Sep 09 2008

Register for Microsoft’s ICT for Development Conference in Washington DC

I believe that the most powerful application of social media is to help citizens self-organize themselves into virtual communities to work towards social change. In BRIC countries, where mobile penetration is much higher than PC penetration, such communities will need to be designed in an “access agnostic” manner, which means that the content/ community exists in the “cloud” and can be accessed by multiple mediums including websites, RSS feeds, voice portals and even text messages.

Microsoft's ICT for Development Conference

So, when I attend Microsoft’s ICT for Development Conference (see agenda) in Washington DC on September 22-23 2008, I’ll be interested to find out if development agency leaders, private sector practitioners, non-profits and activists share my enthusiasm for the use of social media for social change. The conference is free, but there are limited seats, so you need to register in advance at DevEx, a community for “professionals working in international development, global health, and foreign assistance”.

Incidentally, Microsoft runs some interesting initiatives under its Unlimited Potential program and James Utzschneider runs a cool blog on “Microsoft’s commitment to create sustained social and economic opportunity for the next 5 billion”.

One response so far | Categories: 2008-09 Fellows,Gaurav Mishra,Social Change,Social Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Response to “Register for Microsoft’s ICT for Development Conference in Washington DC”

  1. Margaret on 28 Jan 2009 at 9:11 am

    Hello Gaurav – I came across your posting this morning while I was trying to recall the name “Unlimited Potential Group.” I was curious as to your impressions of the Microsoft ICT4D Conference. I attended a number of sessions as well. While I understand that part of the purpose was for Microsoft-funded organizations to “show off” what they’ve been working on, I found a few things lacking. First and foremost, there were no opportunities for networking. Almost every break was cut to a few minutes and even lunches were minimized to allow speakers to get their full time. It just seemed to me that at a conference focused on global communication and development would have prioritized creating connections. I also saw a distinct lack of discussion on results. People talked a lot about the research and processes they went through and there were lots of flow charts and frameworks (I hate frameworks – as a concept they are important, in practice, they are an excuse for not doing your actual work) but little talk of impact or the practical aspects of their projects. Anyway, I’d just be curious to hear what you thought. Thanks. – Margaret

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