Anthropologists in a Global Village

Social anthropology was a discipline I was fortunate to stumble into when I headed to university way back in 1996. My main motive for going was to read Development Studies, but at Sussex you couldn’t study it as a single subject.

Appropriate technology: Lessons from nature

“Our life is half natural and half technological. Half-and-half is good. You cannot deny that high-tech is progress. We need it for jobs. Yet if you make only high-tech, you make war. So we must have a strong human element to keep modesty and natural life”
Nam June Paik, Artist (1932 – 2006)

Putting data integrity on the map

We were excited to join colleagues and friends in Washington, DC, on Tuesday 9th August to release the first edition of our “User Guide on Data Integrity”, a tool that will help FrontlineSMS users around the world better understand the flow of information into and out of the platform, the risks and vulnerabilities to that data, an

The past: Reframed. Re-lived.

It’s not every day that you stumble across something which blows you away, especially when you don’t quite understand why. It happened to me on Sunday, and I’m still more than a little fascinated.

Joining the UK Africa Delegation

This week represents something of a first for us as we head to Africa as part of a UK business delegation lead by David Cameron, the British Prime Minister.

The Rolling Stones School of Management Innovation

What do the Rolling Stones and FrontlineSMS have in common? Not much, you might think. Well, they’re not users, they’re a little better-off than us and they’re considerably more famous. But there is something a little more subtle we share with them – management innovation.

The future of mobile messaging

I often get emails from research companies or publishers trying to sell me things. Most aren’t relevant, remotely interesting or affordable. One this morning, from Portio Research, caught my eye. It’s still not affordable (at least not for us), but it did come with ten great report ‘teasers’. And all of them interesting and relevant.

The FrontlineSMS trump card

This time last year I was on my way back from Washington DC where I’d spent a week at the National Geographic Explorers Symposium. It was one of those am-I-really-here?

Mobile technology and the last mile

Since our founding in 2003, has been primarily focused on serving the needs of the smaller, local, grassroots NGO community.

The Environmental Network

Date: Thursday 2nd June, 2011
Venue: Aspen Environment Forum, Aspen, Colorado
Chair: Ned Breslin
Speakers: Ken Banks, William Powers, Courtney Hight, Charles Porch

The Environmental Network

The “Ultimate Music Awareness App”

Close friends will know that I’m a bit of a walker. In fact, a few years ago I did start to put down tentative plans for a walk across the African continent, but a Fellowship at Stanford put pay to that.

The hidden world of “how stuff works”

When things work as they should, we often take them for granted, rarely stopping to think about their inner workings. It’s only when things go wrong, or something unusual happens, that we get a glimpse into the secret world of “how stuff works”.

A very public tribute

It’s been difficult to know what to write about our Mother. She was a big fan of this blog, and immensely proud of my work, so it felt right that I say something. Not surprisingly, I’m not the only one who felt this way, going by a report in last week’s local paper. Clearly, many other people feel the same as me, and many other people will also miss her for many different reasons.

The dollar-a-week “mobile challenge”

Some people go on long walks. Some climb mountains. Others run marathons or go for weeks without smoking, drinking alcohol or watching television. There are many ways to raise money for charity these days, although many don’t have a direct connection with the area of focus of the charity itself.

The unnatural evolution of living

From the primordial soup, to the rain forest, to the African savanna, to… this. Welcome to Sci-Fi City, United Arab Emirates. Not only the future of cities – the future of living!

Spirituality: A home in ICT4D?

Back in the early 90′s, when I started to take a serious interest in international development, I spent many weekends flicking through mail order booklets and “Working Abroad” publications that I had to order by post. Back then there was nothing relevant on the World Wide Web to speak of – actually, there wasn’t really much of a World Wide Web to speak of.

Differentiation and the non-changing face of innovation

Last week at the Rutberg Summit in London – an event dominated by senior mobile industry executives – one of the more interesting topics for me was differentiation. How will the new Microsoft/Nokia relationship impact the mobile OS ecosystem?

Future innovation: Threat or opportunity?

A year may have passed since this particular edition of the Economist hit the shelves, but I bet you could replace “April 2010″ with “April 2011″ and few people would notice. I kept this edition back because of it’s special report on business and innovation in the developing world.

Lost [and found] 2.0

“Lost and found” meets street notices in a mobile world… Spotted on a lamp post in a residential area outside Cambridge in the UK.

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