Sept - Dec 2016
Global Digital Innovation
Edu Tech 

GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY TRENDS

About

PURPOSE OF THIS SITE

This is a not-for-profit site which aims to provide regular information and news about the global digital world. Provision is made for information and news about how digital technology and innovations changes and influences the lives of people all over the world.

An essential part of the site is to be a hub to incubate digital projects; as an accelerator this site will be a portal to host accelerator hubs, campaigns and to implement initiatives to promote the development of communities to become digitally aware.

However, a specific focus will also unfold around the expansion of digital technology in Africa and Emerging continents home to some of the world's poorest countries. It is here that digital technology, through education, information and entertainment can change the lives of millions of people on the continent. The lack of infrastructure means that IoT including mobile and for all things digital connectivity may be a part of the solution. Yet connectivity is generally owned and controlled by private interests. Whether the private profit motive will restrict digital technology to the wealthy few has become controversial. The question is whether the digital world can expand to link the poorest communities in a way that will enable them to take part in their shaping their own destiny.

The Internet, computers and smart phones together create a world that changes the way in which people interact and connect with each other. In Africa, mobile phones have penetrated into remote areas opening access to communication for people who had no regular contact with the world as well as brought the ease of mobile money payment systems.

Digital technology is not the main focus; the primary objective is to bring to the fore how the new technology changes our society and whether the majority of the people in countries have access to this technology. Access to technology is also dependant on the ability of a person to afford the technology. The ability to afford technology means that while the majority of people afford mobile phones their access to the Internet – to connectivity – is limited by their poverty, creating digital islands in a country and continent.

Part of what this site will do is to show how free speech and democratic participation, innovation and GDP are significantly increased when people have access to technology that connects them to others and allows for the free communication of ideas. Probably the greatest benefit of digital technology – or connectivity – is that it is the modern means for the communication of one-to-one and, significantly, one-to-many communication.

These features strengthen democracies. Communication of one-to-many is the first step in building a democracy. Alongside communication is education. The Internet provides wonderful sites that can help people to learn about their world and to understand how to interact in matters that deeply affect their lives.

This site will focus on an aspect of how digital technology affects our lives and on digital business models and bridging the digital divide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

@Digitalnfo

Creator Spaces   Designing Innovation Economics

 


Ayesha Dawood


I liked this when I came across it “Thinking is a kind of making, and making is a kind of thinking" says Jessie Shefrin former Provost of The Rhode Island School of Design and past Dean of Graduate Studies of The Rhode Island School of Design.

I like this too, alot 'design thinking ... is the expression of communication – the form itself...' that is the response I got when I asked John Maeda, at a talk at MIT this year what design thinking is -- Is it the form, is it the way it is presented .. and how does it impact international affairs? His response has got me mulling on innovation economics – and a very 21st century focus. The innovation economics idea was introduced to me by Professor William Fisher of Harvard Law School, Wilmer Hale Professor of Intellectual Property. And so Professor Fisher I take the liberty to propel this idea to designing innovation economics in the 21st century. So here I am positing Creator Spaces as innovation economics in action. And yes, Prof Fisher, Intellectual Property is important and as you say, only and only if it creatively engages with culture. So I take the creative engaging with the culture of a people, the culture of counties ... to a culture of creation. So, I am building and creating and designing too. Is this Ronald Dworkin`s chain novel theory playing itself out – a step by step building of things.

In particular I focus on Creator and Maker spaces which I call Creator Spaces. It is a movement rapidly gaining traction – and pioneering new pedagogies – tinkering, creator and playful learning pedagogies. No doubt this is influencing and will continue to improve a whole new wave – tinkering, playful learning and learning through play and exploration heralding novel creations as well as iterations in the new edu- tech era.

This is innovation economics birthed. A world of tinkering, software and hardware creation including an immersive engagement with technology and with materials –that is what empowers us to be courageous and creative. To make, to create – the art of playful learning and innovator spirit is boldly borne.

In seeing what we create – both online with immersive engaging of technology to building with our minds and hands to creating with materials to embracing the realm of possibilities and yes frameworks ( the lawyer in me screams legal frameworks as much computational thinking calls for system frameworks ). That is the power of Creator Space. They energise, motivate, uplift and propel growth in ones own sense of self, in creativity, in making, in building, in designing and cognition and critical thinking. And this is why it makes sense – it is innovation economics in both the digital and physical – a new form of a connected world – a world of immersive technology made simple – a world of creative making and a world of design and designing new things – software, new hardware, new things and while the search for new hardware forms and hardware materials is increasingly opening up new possibilities in materials.... Creator Spaces are about working with what is available as well making new from afresh and in that process new forms are birthed – New software creation is Creator Space and open source learning and remixing also lend impetus to this. See what amazing creations Scratch, an open source computer programme inspiring community learning and inspiring kids to create stories, animations and games - initiated at the MIT Media Lab Lifelong Kindergarden Group - is doing for kids globally here https://scratch.mit.edu

Designing Creator Spaces is about inspiring people to take charge of their minds and ideas. I marvelled at watching the excitement and agility of the kids at MIT `s Scratch Day this May. Boundless enthusiasm and fun creations – and such confidence.

A new creator pedagogy in the making – yes – but maybe not so new in Africa and emerging economies where creator crafts and tinkering necessities were birthed. It is this staple that will take the shift to tinkering and artful play in emerging economies to levels unparalleled and a boon for innovation economics. Now that is design thinking innovation economics.  Creator Spaces is innovation economics. And yes, Intellectual Property matters.

Ayesha Dawood is a lawyer, writer and artist and educator. She is a Harvard and South African educated lawyer (@ConsultAyesha) She has an LL.M from Harvard Law School and is a recent Fellow of the Weatherhead Centre for International Affairs, Harvard University.