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Showing posts with the label Nimmi Rangaswamy

Launch of new organization -Catalyst Lab

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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 …

New partnership with Microsoft India Researcher bears fruit

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Nimmi Rangaswamy from Microsoft Research Labs India and I have been working on creating momentum in shifting the focus of ICTs for International Development (ICT4D) research towards a broader and less utilitarian perspective. Over the years, it has been interesting to see how Nimmi and I through our independent anthropological fieldwork were coming to a similar conclusion on the need to pay attention to "leisure" behavior of Internet users in emerging markets if we are to genuinely understand the multiple dimensions of new media practice in the global South. For instance, her research with Kentaro Toyama on cyberkiosks revealed the following:

From field ethnography, we find that urban youth slang and speech styles do not lag behind in villages. Neither do communication styles and channels. Instant messaging is immediately embraced by younger kiosk operators. Fan clubs of matinee idols bring in youth fashion and trends along with film music. Most popular films and film music …