1 March 2009

Ramesh Srinivasan and Juliana Rotich on the power of local innovation at LIFT09

Be the first to share

LIFT 2009
Solidarity was the first afternoon theme of the LIFT conference.

One of the subtle change in the last fifteen years revolves around how collective action and solidarity have changed. Ramesh Srinivasan and Juliana Rotich, two speakers from different parts of the world, showrf how technologies such as mobile devices reshape the rule of living together.

Note: this post contains embedded video which might now not show up in your rss feed.

Ramesh Srinivasan

Ramesh Srinivasan (personal page) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Information Studies and Design|Media Arts at the University of California Los Angeles. His research interests and doctoral seminars build on his interdisciplinary background as an engineer, designer, social scientist, and ethnographer. His research focuses on convergent questions between new media technologies and global cultures and communities; the use of design and social-science perspectives to analyze the impacts of information technology.

Ramesh started out with a few core questions:
– How is an understanding of how different cultures see the world in different ways fundamental for how technology is conceived and how would a culturally diverse web look like?
– How are technologies, which are themselves cultural artefacts, impacting other cultural worlds in different ways?

He then followed up with a number of stories and observation that illustrate cultural appropriation, and the power of people innovation – people are good at adapting technologies to the uses that benefit them best, based on their own ontologies.

To really make technology matter, we need to reflect upon how policy makers and decision makers view the world. What is their ontology vs the ontology of someone in a village? And how can this gap be bridged?

Juliana Rotich

Juliana Rotich (blog | profile) comes from Kenya and is an author, blogger and digital activist with Global Voices Online. She has a particular focus on the environment. She is also a programme director of Ushahidi, a non-profit web platform for the crowd sourcing and mapping of crisis information. Recently she was selected as one of the TED Fellows.

Juliana’s talk was entitled “Globalism, Mobiles and The Cloud”, and started off with highlighting the work done done by Global Voices, which gives space to events that are not covered by the global media.

One of the important issues in Africa is language translation. That’s why Global Voices started the Lingua project, with a translation in over 18 languages, through the help of volunteer translators.

The mobile phone has now become the platform for development in Africa. Good examples of mobile applications that are relevant in Africa are Mobinfo (developed by a Kenyan for Kenyans), Google SMS Search (launched in Kenya), MXit instant messaging on mobile phones, LiveQuotes (Nairobi stock exchange information), m-Pesa (money transfer via mobile), and health information on “please call me” text messages.

She ends her talk with information on the websites of Sokwanele.com (mashups of maps and political news) and Ushahidi.com (which aggregates and localises).

Be the first to share
16 April 2015
Putting technology in its place
Kentaro Toyama is a former Microsoft Research Executive and now an associate professor at the University of Michigan. Toyama calls himself “a recovering technoholic”—someone who once was “addicted to a technological way of solving problems.” …
7 April 2015
[Book] Practical Empathy
Practical Empathy: For Collaboration and Creativity in Your Work by Indi Young Rosenfeld Media, 2015 Synopsis Conventional product development focuses on the solution. Empathy is a mindset that focuses on people, helping you to understand their thinking patterns and …
3 April 2015
Design prototypes for Nairobi, Kenya
In 2014, Ericsson and UN-Habitat (United Nations Human Settlements Programme) entered a three-year partnership with the intention to collaborate around Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and sustainable urbanization. One of the first explorations was driven by …
27 March 2015
Sharp methodological critiques on current Big Data practices
Two methodological critiques on Big Data that caught our attention: In the Financial Times, economist and journalist Tim Harford points out that sampling bias and statistical errors are, if anything, magnified in Big Data research, …
26 March 2015
Gov.uk’s open policy making toolkit – practical guidance on ethnography and more
The Gov.uk open policy making toolkit is a practical guide to techniques that can help you make better policy. The toolkit, which brings together the latest techniques to improve making and delivering policy, is based on …
24 March 2015
Ethnographic research drives IKEA’s global success
In a long Fortune Magazine article on IKEA's successful global expansion, author Beth Kowitt devotes quite a few paragraphs to the importance of qualitative, ethnographic research: "Today research is at the heart of Ikea’s expansion. “The …
23 March 2015
UK report on consumer problems in the mobile phone market
Calling the shots? is the title of a new Citizens Advice Bureau report that analyses consumer problems in the mobile phone market and explores opportunities for stronger consumer protections. From the executive summary: "The mobile phone market …
23 March 2015
Design fiction personas illustrate possible impact of educational tech
People talk about the future of technology in education as though it’s right around the corner, but most of us get to that corner and see it disappearing around the next. This innovation-obsessed cycle continues …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

16 March 2015
Better Health and Wellbeing: Giving the elderly in Singapore sparkling golden years

Invitation: sharing session, Singapore, 30 March 2015   What are the hopes and fears of the elderly in Singapore? How can designers offer solutions that support the elderly in managing their health and wellness? What can healthcare professionals do to help them keep active? What role can technology play in the elderly’s daily lives? Design consultants […]

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
21 December 2014
Experientia’s Twitter feed live

Experientia has now its own Twitter feed. Four months of Putting People First posts and other links have already been uploaded. If you followed Experientia on Twitter through the feed of its CEO, Mark Vanderbeeken, make sure to now also follow the company (but don’t unfollow Mark, who will keep on tweeting away). And while […]

19 December 2014
Putting People First blog redesigned

Experientia’s Putting People First blog has been redesigned. It is now entirely responsive, allows for easier browsing, searching, and filtering, and features larger images on the posts. The entire history of posts remains accessible as before. We are still tweaking things and welcome any feedback.

27 November 2014
Why the world needs anthropologists – an update

Why the world needs anthropologists – Coming out of the ivory tower Location: Padua, Italy, Centro Culturale Altinate/San Gaetano Date and time: Friday, 5 December 2014, 13:00 – 18:00 Padua, Italy, 5 December 2014 – The second edition of the international symposium of applied anthropologists attempts to erase the boundary between ‘pure’ and ‘applied’ anthropology, […]

30 October 2014
The BancoSmart ATM by Experientia for UniCredit selected for ADI Design Index

Last year Experientia designed the interface of an ATM of UniCredit, a major Italian bank. The interface is now rolled out across the bank’s ATMs in Italy, to great satisfaction of the bank and the customers alike, since interaction speed is much faster and error rates went down dramatically. Last year UniCredit and Experientia also […]

See all articles