Makeshift Communication: Designing for Scattered Signals

About this Webinar:

From the Great Firewall to 140-character limits, developing world communications present unique challenges. To shed light on these constraints, as well as innovative solutions, Steve Daniels will draw on months of research for the Communication Issue of Makeshift, the magazine of innovation in informal economies around the world. In curating this issue, he found motorcycle hotspots in Cambodia, rogue messengers sending letters into North Korea, and cyber cafes in China where hundreds of males break through censors to download smut. These street-level examples show how people living under resource constraints manage to innovate to connect with the people around them—in ways we might never expect. After giving a visual tour of connectivity around the world, Steve will draw on his work in ICT4D at IBM to discuss how to design communication systems for other cultures and contexts.



Steve Daniels is the founding editor of Makeshift, the magazine of innovation in informal economies around the world, and author of Making Do, which catalogs his research on Kenya’s roadside engineering culture. Fascinated by technology in complex social systems, he works for IBM Research’s Social Computing Group on projects from ICT4D to Smarter Cities. His research on SMS for healthcare in Uganda was accepted to the ACM SIGDEV conference. Previously, he founded the annual Better World by Design conference, ran Brown University’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders, and developed an entrepreneurship center and curriculum for at-risk teens.

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