Monday, August 4, 2008

pre-Keystone discussion on ICTD

So, what is ICTD? It's Information and Communications Technology for Development, or, applying computer technology in ways that are beneficial for society. As I look through this years Hopper's program, there is a lot more focus on technology for humanitarian purposes. Ever since Karen Banks of APC won the 1st Anita Borg Social Impact Award (Hopper 2004, Chicago), this has been an area of growing interest in the whole tech sector, not just for us women at Hoppers. Look at all the companies and tech foundations trying to "close" the digital divide -- this is reflected in the numbers of sessions at Hoppers related to ICTD, the rise in the numbers of women who are nominated annually for the GHC Anita Borg Change Agent awards, and the swell of interest in "doing well by doing good." Are women uniquely suited to match human needs to technological answers? We've been told we're the ones who really "care" about the end user, but is that just a stereotype or are we able to offer something different in this space? I want to invite you to chime in on these questions of community, gender, and technology - we are putting up a blog to pre-discuss our GHC panel "Having Global Impact as a Technical Woman" at - us 4 panelists are ICTD researchers and practitioners who wish to connect with other attendees grappling with, and interested in being involved in, ICTD. Come chat!

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