A Sneak Preview: The Future of Technology and Media in Development

A Sneak Preview: The Future of Technology and Media in Development

Infrastructure and lack of connectivity are often considered the main problems in developing countries when it comes to using new media. With the mobile revolution and backbone development taking place, this situation may soon be improving significantly.

In this final session, we will attempt a view into the future: What are the trends and visions for connectivity in developing countries and what will be their impact on journalism? The session starts with a brief overview of the recent developments in Internet Infrastructure and mobile Internet in Africa and continue to predict how the situation may evolve over the next five years. Continue reading

Only one month to go

FoME 2011 Symposium is only four weeks away…

We are excited to announce our key note speakers
Mark Thompson – Open Society Foundation/Media Program
Victor Gotisan – Mapping Digital Media/Moldova
Roberto Belicanec– Mapping Digital Media/Macedonia
“Mapping Digital Media – The Impact of Digital Technology on Journalism”

Justin Arenstein, international media expert, will be sharing insights from his work with Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR) and the African Association of Independent Publishers, Africa Google and the newly founded organization “Rest of the World Media”.

In addition Ivan Sigal (Global Voices Online) has joined our session “New Media, New Partnerships?“ and Thaweeporn Kummetha (Thai Netizen Network) will be sharing her experiences from Thailand in the session “Security Threats in the Digital Era”.

We have updated the program and keep adding speaker profiles. Check it out. Session plans will follow shortly. Keep following @FoME_Symposium and/or subscribe to our newsfeed.

Sarah Britten

Dr. Sarah Britten is a communication strategist, author, artist, blogger, journalist and one of the top contributors of Memeburn.

Sarah has worked in the advertising industry for over a decade and until recently, she was head of digital strategy at Y&R Johannesburg. She completed her PhD through the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, researching the role of advertising in the creation of a new national identity in post-apartheid South Africa. The author of five books (including three which examined the link between South African society, insults and humour), Sarah is a prolific blogger across a number of platforms. She writes regularly for a range of publications, including Strategic Marketing and the Sunday Times, South Africa’s biggest weekly newspaper. She paints with lipstick, exploring themes relating to Western mythology and gender as well as notions of the city. Her current interests focus on the impact of technology and social media on individual identity and relationships with others.

Session: Closing Session: On the Road to a Digital Future?
Session Plan

Brenda Burrell

Brenda Burrell is a Zimbabwean information activist and co-founder of The Kubatana Trust of Zimbabwe. She currently leads the Freedom Fone project, a software development initiative focusing on two-way communication with mobile phone users via IVR, SMS and voice mail. Brenda is motivated to bridge the gaps that separate people from the information they need to stay informed, engaged, productive and healthy. To this end her work integrates technology to amplify issues, encourage feedback and crowd source information.

Session: Mobile Reporting
Session Plan

Carl-Christian Buhr

Dr. Carl-Christian Buhr, an economist and computer scientist by training, is a member of the cabinet of Digital Agenda Commissioner and EU Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes. Among others, he covers the following policy areas: ICT research policy and ICT standardisation, interoperability, e-Infrastructures and the European Cloud Computing Strategy. He previously dealt with antitrust and merger control investigations (e.g. the Microsoft antitrust case and the Oracle/Sun Microsystems merger) in the Commission and worked as an Information Systems Auditor in the European Court of Auditors.

Session: Data Journalism
Session Plan

Gustavo Gorriti

Gustavo Gorriti is the founder and director of IDL-Reporteros in Peru, a digital investigative journalism publication. Gorriti has a long history of investigative reporting that began in 1982. The Peruvian intelligence squads detained him during the 1992 coup before international pressure forced Fujimori to release him. Later that year, due to increasing threats and harassment, but mostly because he became unemployable, Gorriti left for the United States. There he worked as a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the North-South Center. In 1996, he moved to Panama. His work for La Prensa, where he worked as Associate Director, had similar effects: unsuccessful attempts to arrest and deport him. Gorriti took part in the final struggle against Fujmori in the year 2000 and returned for good to his home country in 2001 after Fujimori fled his office. Gorriti was a Nieman fellow in 1986. He received several prizes such as the prestigious Committee to Protect Journalists’ International Press Freedom Award in 1998. Recently, in October 2010, he won the New Journalism Prizeawarded by the New Ibero-American Journalism Foundation (FNPI).

Session: Digital Investigative Journalism
Session Plan

Victor Gotisan

Victor Gotisan is a leading country researcher at the Mapping Digital Media project in Moldova for the Open Society Foundation.

Victor graduated with a BA in philosophy (2006) and earned his MA studies (2007) in philosophical anthropology at Moldova State University. He completed his PhD at the Academy of Science of Moldova. Currently Victor works on media projects for the Independent Journalism Center from Moldova. Victor has been involved as a freelance journalist at Journalists Against Corruption Program coordinated by the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) from 2008 to 2009. From 2003 until 2008 he was editor for the online publication Moldova.ORG. Today Victor writes for mass media in Moldova as well as investigative newspapers such as the Ziarul de Garda.

Session: Mapping Digital Media: Case Studies from Moldova and Macedonia
Session Plan

Jelena Jovanovic

Jelena Jovanovic is recognized digital marketing and communications expert in Balkans and internet celebrity working as business development manager in BIRN Hub (position in Belgrade, in charge for BIRN’s new project BalkanJobFinder.com). She began her career as a journalist, developing her research and storytelling skills on a wide range of topics and audience profiles published in daily newspapers (2002-2007), ICT magazines (2008-2010), economic magazines (2007-2009), and blogs (since 2006) in Serbia.

Jelena previously was in charge of marketing & communications in Serbia and Croatia in Etarget, a Slovak ad network delivering presentations on conferences on variety of topics around online communications, new media, campaigns & targeting, e-Government and branding 2.0. She is jury member of Web Fest, a regional competition web sites in SEE and active in Open Coffee Club meet-ups as well as in TEDx events.

Jelena is recognized as influential blogger in Serbia and Croatia covering digital economy scope of topics, from advertising, marketing and PR to leadership. She has extensive experience as a moderator, community manager and PR specialist.

Session: Investigative Journalism
Session Plan

Thaweeporn Kummetha

Thaweeporn (Am) Kummetha is a Thai journalist and blogger. Apart from working as a correspondent at Xinhua News Agency, she is the web-editor of the Thai Netizen Network (TNN), the leading network of Thai Internet users. She is responsible for writing the annual report of TNN, which touches on issues varying from Internet freedom, accessibility, Internet culture and, last but not least, Internet and journalism.

Graduated from journalism school, She was granted a scholarship to have an internship at the BBC World Service and BBC world news when she was a university student.

Session: Security Threats in the Digital Era
Session Plan

Sean McDonald

Sean Martin McDonald is an international development professional specializing in law, alternative dispute and conflict resolution, and technology. Sean is Director of Operations at FrontlineSMS based in Washington DC.. and he founded the FrontlineSMS:Legal project in September of 2010. At FrontlineSMS Sean is responsible for the day-to-day operation, strategic direction, and project-driven application of FrontlineSMS.

Prior to FrontlineSMS, he worked at MetroStar Systems, where he designed and launched technology products for government and private clients, managed business development efforts, and engaged the non-profit technology community. Sean worked at International Relief & Development, Inc., in the Office of Democracy, Governance, and Community Development. He’s also worked for the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of Conflict Mitigation and Management, the Public International Law and Policy Group, the Center for Peacebuilding International, and the Office of Senator Barbara Mikulski.

Sean currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Peacebuilding, International Peace Park Expeditions, and the Advisory Boards of Digital Democracy and TechChange. He holds a J.D. and an M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Magazine Journalism, Government, and Spanish at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Session: Mobile Reporting
Session Plan

Fadi Salem

Fadi Salem is the Director of the Governance and Innovation Program at the Dubai School of Government (DSG), a Fellow with the I+I Policy Research Centre, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKY SPP), National University of Singapore; and a former Associate with the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), Harvard University. His areas of expertise include new models of governance and citizen engagement and their impact on social development; including ICT and reform, e-government, social media and citizen participation in the Arab region.

Fadi has over ten years of multidisciplinary working experience in public sector advisory, media, ICT and research industries. He has been involved in numerous advisory projects with private sector corporations and governments in the Arab region; as well as with international organizations, including the OECD, UNDP, UNDESA, WEF and the European Commission. Prior to joining DSG he worked in The Executive Office, where he advised senior government leaders in Dubai. He also previously was an Editor of two pan-Arab publications for two years.

A native Syrian, Fadi is a graduate from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and is the author of over a hundred publications in peer-reviewed journals and media; and the co-editor of several books and proceedings, including the Arab Social Media Report series and the recently published “From Electronic Government to Information Government” in Arabic. He is a frequent speaker in international conferences and comments in the media regularly on governance, technology and Middle Eastern political affairs.

Session: Security Threats in the Digital Era
Session Plan

Ivan Sigal

Ivan Sigal is the Executive Director of Global Voices, a non-profit online global citizens’ media initiative. He was a Senior Fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace, where he wrote about the effects of increased media and information access and participation in conflict-prone areas. He previously spent over ten years working in media development in the former Soviet Union and Asia, supporting journalism, media regulatory reform, and working on media co-productions. During that time he worked for Internews Network, as Regional Director for Asia, Central Asia, and Afghanistan.

He has designed and implemented dozens of media assistance projects, including the creation of more than thirty Afghan-run radio stations and building an independent Afghan radio network; a project to provide humanitarian information to victims of the 2005 South Asian earthquake in Pakistan; a post-2004 tsunami humanitarian information radio program in Sri Lanka, legal and civil society reporting programs for Chinese journalists, and numerous current affairs TV programs for Central Asian audiences.

Session: New Media, New Partnerships?
Session Plan

Gavin Sheridan

Gavin Sheridan is Innovation Director for Storyful based in Dublin, Ireland.

Storyful was established in 2009 as a news agency for the social media age. Storyful is set out to discover the smartest conversations about world events and raise up the authentic voices on the big stories. Storyful works with people at the heart of the action, capturing turning points in history in words, pictures and video.It partners with organisations to help them filter, or curate, noisy streams of data into useable news content. Its storybuilding tool is live and free to use. Its partners include ABC in the US, YouTube and France24.

Workshop 3 – Crowdsourcing Journalism
Session Report
Closing Session: On the Road to a Digital Future?
Session Plan

Mark Thompson

Dr. Mark Thompson works on policy projects for the Open Society Media Program. He has been an independent consultant on media development projects for various governmental organizations and NGOs. He has also served as the political officer for a United Nations peacekeeping mission and spokesman of an OSCE mission, as well as a journalist, historian, and translator.

Publications include Forging War (1994 and 1999), Forging Peace: Intervention, Human Rights and the Management of Media Space (2002, with Monroe Price), The White War (2008), and Birth Certificate. The story of Danilo Kiš (Cornell, forthcoming).

Session: Mapping Digital Media
Session Plan
Open Society Foundations

Adam Thomas

Adam Thomas is a communicator, producer, curator and writer, originally
from the UK and now living in Berlin, who has worked on over 20 international media festivals. Previously Assistant Guest Curator for transmediale (DE) and Programme Manager for AV Festival (UK), he is now the Communications Manager at Sourcefabric, a non-profit organization promoting open source, independent media. He is the director of Test Signals, a series of festivals exploring new forms for software and radio.

Session: Workshop 1 – Augmenting the new and old

Marek Tuszynski

Marek Tuszynski is the co-founder and director of programmes & technology of Tactical Technology Collective. He has been working to help advocates use technology since 1995. In the mid-nineties he co-founded the International Network of Contemporary Art Centres and worked with others to create a television programme about independent culture in Poland.

He was director of the Stefan Batory Foundation’s Internet programme (Warsaw), sat on the board of Klon/Jawor (a research and infrastructure NGO) and The Second Hand Bank. Marek worked as a consultant to many funding agencies focusing on information and communication strategies for civil society in Central Asia.

Session: Workshop 2 – Navigating the digital

Hype or Hope? The impact of digital media on journalism and development

In 2011 the role of Internet communication for social and political change has taken on a new dimension. Never before has the impact of digital and social media been discussed so widely as in the context of current social movements like the Arab Spring, where Internet based communication provided an outlet for voices unheard by the state controlled media systems.

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