Jan Chipchase

Yesterday in Cellphones Save The World I wrote about Jan Chipchase, who is featured in the New York Times piece by Sara Corbett, Can The Cellphone Help End Global Poverty. My piece summarized four themes that summarize changes we often do perceive but that are happening worldwide: people-driven processes, change for the rest of us, human-centered science, and emerging methods.

Chipchase has his own blog, Future Perfect, and a website at The Nokia Research Center. He also has a TED video presentation (I featured TED just a few days, see here), which is worth a look. I’d paste it in below, but WordPress limits us to big sites like YouTube, at least in my understanding.

ELearnSpace has a critical take on the Corbett article. I include an edited version here, because it is a different and equally valid perspective: “I don’t care for the general concept of this article—solving complex issues like poverty requires more than just a new technological tool… [T]he bigger issue for me relates to where the money flows and who will have control over the new infrastructure. As I was reminded by a participant in an online presentation I delivered this morning, technology cuts both ways. It opens and it closes. It frees and it imprisons. That’s why we [need] an ideological shift in how we interact with developing nations.”

So it’s not all cellphones. But Chipchase is not all about technology either. He puts technology in context. He speaks of “delegation in practice” in the TED talk, and how to tackle the problem of illiteracy, which is as much about social practices and social trust as it is about technology. So he is just speaking to a different ideological shift than most of us think about.

Check out his video if you’re interested, and also the post I did awhile back on Social Entrepreneurship, which addressed development and anthropology. And Antropologi has a fun piece too, Why The Head of IT Should Be An Anthropologist.

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