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Showing posts with the label technology

New Release: My UN Commissioned Report on Innovation in the ICT's in Education sector

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In February of 2016, I was approached by UNESCO to come up with a report to advise the UN Education Commission on the role of prizes in shaping innovation in the education sector. After months of research, and evaluation, I was thrilled to learn that the report made its way into the policy pathway. This paper was prepared for the International Commission on Financing Global Education.

Basically, here is the executive summary for the report. If interested, click here to get access to the final report.

The use of prizes to stimulate innovation in education has dramatically increased in recent years, but, to date, no organization has attempted to critically examine the impact these prizes have had on education. This report attempts to fill this gap by conducting a landscape review of education prizes with a focus on technology innovation in developing countries. This report critically analyses the diversity of education prizes to gauge the extent to which these new funding mechanisms le…

New Podcast out on my book 'The Leisure Commons' by New Books in Technology

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Digital absence: The modern day sabbatical?

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When you speak of sabbaticals, you perhaps picture a professor of art history sitting at a café in Florence, trying to come up with a new spin on Uffizi art. It seems that academia has usurped this practice that has been enveloped in biblical meaning for the longest of time. This hiatus from work has had the weight of Ten Commandments backing it up, allowing the masses to justify their temporal ceasing to labor. Henceforth, the weekend was born. Granted, this is a rather simplistic interpretation. Of course one needs to take into account other phenomena such as the industrialization era where leisure began to be viewed as not necessarily a waste of time but actually that which could enhance productivity. In fact, these strategic interruptions have served as a signal of the modern era where a society sees its inherent virtue. So the question is not on whether or not it is advisable to desist working for some time but rather, how long is it acceptable to leisure before it is viewed as …

Mirror Mirror on the wall, who is the cheapest of them all?

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Today’s world is the world of consumerism. “Access,” even in the most economically disadvantaged areas is less about the basics. In fact, there is a thin line between what constitutes as necessity versus luxury. The farmer wants a mobile to listen to Radio1 94.3; the housemaid in Bandra wants a TV to watch her favorite soap opera; the watchman in Electronic City aims to get a car one day. With India’s massive consumer base of a billion strong, the economy of scale as a perennial cliché kicks in as predictably as ever. So there is nothing new in the fact that new technologies can become accessible at a faster rate in emerging markets than its western counterpart. What is new however is that products today are being developed from the start to be accessible – in one word –CHEAP. Patience is a thing of the past apparently. The new consumer has made the economy of scale redundant here.

The burgeoning middle class laps up the Tata Nano, the people’s car at $2500, an unprecedented figure …

Mind the Gap?

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We are obsessed with difference. No doubt that every technology impacts society. No doubt that every new generation gets accustomed to certain unique ways of communicating through novel mediums. It is therefore natural for people to be concerned with “generation gaps.” The acceleration of technological change is assumed to create an acceleration of difference. Yes. It is assumed however but not determined. Expectations are but one aspect of new technology usage. We forget though that most technologies are used to fulfil something very basic and fundamental – the fostering, strengthening, and enhancing of relationships. The end incentive is not to maximize new technology but to maximize human relationships. Thereby, regardless of the widening spaces between generations, the panic of “mini-generations gaps” needs to be grounded; to remind oneself that people will continue to use a plethora of technologies to stay in touch, to connect, and to share. When I moved to the US from India in 1…