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Saturday, 6 July, 2019 - 17:24

Nothing is more practical than rules to guide thinking. In this post I share the ten rules I use to think about technology and society. Personally I use them as tools to filter the hype that surrounds technology and to get to the critical questions of who benefits and loses, as well as what needs to be done to secure a more equitable society. I previously tweeted a version of these rules, and this posting responds to requests to expand them and to provide some useful links.
 

Rule 1. Technologies Are Inherently Political (Winner 1980). Langdon Winner famously argued that 'artifacts have politics' - that some technologies are "inherently political" due to inflexible features of their structure & operation. Other technologies, he argues, are political "by design," but open to flexible shaping that affects their possibilities & likely consequences. Winner provided the example of the height of the bridges to Long Island being designed...

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Digital Imperialism & How We Tackle It

I recently ran a session on Digital Development here at IDS for staff from two bilateral donors.

Class Divisions in Technology Access

Mobile internet use in the Philippines is growing rapidly, but so are associated digital inequalities.

ICT4D Conference Calendar 2018

 
Here's a early look at the calendar of ICT4D conferences that have already announced dates and locations for 2018.
As ever May will be the busiest month of the year for ICT4D conferences.
 

Digital Technology Excludes

 

This month I have been in the Philippines researching participatory technology initiatives designed to include Filipino citizens in participatory governance programmes.

 

Perversely I came back more concerned about the ways that digital technologies exclude the most marginalised. In this post I explain the reasons why.

 

Decent Work in a Digital World

The last few weeks have been super busy here in the Digital and Technology team at IDS. I'm preparing for fieldwork in the Philippines at the same time as we are juggling a raft of exciting new research proposals at various stages of development. Last week we also ran the inagural Digital Development Summit at London's South Bank Centre.

ICT4D Conferences 2017

A calendar of ICT4D conferences in 2017.

Let a Thousand ICT4D Blogs Bloom

 

On his Facebook page last week Richard Heeks, from the Centre for Development Informatics at Manchester University, was lamenting the fact that many ICT4D blogs have become inactive.

Mapping The Explosion of Tech Hubs Across Africa

As recently as 2011, at an international conference, an expert from Africa's first and foremost Tech Hub estimated that there might be as many as 14 or 15 hubs across Africa. The truth was that no-one knew for sure how many existed. To try and get some accurate data on numbers, Lukonga Lindunda and I decided to initiate a crowdmap of Africa's Tech Hubs.

Cheat Sheet on ICTs & SDGs

Last month I did some research on the role of ICTs in pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals and I thought that it might be useful to share some of those links here as an open resource. Hat tip to Anand Sheombar and to Linda Raftree for their help to me along the way.

ICT Access is NOT equal to Development

Last week I was swotting up on ICTs in the Sustainable Development Goals for an interview.

I noticed how the SDGs that mention ICTs set targets for access rather than for any development outcomes that access might contribute to.

Information is NOT Power

We are often told that information is power - and that by extension – access to information is empowerment.

Critical Agency in ICT4D

Amartya Sen argues that “critical agency is important in combating inequality of every kind” and that it is 'pivotal' to human development.

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