Showing posts with label South Africa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label South Africa. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Speaker on Prizes for innovation at the Digital Economies workshop in South Africa

South Africa, here I come! Am excited to finally head to the African continent for the first time. Will be speaking on how prizes are being used to spur innovation and strengthen the digital economies in emerging markets. My talk draws from the commissioned report for the UN on innovation in education in developing countries.

Am being hosted by the timely initiative and network established by Richard Heeks and team called the DIODE network (Development Implications of Digital Economies), funded by the UK's Economic and Social Research Council.

Besides this, I will be exploring new sites for my research on privacy in the global South in Cape town. Also, I am looking into how I can further the mission of Catalyst Lab, the organization I founded in 2015 that stimulates new forms of engaging communication between academia and the lay public using social media. I will be exploring a partnership with CREST (Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology) at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

So much to do, such little time! And of course, do some academic tourism on the can I resist the charms of Cape Town and Stellenbosch!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Let's talk dirty?

Good intentions drive me mad. The moment you start talking about intent, it means you've failed in what you were trying to achieve right? I'm a victim of my own good intent. In class, I want to talk about countries and people that have been made exotic over decades if not longer; I want to talk about countries that have been written off as poor, corrupt and pretty much basket cases of the world. Say you bring up Ethiopia, besides our Michael Jackson's We are the world pop song charity event and famine jokes (that apparently is now off the politically correct radar on what can be made fun of), what comes to mind in the average youth? Or take South Africa and but for our man Mandela and Bono duo, rugby, and apartheid, it's pretty much a frozen picture. The idea here is to get to be less myopic about the world and more excited about global dynamism n all. Sounds all noble but hey, intent is pretty much always screwed. This is why.

To talk about a context, you've gotta first talk dirty. To talk about South Africa deeply, you need to dig deeper. And then what? You come up with statistics such as it being one of the crime capitals of the world, high unemployment, townships, busing, poverty, corruption, rape and more. And if you can somehow get the youth to get pass these stats, they can discover some amazing sides and exciting new developments in SA. But here's the catch. It's like going down a supermarket isle of products screaming buy me and expect to come out of that trap empty handed. Doesn't happen much. By the time you've gone through this dirty talk, one's mind is likely to be made up.

Need to clean up my act for sure! Perhaps stop dirty talk and go straight to business? Focus more on the hot entrepreneurship, emerging cell phone markets, fabulous art and music scene and more, and then let the dirty unravel later?