delivers needed psychological support via chatbot, show a future where chatbots could be a core program delivery modality.
Yet despise the hype and potential, there isn’t much evidence that chatbots actually increase reach and impact of development programming and humanitarian response.

We do have chatbot case studies that raise interesting questions on what it takes to make chatbots actually work:
  • What can we learn from existing efforts, and failures? 
  • When are chatbots appropriate? When are they not?
  • How important is the chatbot design process?
  • Who is measuring the success of chatbots in humanitarian response?
  • Where does user privacy and data security limit chatbot functionality? 
Please RSVP now to join the next Technology Salon Amman for a vibrant discussion about chatbots with these thoughts leaders:
  • Teeb Assaf, Program Officer, UNICEF
  • Jo Aggarwal, co-Founder, Wysa
  • Wayan Vota, Digital Health Director, IntraHealth International
  • Eva Kaplan, Regional Director of Innovation, International Rescue Committee
RSVP is required for participation and we’ll have refreshments for an afternoon rush, but seating is limited. Once we reach our 35-person capacity there will be a waiting list!
Chatbots for Development
Amman Technology Salon
3pm - 5pm
Wednesday, November 15th, 2017
UNICEF Jordan Country Office
Layla Al Akhilya Street, Building No. 7 
Shmeisani Area - near Kempinski Hotel
Amman, Jordan


About the Technology Salon

The 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 35 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!
Copyright © 2017 Technology Salon, All rights reserved.

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