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Is Zero Rating the Answer to Internet Adoption?


DC Salon - June 4th - RSVP Now

In many countries, mobile network operators "zero rate" services - they provide free access to Internet-based services that would otherwise incur data usage fees. Facebook Zero and Google Free Zone were early examples of this. The practice went to industrial scale when started zero rating Facebook along with a suite of other websites across multiple countries.

On the one hand, zero rating does increase adoption of Internet-based services. Facebook, Wikipedia, and others have seen increases in adoption when consumers learn they can use those services for free, and mobile network operators see increased data usage for sites that are not zero rated, increasing their revenue. We should rejoice with this win-win, right?

Not so fast say those that believe we should be lowering barriers to entry for all sites, or at least government, social services, and local content providers ether equally or in priority before multinational corporations. And shouldn't governments be doing this already with Universal Service Fees? Finally, why are we celebrating Facebook or Google usage? How do they increase development outcomes?

Please RSVP now to join the next Technology Salon, where we'll build on a PPI Zero-Rating Report and follow-on Dinner Salon, and go deep into the issues and opportunities for zero rating, net neutrality, and greater Internet adoption by all. Or discussion will be informed by these three thought leaders: 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!

Zero-Rating for Development
June Technology Salon DC
8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Thursday, June 4th
Washington, DC
RSVP is required for attendance


Can Serious Games Enhance Ghana's Growth?


Accra Salon - May 26th - RSVP Now

Electronic games are a two trillion dollar global industry. Game development in Ghana is growing rapidly, fueled by the popularity of mobile phones and climbing Internet usage rates. African game developers are increasing their share of this demand by developing culturally relevant games that speak directly to local markets.

What is the potential of the game industry to further Ghana's development?

While games are often considered frivolous entertainment, evidence shows that games can effectively improve cognition, problem solving, and spatial skills development, with a particular benefit for science, engineering, and mathematics education. "Serious" games can also help communities explore different development scenarios to solve critical problems in society.

Please RSVP now to join the next Technology Salon Accra where we will explore questions like:

  • What kinds of games would excite Ghanaians and improve society?
  • Who would play them? What would they learn?
  • How can we incentivize "good" games and improve others?
  • Where should we look to see the future of gaming in Ghana?

We’ll have three key thought leaders to guide our discussions on Africa’s buzzing technology scene and how it can support game development in Ghana:

Please RSVP now to join them and your technology and development peers for Technology Salon Accra. We'll have hot coffee, breakfast, and cool games to play for a morning rush. However, seating is limited to 35 people, so RSVP now or you'll be on the wait list!

Games for Ghana's Development
May Technology Salon Accra
8:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Tuesday, May 26th
Accra, Ghana
RSVP is Required


How Can Technology Improve Literacy?


Bangkok Salon - May 28th - RSVP Now

The new opportunities of the 21st century are available to those who can access and use information. But the prerequisite for any of these opportunities is the ancient skill of reading, and school systems across Asia are struggling to equip their students with this most basic of competencies.

Do new and mobile technologies provide an answer?

Throughout Asia, many classrooms are overcrowded, relevant language materials are often insufficient, and pedagogy has struggled to evolve to meet 21st century needs. Children at the margins unsurprisingly fall behind, and when they don’t gain functional literacy at an early age, their opportunities are limited and difficulties compounded as they get older.

So while countries around the region are trumpeting new technology-powered jobs, many young people emerge from school unprepared for the information society. Educational reform programs can take years to implement and show results. The injection of ICTs offer promise to address these gaps by rapidly making reading materials and new methods available in a range of forms, often via mobile devices.

Technology has the potential to:
  • Make text available on shared or or personal devices to overcome access issues.
  • Bring supplementary and support materials to the learner, at the moment of need.
  • Facilitate learning through engaging reading activities in electronic formats.
Please RSVP now for the next Technology Salon Bangkok where we’ll put the hype aside and discuss how can technology can legitimately contribute to reading outcomes at scale. We’ll seek answers to questions like:
  • What do we know about how technology can contribute to literacy improvement?
  • What else do we need to learn to use technology effectively?
  • What can technology tools do for literacy that traditional methods and materials can not?
  • What are the practical considerations for taking advantage of different technologies for literacy in schools and communities?
Please RSVP now to join thought leaders like this who are testing new ways of using technology tools to improve reading instruction:
  • Yasin Arafat, ICT in Education Specialist, Save the Children Bangladesh
  • Ichiro Miyazawa, Programme Specialist in Literacy and Lifelong Learning, UNESCO
We’ll have hot coffee and catered breakfast for a morning rush, but seating is limited. So RSVP ASAP to be confirmed for attendance: once we reach our 30-person capacity there will be a waiting list. .
ICTs for Literacy
May Technology Salon Bangkok
Thursday, May 28 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Bangkok, Thailand
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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