The Digital Agency for International Development

Participatory Technology Meetup

By Matt Haikin on 14 October 2013

We launched our free Loband' Report at this event. Find out how you can make sure your website can be seen by most people in developing countries.

The Scene...

Friday September 27th 2013, a dark room above The Quadrant in Brighton, obligatory technical problems with the projector, panic over whether anyone would turn up finally over . . . over to Robert Chambers to kick off the speakers, talking to a packed room, not a single empty seat...!

All-in-all it's safe to say that the 3rd attempt at a Brighton "ICT4D Meetup" was an undoubted success. It's now broadened out slightly to be dubbed Technology for Social Change - this ensures that local people doing interesting social/tech work for local communities can also participate and share experiences with those doing similar work overseas.

The speakers - a healthy mix of academics vs. practitioners vs. technologists - and the same goes for the attendees.

So, for those of you who couldn't make it... What did you miss..?

Introduction by Robert Chambers

'ElePhants in the Room' - always good to see Robert's engaging style of talking, and I think this session set the tone really well for the speakers who followed - helping make sure they focused on the key topics of participation and power and not just the technology or development angles. Nice set of Who Whose Questions to help get people thinking too...

Series of Lighting Talks

Great speakers, academics, practitioners, technology-focused projects, developmental work, local stuff. Great mix and really inspiring stuff...Thanks to all the speakers (some of the presentations are linked below too)...

Particular highlights were Rachel, Katharina and Joe for pointing out the potential pitfalls, failures and potential negative effects of technology - something the ICT4D community sometimes seems to ignore; our own Alan Jackson for bringing together the work we do abroad and the way we live/work at home - integrity and 'walking the walk' being critical, and Olivia for just being so passionate, open and honest about her plans and goals - refreshing and I really hope it comes together!

'worldPub' discussions

After the speakers, we facilitated an informal spinoff from "World Cafes" and "Knowledge Cafes" learning groups - slightly glibly called worldPub discussions, that focuses on networking and collaboration and not just learning. People still going strong an hour after we finished, so it must have struck a chord.

If you didn't make it, watch this space, join the Meetup Group, or keep tabs on the Twitter hashtag #tech4socialchange to make sure you don't miss the next one!