Sunday, August 30, 2015

Launch of new organization -Catalyst Lab

I have for the longest time wanted to start an organization that would bring academia and business together, partly because unlike many academics in the humanities and social sciences, I did shift careers and moved from the business world into this so called 'ivory tower.' Having experienced both worlds, I respect their unique strengths and  am also aware of the challenges that weaken them when it comes to public outreach, one of the cornerstones for any organization in a contemporary democratic society. Being 'accountable' to the public today is not just about transparency but a new kind of communication which is more a dialogue between diverse stakeholders rather than a top down dissemination of information to the public. And with new digital platforms providing potentially new public spheres online, we have little excuse to delay such conversations from happening.

Since I'm a big fan of 'manifestos' as it condenses ideals and passions that remind us of why we do what we do, click here for the Catalyst manifesto for those interested in knowing what makes this Lab different and worth engaging with.

So what does Catalyst Lab actually do? It pioneers digital media projects that stimulate public discussion on wide-ranging social issues, from the mundane to the profound, involving stakeholders such as businesses, non-profits, activists, artists, think tanks and government agencies in this endeavor. The goal is to bring public debate to life through creative social media strategies that entertain, educate and energize stakeholders to participate in discussions to inform and be informed.

And we have an amazing global team to make this happen too! Excited to grow this organization further and take on new and challenging projects!



Thursday, August 6, 2015

New article out on big data and the global south

Last year, I initiated the Privacy and the global South Project with fieldwork on digital privacy in the favelas of Brazil, townships of South Africa and the slums of India. Its been an exciting year and while at it, big data is one of those topics that dominate this discussion. So, wrote a thought piece on this for Discover Society which just came out. Check it out if you are interested in how conversations on surveillance, privacy, big data and trust transfer to this much neglected setting and populace. 
Big data and the global south project