May 25, 2006 § Leave a comment
Portland, OR, USA – May 19, 2006: In my books, anyone with a slide bullet that reads: “find and work with fellow travelers” is worth paying attention to. Our new colleagues from Intel had just such a bullet.
Meddie and I went to Portland, Oregon last week to learn more about what Intel is doing in the emerging markets field. We met with people from two groups: John Sherry and Muki Hansteen Izora from the Health Research and Innovation and Tony Salvador and Mohammed Mohammed from the Emerging Markets Platform Group. All four are social scientists working on the research question: what will information technology do / mean / look like for the four billion people on the planet who have yet to touch a computer? Fun gig.
The technologies these folks are working on are compelling enough: community PCs; low cost long range wireless; rural healthcare tech. However, the much more interesting bit is their commitment to ecosystem thinking. They see Intel tech (or any tech) as a part of a rich, interconnected web of social, business and technical interests, and they design their research with this in mind. So, a new educational computing platform is only interesting and effective if you also think about application developers, skilled teachers, interconnected students, and so on.
This is exactly the same premise that telecentre.org is based on: we need to strengthen key pieces of the telecentre ecosystem if we want to see scalable, sustainable, transformative rural computing. While it’s not yet clear how we work with Intel, the common philosophy means that interesting opportunities are sure to emerge. And so it should be when you’re hanging with fellow travelers.
See also: Intel World Ahead initiative.